AFRICA ECO RACE : FIRST MAURITANIAN STAGE CANCELLED
After an early morning start from Dakhla, the entire AFRICA ECO RACE caravan passed the Mauritanian at 10AM this Monday 7th of January 2019. A quick formality facilitated by agreements made between the organisation and the administration of the Mauritanian customs. From now on, visas will be done individually at the Chami bivouac by the agents brought on site.
Therefore, all competitors were regrouped and ready for the start which was only a dozen kilometers away from the border. Everything was on course to begin this 177 km first Mauritanian special stage which was to end directly at the bivouac.
Unfortunately, we could not anticipate the lack of visibility over Dakhla, which didn’t allow the three helicopters, dedicated to the security of the race, to take off. Therefore, at 1.30PM, when the first helicopter was supposed to start, no helicopters were on site, not even René METGE to supervise the race. The decision was then taken to cancel the special stage. The competitors therefore joined the Chami bivouac by the road with a free liaison.
“The cancellation of this special stage is very rare on the AFRICA ECO RACE but there were no solutions as we were not in capacity to guarantee the security of the race which is our absolute priority!” declared Jean-Louis SCHLESSER, present at the start of the special stage to announce the news directly to the competitors.
Tomorrow, the race will be back on track. A loop of 481km from and to Chami. A 100% sandy stage with several dunes cord crossings which will be challenging for some, especially it being one of the two marathon special stages called the “500 miles” ! This means that the competitors will have to be careful with their vehicle and not push too much as they will not benefit from any assistance during this stage.