The layout of the camps is essential in a race like the Dakar, in which hundreds of competitors with different types of structures participate. There are the small teams, which have one or two assistance pick-ups, and the large teams, which have several trucks and a dozen vehicles to move the personnel along the 9.500 kilometers of route. There are also those participants who do not have the slightest help and manage on their own to make the adventure even more extreme. In any case, there is only one workplace: the bivouacs that are set up each day.
Until 2012, the designated place for the participants was “no man's land” and it was resolved in a very anarchic way. Whoever arrived first chose their sector and delimited it with plastic tapes. As there was no order, the traffic through the camp often became chaotic. But that changed in 2013 after the hiring of a specialist: the Welshman Geoffrey Dixon, who for two decades was in charge of the organization of the paddock of the World Motorcycle Championship.
Dixon's experience quickly became noticeable with much tidier bivouacs. The sectors are pre-assigned and divided by internal streets marked with beacons to make their location easier. Each camp has a central avenue that runs from the main entrance to the entrance to the restaurant area, direction of the race, etc; and several perpendicular corridors.
For this arrangement, the needs of the main teams were taken into account, something that made his task even easier. For the rest of the competitors, meanwhile, specific places were assigned that are repeated in each bivouac, as long as the structure of the complex allows it.
With this reorganization of the camps, time and safety are gained, since the arteries created also allow any type of evacuation to be carried out efficiently in an emergency. The key in the Dakar is to be well organized.