Africa Race : Rest Day in Agadir
Today, the Africa Race caravan enjoyed sunshine and 25░ for the rest day in Agadir. And they really deserved it. Everyone can gather strength and fix mechanical problems before starting a heavy second week of racing over many kilometers and
sandy tracks in South Morocco and Mauritania. It's also time to debrief with RenÚ Metge, the Sporting Director of the Africa Race concerning this first part.
RenÚ, you look relaxed. Does it means that the Africa Race is going well, and as we are halfway there, can you give us an initial report ?
I believe we can say everything is alright. Although a little radio problem that we are actually fixing, there are no problems so far. The weather has been mild and it really helped us for the general logistic of the race. Even though there aren't many competitors, the racing level is really high. In fact, the 8 bikes are still in the race, only 2 cars gave up and the truck race is dashing. Moreover there's a real solidarity between the competitors. Yesterday for example, when the Russian Ivanov stalled, everyone came to help. Basically,a good feeling prevails between the organizating team, the competitors and the officials of the sporting authorities.
Concerning the organization, everything seems to be going well for a first edition ?
That's right. Actually, the security and organization teams were enlarged in order to take care of a larger number of competitors.
The medical Fidelia team have only needed to give massages for now, and we are really satisfied that there have been no medical problems. We hope it's going to stay this way. The food is high quality, the chef buys fresh local products and the competitors are really happy. Also, the National Moroccan tourism office and Sochatour make a great job with really magnificent bivouacs. Finally, I want to thank the TV production in charge of shooting the images of the stages. Everyday they get the tapes really late, however they manage to transmit a 26 minutes summary to IEC within the deadline. They are magicians.
You've created a new track navigating formula, is it satisfactory?
It's not a new formula. In fact we only use a unique GPS, different to the one generally used for the discipline. It's a Garmin 60 CSX that can be found in stores, but it has been adjusted for the race. The road book realized by JosÚ Maria Servia is perfect even though it's a little different to the one the competitors are used to. Both of them bring a brand new look to navigation for the competitors and the competitors are now used to it. It appears that they drive slower, which in the end is positive for the overall safety.
What's your feeling about the second part of the race ?
As we get closer to South Morrocco and Mauritania, the sand is going to replace the rocks and therefore the navigation will be based on caps and off tracks. The frames will be spared while the engines are going to suffer. The navigators will need good intuition and the drivers lots of flair. The race is going to be different, but for sure everyone will enjoy it.