Big desert rallies are out of reach for us mere adventure riders… Or are they? 1000 Dunas, a desert rally from Granada, Spain to Merzouga, Morocco, might be that perfect first step into the big leagues if you’re dreaming of Dakar. Unlike most large-scale desert rallies like the Africa Eco Race, 1000 Dunas is designed to give riders a taste of what the old-school Paris-Dakar may have felt like. And, unlike the big desert rallies, Dunas is affordable to amateur riders: Adventure Raid class entry fees start at 3,600 euros, significantly lower than any other desert race.
1000 Dunas is unique in many ways: while following a traditional Dakar-style route across Morocco and offering both roadbook and GPS navigation options, the rally promises to be tough and grueling but takes away the pressure of timing. Competitors are ranked according to navigation accuracy rather than speed; whether you do the Adventure or Trail class covering 1,500km or the Pro/Elite class covering 2,5000km, Dunas is the perfect practice run for the bigger events.
Taking place on October 16-23, Dunas will have five stages averaging around 230 km of specials each day. The bivouac will be moving along with the rally, and the participants will be tackling some serious desert terrain from open piste to sand dunes.
If you’ve always dreamed of doing a desert rally minus the pressure of timing and high entry fees, 1000 Dunas might be an excellent way to experience a North African rally aboard your motorcycle.
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