Dakar 2024: X-Rally completes stage 9 surfing in the dunes of Saudi Arabia

Dakar 2024: X-Rally completes stage 9 surfing in the dunes of Saudi Arabia

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Cristian Baumgart competes in the world's biggest rally, wearing the colors of the organization that promotes awareness and education in the preservation of the oceans.

In one of the world's most arid regions, awareness of the importance of water. The colors of the Opaoma Project, an initiative that promotes the collection and subsequent recycling of waste taken from the sea and work in education and environmental awareness, are stamped on the Prodrive Hunter T1+ with which Brazilian Cristian Baumgart is competing in the Dakar 2024 - and is among the top 12 in the race, which began on January 5 and ends on January 19, in the car category.

The traditional yellow of the X Rally team, owned by Cristian and his brother Marcos, has been joined by the blue of the seas and the green of nature in the car that Baumgart shares with navigator Beco Andreotti.

Opaoma is about to celebrate its second anniversary. It was founded by Cristian and his wife, Camila Capel, and is one of the main projects of the Neuen Institute, a non-profit organization that aims to promote education and socio-environmental awareness through individual actions as a form of collective transformation.

"Opaoma collects waste from the seas and encourages the local economy by partnering with recycling centers and promoting environmental awareness actions," says Cristian Baumgart. "The seas are home to more than 200,000 species of ecosystem, and every year more than 25 million tons of waste are dumped into the oceans," warns the pilot and founder of the project.

The project currently has two boats with four people, which collect waste at sea from Monday to Friday and, on a monthly basis, promotes joint efforts to continue cleaning up near the beaches at weekends. In Opaoma's two years, more than 10 tons of waste have already been removed from the seas - in addition to the boats, the initiative also relies on the work of professional divers in underwater actions.

"It's a project that has a lot to grow and go on its own through education, by encouraging the local economy, and that can expand beyond the region we currently serve," explains Cristian, referring to the coastal regions of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. In Angra dos Reis (RJ) alone, Opaoma supports 365 islands by raising awareness, cleaning up and encouraging the local economy through recycling. Find out more about the project at

Stage 8 summary - Cristian Baumgart and navigator Beco Andreotti have completed another day of their journey in the toughest rally on the planet. The Brazilian duo from the X Rally team closed the ninth of 12 stages in 22nd position. They remain in 12th place overall in the car category after tackling 417 timed kilometers on Tuesday (16).

"The car was perfect and we were able to maintain a very good pace. If it hadn't been for a navigation difficulty at a waypoint that cost us around 15 minutes, we would have ended the day in or very near the top ten. In any case, the car is very good, we're still fully focused and we're going to try to climb some more," said navigator Beco Andreotti.

Wednesday (17) marks the tenth and antepenultimate stage of the Dakar 2024, in a "loop" section, which goes back and forth to the same point, in Al'Ula, with a total of 612 kilometers, of which 371 will be faced by the competitors on the clock.

The X Rally Team is sponsored by Vedacit, Motul, BF Goodrich, Rodobens, Center Norte, Rock and Opaoma.

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