​Race of a Lifetime: ABA’s Camille Sorrant Heads to Morroco for the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles

ABA Culture

Every year, women from around the world (the “Gazelles”) gather in the Moroccan desert for the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc, a race between Merzouga and M’hamid defined not by speed but by distance. Without the use of electronic navigation tools, teams have to study their maps, use their compasses, analyze the terrain, and figure out the shortest path between markers. And in line with the event’s ecological consciousness and desire the minimize the rally’s impact on the environment, teams have to race with restrictions to limit waste and conserve water. Now in its 33rd edition, the rally is an incredible motorsports adventure created to inspire women as they push their limits in a spirit of mutual support and shared values.

ABA is excited to share that our own Camille Sorrant and her sister Eve, aka the “Gazelles Sisters,” will be participating in this year’s rally. A planning analyst in her work, Camille is a dedicated adventurer in her spare time. We sat down with her to ask a few questions before she heads to France for final administrative and technical checks, after which team “Gazelles Sisters” will depart from Nice and transfer to Morocco.

How did you first learn about the rally, and what motivated you and your sister to participate?

The race, organized by a French company, is getting more popular in France. My sister heard about it, and since we love challenges and going on adventures together, she mentioned it to me. I loved the idea of doing something completely outside of my comfort zone. I am fine biking with high heels but handling a big SUV in sand dunes and rocky terrains is another level of complication. That seemed to be a crazy and fun challenge.

It looks like an intense experience. How did you prepare?

The race requires analog navigation knowledge, desert driving skills, and physical strength. We took navigation classes since we will only use a map and a compass to find our way in the desert. We also did a (very intense) week of training last month on the site of the race, which included driving in sand dunes and rocky areas, fixing minor mechanical issues, and learning how to take out a vehicle bogged in sand. We also worked with a physical trainer over the last months to build strength and stamina (I did tell him that we will do our share of sand shoveling, so we need to be strong enough for that).

What are you most looking forward to?

To push as much as we can and see what we are capable of. The race is not easy. We have to stay focused 8-10 hours per day in a car with no AC, and in a very dry and hot environment (temperatures vary from 50 at sunrise to 140-degree F midday). We will face periods with strong sandy winds that will limit visibility to less than 500 yards.

Wow. Any specific concerns or worries?

My main concern is that the car breaks, which would force us to abandon. I really want to finish 😊

Join us in wishing Camille and Eve a fun and safe race. We are rooting for their success!

To learn more about the rally, visit: www.rallyeaichadesgazelles.com

And stay tuned as we post live updates on their progress throughout the rally.

Posted April 12, 2024

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