The Maroc Challenge sets out again after the three-year interruption caused by Covid. Rui Cabaço, the event’s briefingman, emphasises the importance of this reunion and the relevance of this 18th edition, which will run from December 2 to 10.
This will be an exciting edition, and the eagerness to resume the adventure is reflected in the extraordinary level of participation. The start of the event will see 180 teams setting out, an all time record for the Maroc Challenge.
How does it feel to return to Morocco after three years?
The feeling is that little by little normality is returning. After a three-year pause, we can now return to a country which, over the years, has allowed us to fully enjoy our passion for motoring and adventure, we are also looking forward to seeing all those familiar faces, who will be joined by many new ones, eager to live this experience to the fullest.
What kind of feelings did the recons bring back?
The sensations were fantastic, navigating the Moroccan landscape again has been kind of nostalgic and emotional at the same time.
Will there be many new features in the Winter 2022?
Yes, some… we started by improving some of the general services and there will also be a new communication system between the organisation and participants that we already successfully put to the test in the Tunisie Challenge.
There will also be significantly more difficulty in the Adventure C3 and C4 categories, with many more sandy stretches, and a new waypoints stage, different from the usual one, in cloud format. The waypoints stage will be linear and due to its novelty should provide some extra complications in the last stage, keeping teams on their toes until the very last moment.
What would you highlight about the route from Midelt to Saïdia?
We have three different routes adapted to the different categories and it would be difficult to single out anything in particular. In general, it will be an endurance itinerary, 1,740 kilometres in six stages, that’s a lot of kilometres, and everything must be managed very well. We have picked out the best and most scenic sections of all previous editions, fast sections with a lot of sand.
We observed, as a rule, that the tracks were tougher and less defined, due to the lack of vehicles over these last three years. This will be an extra challenge to the mechanics for all types of vehicle.
The main challenge of this route will be to reach Saidia beach, just finishing the event will be a victory in itself.
Have things changed a lot in Morocco during this hiatus?
Morocco is still in full development. Many positive changes are noticeable, especially in the areas we pass through. The increase in paved surfaces is also noticeable, selfishly a shame because we had always enjoyed them as tracks, but logically a significant improvement for local populations and their development.
180 teams, an absolute record of participation in a Maroc Challenge, what does this mean to you?
A great satisfaction and a great responsibility. We eagerly look forward to the event and I think that in a certain way the participants do too, the record number of teams proves it. The return to Morocco will have overwhelming participation and I would like to thank you all for accompanying us and putting your trust in us. We have worked hard and we are going to do our utmost to ensure that everything turns out perfectly.
How well do you think the participants will do after these three years?
I don’t think it will be a problem. The veterans already know what awaits them and the newcomers are looking forward to experiencing what it is like to participate in a Maroc and all the sensations that that entails.
What advice would you give, both to the veterans and to the rookies?
The more experienced teams should pay attention in the first stage. There is an eagerness to get back off-road and any small mistake could spoil everything. For beginners, prepare for a great adventure. And a piece of advice for everyone in general, take great care of your mechanics as this will be a long and hard edition… because, without that, it would not be a Maroc…
Welcome to the adventure!