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201413 Oct


Amir Yardenay


Amir Yardenay, a 27-year-old Israeli who was at the Israel-Gaza border in July, pulling out injured and dead soldiers is among the 50 bikers racing their motorcycles at the 2014 Raid De Himalaya.


And among the oldest Raid competitors are two 53-year-old German adventurers who have brought with them a 35-year-old classic car – a self-converted Rally Replica Mercedes SLC 350, built in 1979. The car has been transported all the way from Stuttgart in South Germany. Martin Eitdorf and Jurgen Konnecke, competing in Raid Adventure, say the 16th Maruti Suzuki Raid De Himalaya is part of their motorsport motto: Old cars, new adventures.


Amir Yardenay was called by the Israel Army for war duty two days before he was to fly to India on July 10 to prepare for the Raid De Himalaya. He went on the war front, sometimes pulling out the mutilated bodies of soldiers he knew. Now in Himachal Pradesh to participate in the 2014 Raid De Himalaya, Yardenay said the war days seem like a strange reality to him. Yardenay is riding the Royal Enfield at the Raid. 


“Competing at the Raid has been my dream since 2010. Sometimes I couldn’t arrange the funds, other times it didn’t work out. And this summer when I was supposed to be here, I had to delay my flight thrice because I was on war duty, my normal life stripped away, feeling every day that I might die,” said Yardenay.


In sharp contrast to the Israeli are the two Germans on their India adventure, hugely excited about the largest and most demanding rally event in Central Asia. Martin and Jurgen said they are “always looking for like-minded people for affordable motorsport, adventure travel and international understanding”. 


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