Report from the start of Sonangol Africa Eco Race
Everybody is in place, everything is ready. Tomorrow there are checks, podium and a short night before the long move to Almeria. Saint-Cyprien is a small resort town; winter here doesn't remind habitual winter - palm trees, the sun and the sea. And the wind, seems to be not too cold, but choppy. Organizers chose the site for checks at the port - around the tackle, nets, winches, masts. In this forest of masts our flagpole took a worthy place.
The team, as usual, has settled down at the bivouac. But this is true that it is unusually small: three trucks and a jeep, a tent 12 sq. m. and 12 people.
Yesterday, at the entrance to the city, we were greeted by the fans - father with his son - they accompanied us till our parking, emotionally talked with us and helped with the late dinner (it was a problem, because in Europe December, 25 is a holiday on a global scale). Of course, we did not leave them unattended and presented them souvenirs from the team. This morning, they met us next to the cars with return gifts.
We felt that our participation in the race is a desired event for organizers, people come, take pictures, get to know, wish success and give regards to Chagin, tell us where and when they met with the team. There is not Service Park there as we organize on Silk Way Rally, the teams gathered spontaneously in the port area in wait for checks. The team from Latvia arrived before us, in the morning we saw the car from Kazakhstan.
And in the afternoon the sun shone especially bright and warm - Semen Yakubov and Olga Yakubova came. This event perked up our mood. Yakubov can instill confidence, and this is a half of success in any business, I think that in any real-life situation it is necessary to listen to his advice, and especially concerning Africa, he has no equal. I gently was listening Semen Yakubov when he was talking with the members of our crew, and understood that he takes good care of these guys, and he tries to put all that he knows and can into them. In general, when Yakubov believes in someone, it is worth a lot. We hope that our crew will have good luck, and then they will deal with the rest. Tomorrow the race will begin, and it will be very different, divorced from everyday life, period.