Brand ambassador Kiera Chaplin and teammate Jazmin Grimaldi: their experience of the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles
SAINT HONORE team 504 with brand ambassador Kiera Chaplin and Jazmin Grace Grimaldi, daughter of Albert II, Prince of Monaco, crossed the finish line at the 28th edition of the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc, this week. We’ve had the opportunity to ask them a few questions about their experience.
How do you feel, now that the rally is over?
Jazmin: Emotional, proud, very happy I participated with Kiera. I think we made a great team, we worked really hard and I’m just feeling accomplished, I’m happy to be here.
Kiera, what will you take away from the rally?
Kiera: That when there is a will, you can do almost anything. (laughs) There were many things we thought we wouldn’t be able to accomplish, and yet we did. It is always like that with the rally, and last year too: you never give up; you need to keep on pushing. And when there is a will, there is a way!
How do you find the strength to keep on every day?
Kiera: We just don’t want to sleep alone at night in the desert, we want to go back to the camp; it gives you quite the strength! (laughs) We just find a way, it is amazing.
Participating to the Rally, did it change you as a person?
Jazmin: For sure, it’s life-changing, without a doubt. I knew, going in, that it would be but I didn’t know how much. I think it impacts the person individually but also learning how to work as a team. The Rally, I think, is a lot like life: it teaches you lessons and challenges that you can only overcome in the moment and… you gotta do what you gotta do!
How would you describe the solidarity between the Gazelles throughout the race?
Jazmin: The solidarity was wonderful when we came across it. Unfortunately you know the e-Gazelles, our path sometimes is different from the other Gazelles: they would be away at the dunes, and we would be stuck in the middle of the desert alone. But when we did come across them they were always very helpful and willing to help push or pull when we needed them, so it was a beautiful thing to come together as females.
What will you take away from this experience?
Jazmin: I think that we all need to take away from the Rally of females working together: no matter what, just coming together with positivity and no competition and just landing a hand. At the end of the day, we’re all working at this together and working hard for an end goal.
How did you experience marathons?
Kiera: During marathon nights it is always nice to gather in small groups. Especially for us, with the electronic vehicles, we were 5 teams so we had a great time and got to know each other. Apart from that, a funny thing with the car was that we had to find places to plug it in to charge it, so we had this additional challenge compared to other Gazelles. Yet marathons are great times; we spend the night under the stars in small groups, we have a lot of fun.
How are marathons different from other Legs?
Kiera: A marathon last two days, so at some point you need to camp outside. You eat under the stars, sleep in your tent with only your car nearby, whereas usually we go back to the bivouac, there are much more people, and also showers… not during marathons. But still, it is amazing, with the Moroccan starry sky, we can see so many stars, it is beautiful.
Why did you choose to participate in the electric vehicle category?
Jazmin: I thought it was really important for us to ride in an electric car because I believe in sustainability and conservation, and I do feel that electric cars especially are the future for vehicles. I was so proud to be the first year to actually participate in the Rally with an electric car. It presented a lot of challenges but I am really amazed at how the vehicle’s withstood a lot of the terrain that we tried to put it through, even though it was a lot of work -especially we can’t go through sand, it was like fire for us at times. But we made it through, and I think it is a testament that with a little improvement, I think the [electric] cars can be very beneficial for the rally in the future.
Would you run the Rallye des Gazelles again?
Jazmin: I would love to look into maybe doing it in an electric buggy or something that can actually go through similar terrain than the 4x4s could because I would love to see how the experience is that way … and try the dunes! I did love driving and I thought I did pretty well considering it was my first year and first time really doing off-road, for 9 days in the desert.
What about you Kiera, will you come back?
Kiera: Yes I think so, I really love it. Coming back this year brought back all the good feelings from last year. It is so beautiful over there, and you push your limits, it is an incredible experience.
A final word ?
Kiera: We were very punctual during the Rallye with our SAINT HONORE watches. Thank you SAINT HONORE, thank you for everything, it was great!
Jazmin: Team 504!