Three days after the official start in Nice, the Gazelles had an important rendezvous this Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at Hotel Xaluca in Erfoud, gateway to the desert. It’s the first time that all 178 teams are together for a briefing. “Here we go!” exclaims Marie of Team 20 (Céline AUGUGLIARO / Marie CRETIEN DESPAGNE) on entering the conference hall that is slowly filling up with white vests. Some Gazelles immortalize the moment with a selfie in front of the large hall. The atmosphere is electric as teams clap and “youyou” (ululate) in excitement.
“I think this 30th edition will remain engraved in my memory. I’ll have a different bond with this year’s teams than with those of previous years”, observes Dominique, very moved, before calling Marina to the stage. The Gazelles stand up to applaud her, giving her a real standing ovation. “We are going to share a slice of life with you for the next two weeks, and I couldn’t be happier”, declares the Rallye director before naming the 15 nationalities represented at this 30th edition. She then reminds the Gazelles of the different rules of conduct at the bivouac. “We will be living in a desert area; we are all responsible women, and we respect the environment”, insists Marina.