Rallye Aicha des Gazelles 2014 Recap


SAHARA, MOROCCO: In March 2014, the team travelled to Morocco to participate in the 24th edition of the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles. This grueling nine-day off-road race across the Moroccan Sahara, is one of the toughest motorsport events in the world. Using only a map and compass to navigate (GPS or electronic navigational aids are NOT allowed), 160 two-woman teams struggle to reach a series of checkpoints spread over the harshest desert terrain. The competition is a challenge of endurance and strategy, as teams must decide whether to go over obstacles or around them in an effort to complete the course with the least possible mileage. The winners are the team that reaches all the checkpoints via the shortest total distance.


14 MAR 2014

Becoming Gazelles: technical check, the Jeep gets “stickered” and the team gets the official Gazelle Rally vests… [read]

15 MAR 2014


The Grand Depart: The ceremonial start of the 24th edition of the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles in front of the Eiffel tower at place Trocadero… [read]

16 MAR 2014

On the Road to Morocco: The Gazelles continue the drive from France to Spain, where they load onto the ferry… [read]

17 MAR 2014

Getting Ready to Roll: Teams use the day on the ferry to prepare their maps, do navigation exercises and practice plotting… [read]

18 MAR 2014

The Road to Erfoud: The Gazelles drive from Tangiers to Erfoud… [read]

19 MAR 2014

PROLOGUE: Calibration of odometers in the morning, followed by a sample of the competition course… [read]

20 MAR 2014

LEG 1: NEJAKH SOUTH LOOP. The first day of the real competition begins as teams head south into the desert… [read]

21 MAR 2014

LEG 2: NEJAKH NORTH LOOP. The teams loop north today, in the area of Errachida then return to base… [read]

22 MAR 2014

LEG 3: THE DUNES OF MERZOUGA. The Gazelles face the intimidating heights of the famed Erg Chebbi… [read]

23 MAR 2014

LEG 4: THE FIRST MARATHON, DAY ONE. Start of two-day segment where teams camp in desert alone… [read]

24 MAR 2014

LEG 4: THE FIRST MARATHON, DAY TWO. The long segment ends, bringing teams to a new bivouac at Tinfou… [read]

25 MAR 2014

LEG 5: THE SECOND MARATHON, DAY ONE. Teams head into some of the most difficult terrain they will face… [read]

26 MAR 2014

LEG 5: THE SECOND MARATHON, DAY TWO. Another long day today, as teams work their way across the erg Chegaga… [read]

27 MAR 2014


LEG 6: FOUM ZGUID LOOP. The final segment of the competition takes teams on a relatively short loop south… [read]

28 MAR 2014

THE ROAD TO ESSAOURIA: Teams left the desert heading west, toward the coast for the Rally’s ceremonial end… [read]

29 MAR 2014


THE FINISH LINE. Team 171 USnomads reaches the beach at Essaouira for the ceremonial finish… [read]

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