A brilliant and spectacular outcome for the fourteenth edition of the Maroc Challenge. The Spring Edition 2018 was held from March 24th to 31st in Morocco with a total of 126 teams participating.
The Maroc Challenge embarked from Motril port and entered Morocco after disembarking in Melilla. Initially the plan was to enter via the port of Nador, but due to bad weather the port was closed down the eve of our departure and the organization was forced to change port at the last moment. This change caused some delays and many participants could not reach Erfoud until early Sunday morning. That same day, after the general briefing, a prologue stage of 60 kilometers took place, providing the order of departure for the next day.
This was a complex edition, especially regarding the route; unlike previous itinerant editions in which there were a couple of sand stages. This edition saw sand throughout all the stages, a circumstance that has significantly increased the event’s difficulty. The great heroes of this edition have been the 4×2 vehicles. “There has been a lot of sand,” said Rui Cabaco, head of the organization, who pointed out that “along an itinerant route there are two or three days of sand, at most, but this time they have come across it every day and the less powerful, two wheel drive vehicles have really suffered a lot”.
The Maroc Challenge, for the first time in its long history, has followed a non-itinerant route. That is to say, with all the stages beginning and ending in the town of Erfoud. “The vehicles carry less weight during the event, we avoid the daily luggage transfer and we have been able to provide almost 100% off road stages with more time for vehicle repairs and even more free time and rest. Some teams have even been able to do tourism! “, Explained Rui Cabaco, who nevertheless says that future editions will return to a linear route.
Another notable aspect in this Spring Edition 2018 has been the adaptation of the route to accommodate different categories, to reduce the difficulty for 4×2 vehicles in some complicated situations that arise due to their vehicle’s characteristics.
It has not been an easy edition. Far from it. Rui Cabaco commented that “we have not made things easy for the participants, who have had to work hard to overcome the difficulties they have encountered along the way. For the second time running we have added more sand and dune areas for the 4×4 Raid categories and that is a trend we hope to maintain in the future. ”
The event ended in Erfoud on Friday afternoon, where the always emotive trophy ceremony took place under the BF Goodrich arrival arc, the prestigious off-road tire company which joined us in this edition. The last stage took place in the morning, where participants had to ‘step’ on the waypoints within a 50 meter radius, causing some unexpected changes in the classification and adding a great finishing touch to a spectacular, very competitive and unforgettable edition that once again provided a simply fantastic atmosphere throughout the whole race.