merzouga

Winning feelings

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GARRY CONNELL and ANNIE SEEL with the trophy
SSV-Rally Class winners with the Polaris RZR Xtreme+ 900 XP40

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Annie:

“The rally is finished and I am so grateful that I got a shot as a co-driver in Garry’s buggy. We did well. Two newbies to the vehicle and to our tasks, as well as being in a team, the Connell/Seel team. Both of us very experienced on the motorcycle back, but it is different to do racing in a buggy and doing it together. A win in our class, and a fourth in the total, a result of our teamwork. Makes me proud.

It has truly been yet another great adventure and competition which has given me more experience of desert rallying, a lot of new first-time situations technically, mechanically and physically. Those flat tires really wears you out, let me tell you. But all in all I feel that I am still learning and developing for the future.

I really don’t think that I’ve realized just how much I’ve been missing it all until I arrived here last weekend. I do believe this is me – the rally, the desert, the race. It will always be a part of me. And I want more of it.”

garry-face-merzouga_180x200Garry:

“When we took the start, we started ‘attacking’ the soft sand small dunes… Everything was going well until I took a hole a bit fast and got trapped in the sand… We lost about 25 minutes, but happy to have made it in spite of the problems.

In front of the dunes of Merzouga, we deflated our tires. But… one of us pushed a button with the helmet and launched the fire extinguisher and we took a shower of dust!

The Rally of Merzouga was a great training for the Dakar, last week I was in the Rally of Morocco – makes two continued races. Next goal: The Dakar, next January!”

This has been a great experience for both,
learning a lot, much training – and preparing for The Dakar…

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Finish! WE WON!!!

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Annie & Garry – the super XTREMEplus team! 🙂

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SSV Rally Class: 3 winner teams on the wheel podium
1 Connel – Seel
2 Laverdant – Rafart
3 Henrichy – Bersey

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Breaking the finish line

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Finish area, skyview

The start, last stage – quite a show off: 

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VIDEO https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=602819936432712
Cars at 2:20 min (total 3:30 min)

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Everybody at once: RRRReadyyyyy….

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Steadyyyyy….

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GOOOOO!!!

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…. uuummmm… mind the dust….

Stage 5 – some mishaps

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Nice view at CP1

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Connel – Seel: “Day after day I’m getting more comfortable on the dunes and I’m happy because my riding technique on the big dunes of Merzouga is getting more accurate also thanks to the precious support of Annie (Seel) my co-driver. For sure it’s a great experience and a good preparation for Dakar”.

A few mishaps, like a snapped drive belt and getting stuck in the sand a few times, caused quite much time loss. Nothing serious though.

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Unvolontary break in the race

Stage 4: 3rd position!

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STAGE 4 Khettara “traditional wells”
Liaison 5,15 km – SS 200,85 km – Total 206 km

SS4 Provisional Classification SSV
1 HENRICY F – BERSEY E
2 FIDEL MEDERO J – VENTAJA CRUZ J
3 CONNELL G – SEEL A 
4 CULUS E – BONNEAUDEAU N

“During the first 30 or 40 kilometers, navigation was very difficult and we overtook a number of cars that were ahead of us. At km 50 we were the first SSV. We kept the pace for more than half of the race. There were some small dunes, sandy tracks and lots of fesh-fesh… We crossed a lake and went on an oued, all that over fesh-fesh,” tells Garry, pleased with the stages outcome for his crew.

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Tonight, all competitors will sleep under the stars at the dunes of Merzouga. It will be a magic moment where the assistances do not have access and are not allowed to work in the parc ferme. 

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Live tracking during rally
vulcain.iritrack.net/tdcom/eviewer/merzougarally

Merzouga Rally Stage 3: From top to bottom

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Waiting for the start signal.

Already early in the stage we had a flat tyre in the rocky terrain. Quick wheel change but passed by some. Getting into the dunes we had high tyre pressure so before starting to climb the big ones we stopped to let pressure down. Unfortunately we were already stuck and had to jack the car up. Then tried to get out but still didn’t move so we jacked it up again, and now used sand ladders. Finally Garry could drive to a more solid ground and I ran behind with the ladders! Lost more than one hour in the dunes.
Rest of the day went well until one roadbook direction was a bit unclear (wrong) and we were backtracking to find the right way.
At the cp4 the organisers cut the stage so we headed back.
All in all, a lot of dune experience of the sweaty kind.

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Well… if the tires fail, skis may be the solution!

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Sträckseger etapp 2 – Merzouga Rally

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Garry Connell och jag tog sträcksegern idag!
Dagens sträcka var drygt 20 mil med svår navigation och mycket stökig terräng med sand blandat med sand, kamelgrästuvor (hårda som betong) och mycket steniga partier.
redan under de första 10 milen hade vi kört till oss 20 minuters ledning från vår 7 startposition.
en punktering tog lite tid, men det hade vi råd med.
känner att min erfarenhet från all dakar-navigering tillsammans med Garrys förståndiga körning så säkrade vi dagens framgång.

Imorgon SS3: 30 mil.

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VIDEO Day 1 youtube.com/watch?v=MtKYeNSs0k4 (4 min)
Annie & Garry starting, at 1:30 (the rest is mostly bikes and a long interview with Verhoeven)

Merzouga rally warmup

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First day of the rally included a 130 km warm up with some big dunes. And in the evening a time qualification prologue race. During the warm up we had two flat tyres and also rolled. But no damages or drama. Prologue 7th place, not pushing it.

VIDEO Intro, check-in, warm-up etc (7:13) youtube.com/watch?v=RERaToMn42Q
Annie & Garry presentation at 4:20

Warm up Merzouga Rally…

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Annie Seel & Garry Connell

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Roadbook S1

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Map Merzouga area, Morocco

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Stage 1 Iritrack
LIVE tracking during rally
vulcain.iritrack.net/tdcom/eviewer/merzougarally/

Scrutineering and check in Merzouga Rally

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VIDEO – some of the atmosphere (1.30 min) youtube.com/watch?v=BpBxb30U_Ms
Annie posing at 0:30…

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“Hellooo eeeverybody!” 😀

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The Rally Palace

Lång väg tillbaka till öknen. Comeback i Merzouga Rally.

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Annie Seel in Merzouga Rally
Annie Seel in Merzouga Rally

Här går det fort i svängarna. I veckan fick jag en snabb inbjudan att delta i Merzouga Rally i Marocko 20-26 oktober. Och jag svarade såklart ja. Det blir min världspremiär som co-driver/navigatör, dvs jag ska sitta i högerstolen på en specialbyggd Polaris-buggy i Team Xtreme+. Förare är australiensaren Garry Connell som jag tävlat med flera gånger på mc, och även kört i hans team tre gånger i Australasian Safari Rally.

För mig är det en perfekt mjukstart att komma igång igen efter min långvariga axelskada som opererades för 2 månader sedan. Garry tränar inför Dakarstart 2014, så det känns extra viktigt att det går bra för oss och att han får testa buggyn ordentligt.

Följ oss på Facebook!
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Team Xtreme+

Rallyts officiella webbsida: merzougarally.com

LIVE TRACKING under rallyt
vulcain.iritrack.net/tdcom/eviewer/merzougarally/

TEAM INFO

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Annie Seel, Garry Connell & Xtreme+ Polaris team

TEAM EXTREME PLUS POLARIS
Erfaret franskt team som deltagit i alla stora ökenrallyn, bla Dakar. Teamboss Marco Piana. Andra kändisar som kört en XTREME PLUS POLARIS är bla Stephane Peterhansel och Cyril Despres, båda flerfaldiga Dakarvinnare.

Tävlingsfordon: POLARIS RZR XP 900 XTREME
Specialbyggd buggy för extrema offroadtävlingar.

Driver: Garry Connell, AUSTRALIA
Anmäld till Dakar 2014 i en Polaris. Tävlat i många år med mc, bil och buggy, och även teamchef för Husaberg Australia där Annie Seel kört för teamet flera gånger.

Co-driver: Annie Seel, SWEDEN
Genomfört 20 ökenrally på mc, varav 5 Dakar. Målgång alla gånger. Kvinnlig världsmästare Rally Raid mc. Vinnare damklass Dakar 2010.
Meriterad förare/navigatör inom rallyraid. Gör premiär som co-driver i bil, navigerar med kompass, roadbook och trippmätare.

PROGRAMME

• Sunday October 20
Administration and Technical checks in Erfoud

• Monday October 21
Warm Up 60 km + Prologue by night 10km

• Tuesday October 22 – First Stage
Erfoud-Merzouga-Erfoud: transport 8km- SS 238km -transport 5km

• Wednesday October 23 – Second Stage
Erfoud-M’cissi-Erfoud: transport 3km- SS 281km -transport 0km

• Thursday October 24 – Third Stage (marathon)
Erfoud-Merzouga: transport 0km- SS 249km -transport 0km

• Friday October 25 – Fourth Stage
Merzouga-Erfoud transport 0km- SS 259km -transport 5km

• Saturday October 26 – Fifth Stage
Erfoud-Grand Prix of the dunes Merzouga-Erfoud: transport 57km- SS 72km -transport 57km

TOTAL: ca 1 304 km

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This years vehicle, special Buggy SSV #205 !

MERZOUGA-RALLY-2013-ENTRY-LIST1 

82 Bikes, 14 Raid, 12 SSV = 108 vehicles