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Dakar Rally - Sewing Up The Safety Net


Paris, Nov. 29, 2011: In the run-up to the Dakar, the organisation teams have to dot all the i's and cross all the t's when it comes to safety. Those in charge of safety measures have spent this week working together in the three host countries.

Competition, adventure and the show it puts up are the ingredients which make the Dakar so thrilling. If we want everyone to focus on the race and nothing else, it is imperative to control all the peripheral aspects of the rally, starting with safety. Both spectators and competitors must be protected by excellent safety conditions throughout the 8,400-km-long race, including special stages, linking sections and the areas near the bivouacs. Effective emergency teams must be ready to act if they are needed. The implementation of safety measures is prepared several months beforehand. Etienne Lavigne and David Castera have spent this week organising seminars in Argentina, Chile and Peru in order to organise and coordinate working methods with all the law enforcement agencies and emergency services on duty during the two-week-long rally. "It is essential that all stages go smoothly", explains the director of the Dakar. For example, we set up spectator areas along the route of each stage, so that people can watch the race as well and safely as possible. We are aware of the risks inherent in extreme adventure competitions such as the Dakar, but we do our best to limit them. We are working together with the government authorities, the police corps and the army of each of the three countries we visit. We will now finalise the details concerning all of these issues before the race starts on January 1."