Previously in our blog, we told about how ONLYOFFICE contributes to the humanitarian rally 4L Trophy by supporting team 1823, Guillaume and Melanie. They decided to throw themselves into an adventure – the 4L Trophy rally in an old Renault. Intrigued by how it passed? Find all the details in this blog.
The 4L Trophy is an annual rally from Biarritz to Morocco in legendary Renault 4L cars for students of all universities that combines student spirit with a humanitarian mission. The participants carry sports equipment and school supplies for children from poor regions of Morocco.
Guillaume and Melanie, students at the University of Bordeaux, have always followed the race. One day, they were able to find a car to participate in the race themselves. They contacted us looking for sponsors, so ONLYOFFICE became involved in this adventure too!
Watch a video about preparing for the 4L Trophy:
Interesting fact: in January Guillaume and Melanie’s car celebrated its 39th birthday. This year was an opportunity to test its strength again in a 5,500 km race.
How it was
The race was firstly scheduled for February 2022 but was postponed several times due to epidemiological conditions. Finally, the 4L Trophy took place from 5 to 15 May and brought together 828 teams. They set off together to Morocco, overcoming distance, breakdowns, and dunes. Melanie and Guillaume provided their impressions of the race and what happened on each step.
Days 1- 4. Bordeaux (France) – Algeciras (Spain) – Boulaajoul (Morocco)
The first step was to pass the car inspection, make the last corrections, and receive the coveted sticker confirming the admission to the race. After that, the participants set off for Spain. Can you imagine the hundreds of cars honking at each other and the incredible atmosphere at the gas stations?
Guillaume and Melanie proved to be courageous racers and were ahead of schedule. They even managed to break out at the giant feria in Seville!
Breakdown. Unfortunately, there was a breakdown. The students spent the evening with their mechanic friends to fix the camshaft oil seal because there was oil everywhere in the engine compartment. The mechanic hit the radiator intake and broke its spigot! Repair in two steps, so no more leaks.
All the crews were transported to Morocco by ferry, so Guillaume and Melanie had to wait their turn all night in the bivouac.
We had set up the back of our car to sleep. Melanie was afraid of animals in the desert.
Days 5-11. Boulaajoul – Marrakeсh (Morocco)
Humanitarian mission. After some busy days on the road, the students achieved their goal of bringing donations to the children! In association with Enfants du Desért (Children of the desert), the 4L Trophy promotes education for Moroccan children and inspires its participants to help them. Guillaume and Melanie gave away several bags full of school supplies, sports T-shirts, and shorts, but also a computer with ONLYOFFICE.
This year, participants were able to bring school and sports supplies, computers, bicycles, and wheelchairs for children. The race also draws attention to the problem and helps raise donations. As a result, this year, 21,000 euros were collected for the Desert Children and 20,000 children.
Desert. That is where the real adventure begins! The next day, they said «Goodbye» to mountainous landscapes and «Hello» to the desert! There, the crews had to show real teamwork. The co-driver, holding a road book in one hand and a compass in the other, checked the trajectories while the driver avoided sandbanks and large rocks.
Merzouga is a desert where huge expanses of stones meet dunes. It is also two magnificent loops over two days on the tracks, in the middle of the stone deserts.
Everything passed too quickly, and it was already time to leave for Marrakech with the promise of a real shower to induce us to leave this magical place.
Breakdown again. The guys completed a two-day marathon in absolute autonomy. It was the more unfortunate that the car broke down 10 kilometers before Marrakech. The nearest Mikes (mechanics) are 4 hours away. Fortunately, in preparation for the race, they gained knowledge that helped them fix the car themselves without any help.
Days 12 – 14. Marrakeсh (Morocco) – Bordeaux (France)
After just one day of rest and walking in Marrakech, Guillaume and Melanie hit the road again through Morocco, Spain, and France. Tired but satisfied with how resiliently they endured all the hardships and returned home to Bordeaux.
The race in numbers:
- Guillaume and Melanie raced in crew 1823.
- They traveled a total of 5,000 km and spent 90 hours driving.
- They were lucky and had only 3 easily repairable breakdowns.
- As a part of the desert marathon, they covered 742.71 km.
- It is 490 out of 828 positions. Great job!
Are you excited about such a crazy adventure? Join the next edition of the 4L Trophy in 2023 or sponsor a team to help children in Morocco.