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Morocco’s Malika Ajaha, and Hajar El Bied Win Rallye des Gazelles in Crossover/SUV Category (photos)

Written by FDM

Morocco’s Malika Ajaha, and Hajar El Bied (the 314 crew) won the 100% female Aïcha des Gazelles rally-raid in Essaouira in the Crossover/SUV category on Saturday. The event celebrated its 30th anniversary this year.

After four postponements due to the Covid-19 health crisis, the 30th-anniversary edition of the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles, a rally-raid event reserved for exclusively female crews, was finally able to take place in the southern Moroccan desert. On Saturday, victory returned after six stages, including two “marathon”, to Malika Ajaha, and Hajar El Bied. The two Moroccan women on  SUV preceded the Franch crew Valérie Santini et Emmanuelle Bussa.

190 teams set off on Wednesday 22 September from Dar Kaoua (Erfoud) for a thousand kilometers of competition to Foum Zuid, then podium in Essaouira. The Rallye des Gazelles organized by Maïenga is not a speed test but a race-based on off-road heading navigation and in the dunes (“old-fashioned” with map and compass, without GPS): the classification is established from the shortest distance traveled by the competitors between several tags, during each challenge.

Later on, a closing evening of this 30th edition was launched by Dominique Serra et Franck Coste, Chairman and CEO of Champagne Tsarine. All the guests raised their glasses to celebrate this evening. The performance of Tibz  and the incredible concert of Yannick Noah set the dance floor on fire. It was a memorable ending ceremony worthy of an anniversary edition.

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