Recces for Dakar 2021 and practical information
David Castera, the recces for Dakar 2021 took place despite a peculiar calendar…. Were you able to complete them entirely and in good conditions?
"Yes, we were forced to set up a new “commando” system with three teams deployed on the field simultaneously whereas we were used to spreading our work over time. The recces are a key moment when we shift from satellite maps viewed on a computer to the reality of the ground, with always of lot of surprises. We obviously faced some, but we managed to achieve our main objective: designing a new route composed of super stages, all different from last year. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia awaiting for the pilots is a brand new one."
While there is less than 2 months left before the start, the next stages of the preparation of the Dakar are coming quickly, one after the other. What does still need to be set up in the coming weeks?
"The time left is indeed getting shorter and we will soon be on January, 3rd waiting for all of you at the start pf the rally in Jeddah. We never stopped collaborating with the authorities of Saudi Arabia that has been less impacted by the pandemic. They are now waiting for us with the same enthusiasm as last year. To do so, we had to adapt and, for example, to charter some planes ourselves in order to cope with the uncertainty related to the activity of some Airline Companies. After all, the Dakar has always known how to respond to delicate situations."
The uniqueness of Dakar 2021 will also come from the safety requirements against the COVID-19 virus that might change a lot of things…
"Of course, we had to anticipate and to adapt to the situation but we were never taken aback. We have been working on it for several months already and we are now able to set up a relevant new organization. As of now, we keep a close look on the evolution of the pandemic to be able to adapt when necessary. For example, in order to limit contacts between participants, we decided not to carry out the scrutineering in Le Castellet for European vehicles before their boarding on the boat to Jeddah and we rescheduled differently the scrutineering process without impacting the initial calendar."
Thank you David for your feedback on the recces and for sharing with us these last annoucements regarding the organization of the rally. Let's go more in details...
Scrutineering and boarding of the vehicles in Marseille
Given the lockdown measures implemented in Europe that forbid any gathering of competitors and assistance in Le Castellet, the administrative and technical scrutineering will entirely take place in Jeddah at the King Abdullah Sport City Stadium, on January, 1st (all day) and 2nd (morning). We remind you that the unloading park will also be located at the King Abdullah Sport City Stadium. However, the technical officers of the Dakar will start checking your vehicles on December, 30th (afternoon) and 31st (all day) at the unloading park in order to facilitate the final control and start the scrutineering work. Thank you for granted them access to your vehicle. Similarly, the security equipment (Iritrack, GPS Unik II/Sentiel, electronic road books Unik IV, Tripy, Small Track, Sarsat beacon) will be distributed as soon as your vehicles first enter the unloading park (on December, 30th and 31st). The boarding of the vehicles will take place directly in the port of Marseille on December, 1st and 2nd. To avoid any congestion and gathering, every participant shall receive a convocation that they must respect scrupulously. On top of that, we will provide a certificate issued by the French Ministry of Sports to travel in France to Marseille for “professional or high-performance sport activity” purpose.
Competitors & assistances transportation
Given the uncertainty related to the activity Airline companies, the Dakar organization is setting up charter round trip flights to Jeddah from different European cities. Dates, airports and fees will be communicated later this week. Every participant must arrive to the selected airports by their own means. The spots available will be sold by VSO. Once we communicate all the information, please contact Sandrine, Jean-marc or Laurence to manage your bookings.
Let’s meet on November, 25th for the official presentation of Dakar 2021. Follow it live on our social networks. The program: all the details of the 2021 route, the sporting innovations and the list of competitors registered for this new edition. We will send you a “Save the date” notification on November, 15th. Stay tuned for more!