Relive #Dakar2002 with Annie Seel
STAGE 11: continues.
STAGE 12: cancelled.
Stage 11 continued from yesterday.
Rolled in my silver blanket trying to sleep in the rain storm, I heard the organisation sweeper truck approaching, and their headlights were aimed at me. When theypulled over and asked if I was ok, I said yes. Will you quit the race? No. Absolutely not, I will rest and then continue tomorrow at sunrise. That was fine with them and they drove on.
At the first glimpse of dawn I got up, freezing cold and partly wet clothes. Brushed off the sand and started up the bike.
It was much easier finding a good way across the dune passage when I could see where I was going, even if it was still a sand storm.
On the other side I could se camp fires in the far distance, and aimed at them. When I arrived I could see there were many competitors and also organisers who had gathered at the Check point trapped by the night storm.
The competitors had all given up. No one was going to continue.
But I said, I will ride until they lift me off the bike and just continue…
The storm was still very bad, and strong wind gusts made riding difficult and dangerous sometimes sending me a few meters off the course. Better not get blown off an edge down a ravine.
At mid day I arrived to the finish of the stage, and was told that I could refuel and drive directly to the start of the next, stage 12. So I did.
I stamped my time card at the start and took off again, but after just a short while started meeting bikers and cars coming the opposite way, waving me to turn around.
I asked what the problem was, and was told that the storm was so bad no helicopter or organisation vehicles trapped on stage 11 could guarantee our safety in the storm, the race director had cancelled the stage 12.
So everybody turned back to the bivouack. And I had time to recuperate from my hellish night.
The race for me now is about making it to the finish. I don’t care about positions anymore. Surviving is just fine.