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Nine American Women Teams Will Start 2016 Rallye Aïcha Des Gazelles

Posted in News on March 8, 2016
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Photographers: Staff

The Rallye Aïcha Des Gazelles is a unique competition that challenges female off-road racers with a 10-day rally across the Sahara desert. This year will be the 26th annual Rallye Aïcha Des Gazelles, set to start on March 23, and it will feature hundreds of teams, more than 330 competitors, with nine of the teams being American.

This distinctive rally features some of the most demanding challenges in off-road racing. In teams of two, a driver and co-driver must navigate more than 1,500 miles of gnarly terrain with only maps and a compass as they make their way toward hidden checkpoints, before meeting in nightly desert camps. The team that completes the 10-day course in the fewest number of miles is the winner. This event requires teams to rely on each other, their skill, and being able to manage the course without a chase team. Past and current racer Nicole Pitell knows just how tough it can be, saying, “You're out there in the Sahara for nine days. You can go hours at a time without seeing another car. The heat crushes you, and you're focusing so hard on keeping your heading that your eyes start to play tricks on you. Just getting to the end is an incredible achievement."

The American’s competing in this years Rallye will feature experienced off-road racers, with competitors including Nicole Pitell, U.S. rally racer Chrissie Beavis, and novice racer Karen Hoehn. All nine U.S. teams will be competing in the 4x4 class hoping to cross the finish line 10 days later with the fewest miles logged.

The 2016 Rallye Aïcha Des Gazelles will start on March 23 in Erfound, Morocco, with a prolouge and six legs of racing officially ending 10 days later in Essaouria, Morocco. All the legs of the race will be off-road, with two of the legs considered “marathon legs” because they last two days.

2016 Rallye Aïcha Des Gazelles American Teams
107 - Susanah Hoehn (Del Mar, California) / Jo Hannah Hoehn (Del Mar, California): Land Rover LR4

127 - Catherine Chadmi (St. Petersburg, Florida) / Cecile Vinson (Vaucluse, France): Jeep Wrangler

178 - Emme Hall (Oakland, California) / Sabrina Howells (Los Angeles, California): Land Rover Defender

180 - Nicole Pitell-Vaughan (Corona, California) / Chrissie Beavis (San Diego, California): Toyota Tacoma

181 - Karen Hoehn (Del Mar, California) / Maureen Gibbons (La Jolla, California): Land Rover LR4

182 - Teresa Stewart (Kauai, Hawaii) / Sara Jehn (Oahu, Hawaii): Jeep Wrangler

184 - Susie Saxten (Encinitas, California) / Ivy Cass (Encinitas, California): Jeep Wrangler

188 - Elaine Newkirk (Rancho Santa Fe, California) / Keely Sellers (Kihei, Hawaii): Jeep Wrangler

234 - Tricia Reina (San Diego, California) / Laurel Allen (San Francisco, California): Jeep Wrangler

We can’t wait to see how all the racers do in this year’s competition. If you want to follow the progress of any racers, you can see live tracking results at as soon as it starts.


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