More time to prep and train.
2021 was supposed to start out strong with the 13th annual Africa Eco Race which was scheduled to run from Dakar to Dakar at the beginning of January. However, given the state of the world in December, 2020, you can probably guess what happened. As of October, 2020, the 2021 round of the AER was officially canceled.
It’s not a surprise, of course—although it’s still disappointing anyway. However, the organizers aren’t content to let everyone stew in their disappointment. Instead, they’re already hard at work planning both the 2022 AER event, and also a brand new additional rally event that will tentatively happen in October, 2021.
First, the main 2022 event. AER participants will depart from Monaco on a boat bound for Morocco, where they’ll start the 2022 round on January 4. They’ll ride and/or drive around 6,500 kilometers (or about 4,039 miles) in total, through Morocco, Mauritania, and Senegal. The finish is scheduled to take place on January 16, on the shores of Lac Rose in Senegal.
Since the AER is skipping a year, organizers are also planning a five-stage, one-week rally event sometime in the first half of October, 2021. Although the AER organizers are working on this event as well, they haven’t officially mentioned a name for it yet. No other details are available yet, either; all we know is that it’s a shorter rally that will also take place in Africa. Hopefully, more complete information will be available soon so interested individuals can start to plan their journeys.
Organizer Jean Louis Schlesser wanted to make sure to get this news out ahead of the holiday season in 2020, as a bit of good news to look forward to in the coming months. Rallies test riders, drivers, and their machines—but as we’re all finding out, so too do global pandemics.