Updated: Apr 20, 2019
The Merzouga Rally 2019 has come to an end, here's a bit of a summary and overview of my time in Morocco.
After everything endured, achieving second place female was a surprise to me - I didn't think I would make podium at all after my equipment and navigational troubles in the Prologue and on Stage 1, which had placed me 2 hours behind the leading female.
But I put my head down, and got straight back to business, the hunt, the comeback, winning every stage thereafter in the female category.
It wasn't enough, but I managed to claw back time, and over 20 positions in the overall general standings.
Having rented assistance and a bike from Desert Rose Racing, an awesome bunch, I was on a rented 450 enduro bike (a "lite" rally version), which had its advantages and disadvantages (a lack of top end speed being a frustrating disadvantage to me).
I had also planned for the Rally with a rather tight budget; dunes and a ripped up tyre are a bad combination, but I made it all work.
I loved every moment of the race, the struggles, the competition, every kilometer, in fact, it was over too soon for me. And I'm already itching for the next one.
Off track and off the bike was another battle all on its own... I was on my own. Hotels were full everywhere. Every night was a hunt to find a place or bed to sleep in, let alone get showered and all, after marking roadbooks and sorting out kit for the following day, catching strange local taxi's in the late or early hours, finding a place or something to eat (I wasn't eating right, both off and on the bike). I lost over 4kg, a good 7% of my body weight.
I was lucky if I got 2-3 hours of sleep a night... thanks to a few awesome people, Bart and crew, Ross B, Patsy and crew, some nights and mornings were easier than others...
It's been a tough start, but it will take a lot more than a few (or many) problems to stop me, Taye Perry... and I can't wait for more!
And with ProTouchGlobal coming onboard with me, believing in me, and having made the Merzouga Rally happen for me, everything and more is now possible.
Dakar qualifier done.
And so it has begun!