Originally Posted by Deadly99
Isn't the Hero's a recreational "experience a rally" non race event where the Africa race is a full blown all out timed race?
Seems like two very different types of events. Of course I have not done either event this is just based on interwebknowlege :)
The main difference between Heroes-Legend and most other Rallys is that is uses a 'regularity' system of timing/scoring, rather than the first over the line/fastest one is the winner.
I've explained it in more detail in the dedicated thread/s, but put simply - Heroes was originally designed to allow different classifications of vehicles to compete, including classic 'Dakar' bikes such as early GSs, XTs etc. They used the regularity system to create a handicap, so that slower vehicles/riders were not penalized.
Also, there are 'issues' with running pure speed events over public (ie. non closed) roads/pistes/stages - especially getting insurance. I'm not sure how the Tuareg and events like the Africa Race get away with it, and I won't ask here... Obviously even events like the Dakar and other FIM events which do have 'closed' special stages, are still vulnerable to spectators or members of the public being hurt or killed...
But don't think for a moment the Heroes-Legend isn't competative. Sure there is a Bivouac-Bivouac option which follows the assistance route, but if you are entered in a competitive class, it is every bit as tough as any other rally. You have target times/speeds for the stage, cut-off times, penalties for missing waypoints, and not least the physical endurance of riding thousands of competitive kilometres which can break you or your bike at any time - the roadbook is based on previous year's Dakar stages, and the organisation (not least Anne Marie Gerandi) have been involved with the original African Dakar for years...
Just ask any of the riders who crashed and burned last year how tough it is or it isn't!