ADDC 2024: Safety first at the ADDC with Malle Moto riders representing the true pioneering spirit

ADDC 2024: Safety first at the ADDC with Malle Moto riders representing the true pioneering spirit

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The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge has always asked the most of its competitors. While the event may be accessible to all, it is not for the fainthearted. For the organisers, the Emirates Motorsport Organisation (EMSO), providing the highest level of safety has been paramount throughout the Desert Challenge’s long-standing history.

If the vast distances across some of the most demanding terrain on the planet were not enough, there are those who face an even more daunting challenge. Racing through the day, and making repairs through the night, the Malle Moto class of the 33rd edition Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge represents the peak of perseverance. One bike, one box of tools, and nearly two thousand kilometers of the mighty Rub’ Al Khali desert lie ahead of these riders, offering a pure test of spirit and endurance.

This year’s Desert Challenge begins on 26th February with a 5km prologue in Al Dhannah City, which is also the start and finish line of the first stage over 374 km the following day. On the second day of the race on 28th February, the riders leave the region and race 240 km to the next bivouac at the Mezaira’a oasis, the starting point of Stages 3, 4 and 5. The rally ends on 2nd March in the capital Abu Dhabi.

In total, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge contenders of 2024 must cover 2150 kilometres, of which 1179 kilometres are included in the classification. Where the Malle Moto riders fall short of the factory racers, many of whom will be taking on Round Two of the 2024 FIA World Rally-Raid Championship (W2RC), they make up for it with sheer willpower. However, these challenges take an additional toll on the solo competitors.

This is where the EMSO, along with its partner Abu Dhabi Aviation (ADA), after whom the fifth gruelling stage has been named, comes to the fore. Together, with support from National Ambulance and National Search and Rescue Centre (SAR), sub-divisions of the National Guard, they ensure a safe competition.

Safety is the number one priority, as reinforced by the FIA’s regulations, and the governing body recognizes the high standards of the Desert Challenge. As the racers blaze a trail through the UAE’s vast and demanding Empty Quarter with its seas of challenging sand dunes from February 26th– March 2nd, they will be putting themselves through the ultimate test within a safe and controlled environment thanks to helicopters provided by Abu Dhabi Aviation and the Search And Rescue Center (SAR).

This year the EMSO and Abu Dhabi Aviation are joined by the Abu Dhabi’s Search and Rescue Center (SAR), a specialist helicopter-based service offering rapid response and a safety net to all drivers and riders pushing themselves to the limit across the expansive Empty Quarter. Abu Dhabi Aviation and SAR have access to state-of-the-art technologies and best-in-class communication resources, ensuring maximum readiness and operational efficiency in the most remote areas of the Desert Challenge course.

Malle Moto riders stretch their comfort zone one wheel spin at a time, navigating the breathtaking dunes alone, and carrying their own gear for both repairing the bike and camping in the most extreme conditions. This year’s Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge features ten riders from seven countries including one quad bike entry in the Malle Moto category, solo crossing the Rub’Al Khali desert in a spectacle that attracts the true rally-raid ascetics and the sporting purists.

During the seven-day event, Abu Dhabi Aviation’s role is that of acting as a rapid reaction air ambulance service. While the Malle Moto riders and all their fellow competitors will be hoping the services of the Abu Dhabi Aviation will not be required, the support is crucial to the running of the Desert Challenge.

Khalid Bin Sulayem, the EMSO’s President, commented: “The professionalism and vigilance of the Abu Dhabi Aviation and Search And Rescue teams are such an important factor in the chain of safety and logistics that links everything together. Ultimately, their presence makes holding a race in such a challenging and inhospitable place possible. We are so grateful for their support, and for that of the governmental ministries, agencies, and armed forces, who, individually and collectively, make an enormous contribution to the event every year.”

The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative Court in Al Dhafra Region; presented by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council; with the support of this year’s Energy partner ADNOC Distribution; Automotive partner Al-Futtaim Toyota; Abu Dhabi Aviation; SAR Center; Al Ain Water; Governmental support from the Ministry of Defence & UAE Armed Forces, Abu Dhabi Police, Civil Defence, Abu Dhabi Distribution Co, Al Dhafra Region Municipality, and our media partner Abu Dhabi Sports TV.

Source: ADDC / EMSO

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