22nd EDITION RAID 4L TROPHY 2019: a wonderful adventure between continents.
Text and photos: Vicente Sevillano Guerrero
A new edition of the Raid 4L Trophy was celebrated from 22nd of February to the 3rd of March, one which is considered the largest student rally in Europe. This year was the 22nd edition, and it has been held since 1997. In this event students between the age of 18 and 28 years old participate, from different corners of the Globe. And the participants drive only the legendary French classic, the Renault 4L. This iconic car was manufactured for more than 30 years, from 1961 to 1994, in different countries.
This wonderful initiative of the Raid 4L Trophy was founded by Jean Jacques Rey, a legendary raid driver, who participated in the Paris-Dakar and the Rally of the Pharaohs, amongst others. Currently, Jean Jacques organizes and directs this event with the collaboration of his daughter Géraldine Rey. In this edition, 1,100 Renault 4L cars participated in its 5-door saloon and 2-door van versions, with a total of 2,200 young people from different countries such as France, England, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, travelling around 6,000 km. In addition there were 270 people amongs the organizers such as doctors, mechanics and people for logistics, etc.
This year’s edition ran for a total of 10 days, with the departure on Thursday 21st of February from Biarritz in France, to Algeciras in Spain. On Friday 22nd, all participants began arriving at the Hostal Bernardo Macias Restaurant located in the municipality of San Roque (Cádiz). On Saturday 23rd, the reception of the participants was followed by the briefing. Once the briefing was over, many participants embarked from that same Saturday until Sunday 24th, at the Algeciras Port, also a municipality in the Cádiz province, to the Tangier Port in Morocco, located in the Strait of Gibraltar. The “caravan” disembarked and then travelled across Morocco on a six-day journey, ending in Marrakech.
Marrakech, one of the most emblematic cities of Morocco, located in the south of the country and close to the Atlas Mountains, was where the participants reached with their classic cars through the High Atlas. On Saturday March 2nd was the resting stage in Marrakech with the awards ceremony. On Sunday, March 3rd, it was the return day for all the participants from Marrakech to Tangier and the boat trip to Algeciras to return to France.
It was not a speed event, where the winner was the first who had done the least kilometers respecting the rules. Orientation is considered a priority, so that they can only be oriented with a compass, together with the road book, because GPS systems are prohibited.
This event has a charitable character to help the poor children of Morocco and each participant carries in his or her Renault 4L school and sports equipment. For more than ten years, Desertours, which is the organizer of this wonderful event, has been collaborating with the association Enfants du Désert in different charitable projects.