This is the first post for this new section of my blog and i will start right off with a question that might seem easy to answer, “what do i need to do in order to participate to Dakar?”. The answer might seem straight forward consisting only on applying but the truth is that A.S.O every year receives almost twice the number of entries that are put available. For example last year in the bike category there were 330 entries and only 190 where accepted. In this tutorial i will explain to you how to be sure to be accepted.
STAGE 1 | YOUR SPORTING CURRICULUM
Even before thinking of applying there is an extremely important thing to take in consideration which is the races to which you have been participating in the previous and current year of your application. If you have not participated in any of the Fim World Cross Country Rallies Championship or in any big international event (i.e. Australasian Safari Rally) the chances of being rejected from the Dakar is almost 80% sure.
So what do i need to do if i want to apply and have high chances of being accepted to Dakar 2014?
Dakar entries always open in May, so lets take for example you are applying to Dakar 2014. This means that in May 2013 you will have to send your entry, taking this in consideration you should at least take part in 1 race of the World Championship in the period January 2012 – May 2013. Obviously the more events you take part in the more probabilities of not having to worry about being rejected.
Where can i find the World Championship race calendar?
Which are the international events (not part of the World Championship) that could also give me high chances of being accepted?
What if i haven’t participated in either World Championship events nor International events?
Then i am sorry but the chances of your application being accepted at Dakar is extremely low because A.S.O. is very concerned about how dangerous it could be for an unexperienced rider to take part in the Dakar.
STAGE 2 | THE OFFICIAL ENTRY FORM
Where can i register for Dakar?
To register to Dakar there is no need to send any fax, email or print out stuff. You just need to connect to their official website and go in this section: http://www.dakar.com/dakar/2013/us/register.html and click on the “CREATE MY APPLICATION” tab.
(CLICK ON THE IMAGES TO ENLARGE)
You will then be redirected to this screen where you will have to click on CREATE A USER ACCOUNT and you will be asked to fill in the form.
In this section you will start creating your DOSSIER which in other words will be your entry request. Simply click on CREATE YOUR DOSSIER.
From here onwards you will be guided step by step to fill in various forms. If you are planning on racing with a team you should make the team manager do all your application through their account whereas if you are going to race by yourself or with your own mechanic and so on then you will have to fill in everything. It is fundamental that all the forms are correctly filled, it happens sometimes to have your entry rejected for the simple reason your application was filled out wrong. If you have any doubts the day you apply to Dakar you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and i will check you have done everything correctly. To end with if you plan on bringing your own mechanic you have to create an application also for him directly inside your Dossier as assistant.
Ok once you have filled in everything this is how all your sections should look like:
As mentioned before the main reason for being excluded from the Dakar participation is your Sport Currciculum. This Questionnaire you will have to fill is probably one of the most important parts of your application. Here i will show you all the questionnaire:
STAGE 3 | ENTRY FEES AND PAYMENT SCHEDULE
The other fundamental aspect of your entry is the entry fee and the payment schedule. Together with your registration a first payment of 6.000 euros is requested in order to candidate your entry. In case you are rejected A.S.O. will send you the full refund of your payment. It is vital to make every payment within the dates given, no discounts or exceptions are made to anyone. Here are the prices and dates:
STAGE 4 | WAIT UNTIL THE 15h of JULY FOR AN ANSWER
The last part is probably the most annoying, after having sent your application, the first part of the entry, you will have to wait almost 2 months to receive a letter at home with the acceptance or rejection of your application. In other words Dakar brings you back to when you applied for college and had to wait the letter of the University to know if you were in or out! This is the letter you receive when you are accepted:
Here onwards you will have to provide the other payments on within the dates given. But this is only the beginning of your adventure. Dakar doesn’t start at the ceremonial start in January, it starts from the moment you send your entry so prepare yourself for an 8 month life changing experience. In the next tutorials i will cover all the aspects you will need to consider and upfront in order to be prepared for the toughest and most amazing race in the world! Stay tuned