Report by: Judith Tomaselli.
A hell of a special stage!
Stage 2: JAMALUN 2013-10-22
Road connection: 3.43 km – Special Stage: 191.69 km – Road connection: 6.07 km – TOTAL: 201.19
As announced yesterday by the organizer, todays stage of the Merzouga Rally was not meant to be taken lightly. In fact, narrow uphill tracks, small dunes and camel herb required competitors to be 100% focused and prove their technical driving skills. Garry Connell and Annie Seel (N°205) managed to earn their first victory on the Polaris RZR XT+ 900 XP40, leaving an important gap between the second place.
“Today was very difficult, tells Garry at the bivouac in Erfoud, and very technical too. We went on goats tracks, so steep I had to lower my gear, three times, to “short speeds”. The roads were stony and went up in only one way, like enduro racing tracks, and our wheels were outside the track. The dunes were so technical that we did some slalom between the camel herbs. The day was long but I am glad and satisfied because Annie taught me many things for the Dakar.”
Annie Seel also had her moment of glory because navigation was difficult today. “I was focused on the road book, tells the Swede, and I did my best to share my experience in the desert with Garry, especially at the moment we crossed the erg. You have to learn how to read the dunes when you arrive to them and then, they open up your path like the Red Sea in the Old Testament. It was a great learning day for the Dakar and Garry has done an excellent job.”
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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