Wednesday, May 31, 2023 | Dhu al-Qaadah 10, 1444 H
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Journalists as rallyists


Amandine Morhaïm and Anne Odru are two French lady journalists.

Both have one thing in common.

As lady rallyists the pair as a team is always together and shares a special bond.

They took part in the recent Citroen 2CV Classic Car Rally in Oman. While Amandine is the driver for their famed ‘Deudeuche’ Yellow Desert Car Number 9 and Anne acts as the co-pilot.

Professionally, Amandine is a Sports Reporter with Chez Canal+ in the Paris Area while Anne works as a Reporter and manages TimeWorld.

The rallyists went back to Paris experiencing Omani hospitality having had an amazing discovery of the Sultanate.

Both enjoyed Oman’s scenic landscapes as they crossed deserts, mountains, sea, and locations in Muscat.

In Oman they drove past 3,000 kilometres with 80 per cent off road taking them to Jabal Shams, Wadi Bani Khalid, Ras al Hadd, Wadi Shab, Yiti and souqs at Nizwa and Muttrah.

“Oman is a breathtaking country with great people and an amazing landscape. The country has such incredible culture that led us amongst a very welcoming population,” say the lady journalists.

How did they both come together as a team?

In 2006, Anne was working as an independent journalist and happened to meet Amandine at L’Équipe, a French TV channel.

Amandine had already started off rallying taking part in Andes Cordillera Rally. They came together before the Tunisia rally and have been travelling around the world since then.

“We are now like ‘sisters and travelling all around as a team’ in our Yellow car,” says Anne.

It was Amandine who launched Anne to the world of car rally. Just three weeks after they both met as part of their beats for L’Equipe TV, she was searching for a co-pilot for the next rally in Tunisia in 2006.

Anne and Amandine have enjoyed it so much that they have stayed together for the past 13 years.

So far the lady journalists have rallied together in seven rallies at Patagonia (2007), Tunisia (2008), Mongolia (2009), Brazil (2011), Sardinia (2016) and now Oman.

Their Yellow Desert Citroen has been nicknamed ‘Chiffonnette’, French meaning for ‘crumpled’ after they met with an accident during the 2016 Sardinia Rally in Italy when their car crashed against a tree.

“Amandine was injured and it became complicated because the car had severe damage and they thought the adventure was already over for them.”

“Everyone helped us fix the car and though we lost confidence, still had to travel the road which was safer than the tracks,” recollects Anne. Still they managed to win the last special stage in the end.

Anne works for different media connected to sports ranging from equestrian, triathlon and rally. She first studied Biology and chiropractic and later shifted to journalism obtaining a diploma in audiovisual journalism (sports).

Both Anne and Amandine have high regards for Nabhan al Nabhani, the former international rally driver from Oman and praised his excellent job throughout the Oman rally.

As reporters, they have no regrets not being able to cover the Oman 2CV Rally as they were happy to live every moment as participants, far away from work.

Amandine has for long experienced the perils of rallying. Marie-Laure Didillon, her mother, was the co-organiser of 2CV Rally along with Dan Castaner. Marie-Laure is an ace rallyist travelling around the world with her 2CV for over 10 years or more. M Gérard Bricard, her step father, was the winner of the Oman rally with Adrien Grandremy as the co-pilot.

Amandine shared with Omanis whom she met who were much interested in adventure and curious to know more about their car and rally.

“We have been travelling a lot thanks to our wonderful 2CV, but Oman was totally different and new. It is a tolerant and generous country with a very interesting history. We had the opportunity to visit many stunning locations, each one very different from the other which helped us to know more about the country,” she explains.

In Muscat they enjoyed the modern Islamic architecture of Grand Mosque and artefacts at Muttrah Souq.

“The rally was perfect that we could learn so much from Oman in only two weeks. Every place we crossed was a new and amazing experience like the wadis where we could spend some time and swim.”

Martine Gohier, General Manager, M&N Tours, one of the organiser says, Amandine and Anne make an amazing team because they always wanted to win.

“Every day was a challenge for them. They did the mechanics on their car when needed and during night they would sing with the group entertaining them and had no difference with the men who were participating in the race.”

Back in France, the journalists cannot stop narrating their story and now every one of their friends prefer to visit the Sultanate and experience the kind of adventure they had.

The Citroen 2CV Classic Car Rally was held from March 26 to April 5 in which about 30 of the legendary French ‘Deudeuche’ cars took part in a thrilling 3,000 kilometres off-road classic car rally.

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