Sucking Stones: the Thierry Sabine’s story

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Thierry Sabine (1949-1986)

Many of you know about the Rally Dakar as the most dangerous Rally in the world and that used to be held in Africa for more than 30 years.
Today as of 2013 is now being held in South America (Argentina, Chile and Peru)
But not many people knows how it started.

In 1977, Thierry Sabine was racing in the Abidjan – Nice Race. While he was crossing the Tenere Desert, got lost.
It took days to Thierry to being found in the middle of the Desert. Without a Compass and a Clock (both broke at the second day after a failed attempt to find the right way) he was technically disconnected from the world.

“Then I realized about my situation was uncomfortable, though. Two days and I don’t have my Compass and my Clock were destroyed while I was trying to find the right way….two days and two nights lost in the Desert, under a Sun who starts to make me lose my mind. The total absence of a shadow started to produce a kind of feeling of claustrophobia.
Then I decided to leave my Bike…waking wearing just my Socks, sucking Stones to try to produce some saliva. Then I understand my life have less value or nothing”.

Miraculously Thierry was found thanks to a huge cross of Stones made by himself in the Tenere desert, the Helicopter of the organization was able to spot him and rescued him from the infamous desert. That near death experience left Sabine with a wish of create something big.

Two years after that near death experience (1979) his dream became real, with 170 braves men taking of the first ever Rally Dakar by competing with Bikes and Cars, they started from Paris, France and the finish line was in Dakar, Senegal. Just 50 Cars and 24 Bikes made it to the capital of Senegal. Cyril Neveu won in Bikes while Alain Genestier, Joseph Terbiaut and Jean Lemordant won in the Cars category.

Sadly Sabine was killed when his helicopter crashed into a dune at Mali during a sudden sandstorm on January 14 of 1986 while he was watching those braves man challenging the Desert as he did nine years earlier.

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