This year, the Stout Tents that lined four Rebelle Rally basecamps were anything but easy to miss. Standing out amongst the desert terrain were beautifully crafted, canvas, beige glamping tents. A first on the Rebelle Rally and something eagerly anticipated amongst our guests. And we have the crew at Stout Tent to thank, who stepped up this year to become first-time glamping partner of the Rebelle Rally. Not knowing exactly what they were getting into, Stout Tent not only supported the rally with ample, insanely cool housing for special guests and media, they also sent a staff member to ride along with the Rebelle, set up and tear down the tents. Talk about next-level partnership. And Stout’s enthusiasm for the Rebelle is matched – Stout Tent has been a favorite of the Rebelle since 2016, when a lone Stout Tent became the place to be for staff to eat, mingle, and rest during the first rally.
We were thrilled to speak with with Director Caitlyn Stout to get her perspective on the world of glamping, her impressive event resumé, and Stout’s authentic place in it all.
For lack of better words, we’re obsessed with Stout Tents. Where did the inspiration come from to begin this business?
Wow! Thanks so much for that! You know, it was a crazy thing. I am an entrepreneur who did a stint in the corporate world, and was looking for a new business to make my own. My dream was to be able to work with my husband and not have a ceiling! The idea was inspired by a European magazine featuring gorgeous outdoor activities. I saw this family with a canvas tent at the beach, and wanted to order one for my backyard. When I couldn’t find one in the States, I saw an opportunity and we decided to make our own! We were fortunate enough to invest in a great photographer, awesome canvas, and the market took it from there!
How did you go about the design process, from the initial basic tents all the way up to the glamping packages?
We’ve always tried to work really hard to get to know what our customer’s need, and then provide it for them. We knew that everyone wants high quality, but we started to realize that we needed a few other features. One of the first things we did was to make a mesh 360 degree window all the way around the bottom wall of the tent for ventilation, and then a versatile stove jack that would work with a variety of wood burning stoves. It helps that we use our product day in and out for large rentals (events), we really get to know what might make life easier for people in the industry. We just love our B2B customers, and get super excited to bring them new accessories that will make their lives easier!
What sets Stout Tents apart from other glamping?
We make it really easy for our customers, which is really the whole point of glamping – comfort and ease! We’ve set up thousands of tents and produced well over 100 events. Experience is a game changer in this industry. The biggest variable is that you’re at the mercy of natural elements that you can’t plan for. You have to know how to problem solve in the moment AND keep your clients happy despite those variables. That’s something you can only learn from experience. On a practical side, we make the process easy from start to finish. Our customers know exactly what to expect and add a lot of little touches along the way, like we even set up private URLs so that their guests can book their own tents, just like they would a hotel room! We assist with staffing events, and we have lots of options, including Giant Tipi Style tents, Safari Glamping Bath Suites (yes, shower in a rad tent with hot water and a porcelain toilet!), AC units, heaters, and even portable hot tubs! It’s the whole package really. When you work with Stout Tent, you just feel confident you’re working with professionals.
Does Stout provide glamping services and set-up nationwide, or only in certain regional areas?
We have had events in 29 states, including Hawaii! We’re hoping to make it to all 50, so if you know anyone in the South (MI, LA, AL… ) that needs our help, let us know!! 🙂
Where’s the most interesting event you’ve set up thus far?
Well, Hawaii was interesting, but I think that the Toyota Hotel Tacoma events have always been the most mind-blowing! We built 50 wooden platforms in a few days to support 50 safari tents over boulders on a mountain called Hualapai in Arizona, and we took over a Boy Scout camp on the Oregon coast another year, sewing doors for the wooden cabins, and debuting our tented restroom units!
You have so many events to choose from. Why the Rebelle?
We have been fan-girling over the Rebelle since year one! We are adventurer’s and many of us are into overlanding and off-roading! We’re hoping that we can get a Stout team together someday and join the fun!
What’s next for Stout?
We acquired a competitor this year, ConTENTment Camping that was founded by Patricia Jensen about 10 years ago. Pat has been a mentor and advisor for a few years, and we jumped at the chance to carry her torch. ConTENTment is the main Glamping tent vendor for the Music Festival world, so this year you’ll be able to catch us at Bonaroo, Electric Forest, FireFly, Lightning in a Bottle and more! We’re also taking over a few NASCAR and Moto events.
Lastly, any words of wisdom?
Awards and Gala
The 2019 Rebelle Rally came to a close on Saturday with a public awards ceremony at San Diego’s Broadway Pier and the annual gala at Coasterra. Teams aired up their tires and made the drive from Glamis back to San Diego on Saturday morning, opening their “prohibited items” and reentering society. For ten days the competitors were devoid of their cell phones, laptops, and any electronics as they navigated with maps and compasses for 1,400 miles across California and Nevada’s most stunning terrain as part of the longest off-road navigation rally in the United States.
The Jeep-sponsored awards ceremony was well attended by the general public, who mixed amongst family and friends welcoming the Rebelles back from their journey through everything from mountain passes and freezing nights to winds whipping across vast sand dunes. In the 4×4 Class, Team Escape the Paved – #176 (Lindsey Hunter and Sarah Homer) finished in third place in their Ford Raptor. After posting the best score in the dunes on the final day boosted Team Rouge Wave – #123 (Teralin Petereit and Melissa Fischer) and their Jeep Wrangler to a second-place finish at the end of the rally. The winners, Team Xelles – #190, led the overall standings from start to finish of the rally. For their efforts they received $5,000 each towards 2020 Rebelle Rally registration, Suunto watches and Ada Diamonds sustainably cultured diamond necklaces. Rachelle Croft and Taylor Pawley not only held off a field of talented competitors, they did so in an unmodified Lexus GX460 to also take home the Bone Stock Award.
In the Crossover Class, rookies Team Sand Mode – #208 finished in third place. Second place went to military veterans Team Record The Journey – #207 in their Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, with driver Karah Behrend making history has the first adaptive athlete to complete the Rebelle Rally. First place went to four-time Rebelles Emme Hall and Rebecca Donaghe of Team Jeeves – #200, who proved that the Rolls-Royce Cullinan has the off-road capabilities to match its luxury appointments.
In our Day 7 Field Update we mistakenly listed Team Luna – #107 as the 2019 Rookies of the Year. While April Leone and Joanna Chen has the highest rookie score in the 4×4 Class with 1248 points, they were actually bested by Team Sand Mode – #208 of the Crossover Class, who scored 1252 points to take home the Lasernut Rookie of the Year trophies. This is a testament to the abilities of the Honda Passport, as well as the skill and acumen of Chassis Reliability Test Engineer Liz Casteel and Engine Systems and Drivetrain Test Engineer Tasha Krug. Canadians Team Clearwater Design – #100 won the International Cup for the third year in a row, earning them $2,500 for the Alzheimer Society of Canada.
Rebelle founder Emily Miller gave an inspiring speech reminding all of the women in the room that they are unbreakable and urging them to apply everything they had learned over the past week, from confidence to overcome their fears to offering a helping hand to others, and apply it to their larger lives. Miller also announced the creation of the visionary Rebelle Impact program, which was created to give microloans to women around the world in order to provide them opportunities they would otherwise be denied. “We have already given out 23 loans, and funded 18 girls to go to school for the next year,” Miller proudly revealed. “We wanted to tip the scales for these women.” Money paid back on these loans at standard interest rates will then be reinvested in the program to provide even more funds for future loans through the non-profit organization Kiva. Emily Miller continues to distinguish the Rebelle Rally as not only a world-class competition that is the longest navigation rally in the United States, but also a force for good in local communities and the larger global community as well.
Imperial Sand Dunes Finale
The Rebelle Rally started innocently enough eight days ago with an unscored day leaving from picturesque Lake Tahoe. Don’t be fooled though, this event is an absolute pressure cooker. Rebelle founder Emily Miller and Course Director Jimmy Lewis set up the course to be increasingly difficult for each day of competition, in terms of both navigation and driving skills. “The idea is to challenge competitors, not overwhelm them,” Miller explains. You could call the week practice, as it all culminates on Day 7 at Imperial Sand Dunes (aka Glamis) where there are no roads and few visual markers to use for navigation.
Just a few points separated the top five teams coming into Day 7, forcing them to use all their training and skills to succeed. Several teams rose to the occasion, with the overall winner of the 4×4 Class literally coming down to the final minutes after eight grueling days of competition. The top score of the day was posted by Team Rouge Wave – #123. “Today was the best day I have ever had on the Rebelle Rally,” three-year competitor Teralin Petereit confessed. Petereit won the Rebelle Rally in 2017 as part of Team Blondtourage and returned this year on short notice with four-year Rebelle Melissa Fischer to create Team Rouge Wave. “The Rebelle is a time when I’m fully alive and fully present,” Fischer shared. “All while playing the best game on the planet with the finest and fiercely competitive women.” The stellar day moved Team Rouge Wave to second place overall. They made up six points on Team Xelles – #190, but it wasn’t enough.
Team Xelles – #190 led the 4×4 Class the entire week, and as such they had a bull’s eye on their backs. Navigator Taylor Pawley was under tremendous pressure coming into the final day of competition, but she and teammate Rachelle Croft developed a game plan, took their time, and executed that plan flawlessly. CPs were placed by the event staff in the furthest corners of the Glamis sand dunes for the largest test to date of driving, navigation, and time management under pressure, and Team Xelles rose to the occasion in their Lexus GX460 to not only take the win in the 4×4 Class but the Bone Stock Award as well. Their victory nets them $10,000 off their entry fee for next year’s competition.
Last year’s champions, Team Clearwater Design – #100 were physically first to many of the checkpoints and back to base camp early in the afternoon on Day 7, even after reaching three blue CPs placed deep within the heart of the Glamis that required precise vehicle placement. When the dust settled, the Canadian team of Michelle Laframboise and Elise Racette finished fifth and took home the International Cup for the third year in a row. For their efforts, $2,500 will be donated in their name to the charity of their choice. Team Luna – #127 earned the Rookie of the Year title, finishing an impressive 12th overall for the week in their Total Chaos-equipped Toyota 4Runner. Last year’s Rookie of the Year winners, Team Escape the Paved – #176, rounded out the podium in the overall 4×4 Class standings, improving upon their seventh-place finish in 2018 in their Bone Stock Ford Raptor.
The Crossover Class was not quite as closely contested, despite twice as many entries in 2019 when compared to the previous year. Team Jeeves – #200 held a solid lead all week long in their Rolls Royce Cullinan. The team of Emme Hall and Rebecca Donaghe are one of only two teams to compete in all four Rebelle Rallies with the same teammate (the other being Karen Hoehn and Dana Saxten), and their experience helped them fend off Team Record The Journey – #207 and Team Sand Mode – #208. Honda engineers Liz Casteel and Krug of Team Sand Mode were the top-ranking rookies in the Crossover Class in their Honda Passport. And fan favorites Team Record The Journey made history as Karah Behrend crossed the finish line as the first adaptive athlete to not only compete at the Rebelle Rally, but finish on the podium with her teammate and fellow veteran Rachael Ridenour.
The thirty-eight teams at the Rebelle Rally represented six countries and twenty states, and ranged in age from 19 to 77. “This rally is really about competing with yourself,” founder Emily Miller explained. The teams now transit to San Diego for a podium ceremony at Broadway Pier against the dramatic backdrop of the San Diego Bay to the west and the city skyline to the east. From 12 PM to 2 PM on Saturday, October 19th, Rebelle competitor vehicles will be on display and podium awards will be presented. This event is free and open to the public with media in attendance. The festivities continue at 7 PM until midnight with our awards gala held at the breathtaking Coasterra. Overlooking the sparkling San Diego skyline, competitors will be reunited with their families and friends to enjoy dinner, dancing, awards, and video highlights from the rally.
Sponsor Highlight- KÜHL
In a sea of competitors, KÜHL has always stood out. From the kickoff in 1983 to present day cult-like status in the outdoor industry, KÜHL’s high-performance yet around-town ready gear leaves consumers loyal for a reason, including Rebelles. KÜHL is the perfect combination of premium quality and technical functionality. Competitors and staff were outfitted in KÜHL pants and the official rally vest this year, and the feedback was positive from top to bottom. Designers from KÜHL are even working with Rebelles to collect feedback for future collaboration and their continual commitment to making great product.
Cougar Buttes to Imperial Sand Dunes
Rebelles awoke to a beautiful fall morning at Cougar Buttes with perfect temperatures and an absolutely stunning sunrise. The beauty quickly gave way to whooped out paths and rocky trails as the teams criss-crossed Johnson OHV Valley looking for green, blue, and black checkpoints while trying to refrain from damaging their vehicles or puncturing any tires. Leaving Johnson Valley, the road book led competitors through the gorgeous Joshua Tree National Park and then around the Salton Sea past Mecca and Bombay Beach en route to Imperial Sand Dunes (aka Glamis). Reaching green CPs before their closing times was an issue for all teams on Day 6, with distance, traffic, fueling, and road conditions all eating up valuable time. The format of the Rebelle Rally requires teams to manage their time efficiently, as there are set windows of time in which to reach blue and black CPs before traveling to the next green CP. Miss the time cutoff for a green CP and your day of competition is over; literally.
The Crossover Class is larger in 2019 than it is has ever been, and Team Jeeves – #200 has retained their overall lead by besting Karah Behrend and Rachael Ridenour of Team Record The Journey – #207 for one point on the day. Johnson Valley lived up to its reputation for the Crossover Class, claiming several tires and forcing Team Challenging Spirit – #203 and Team Naviguessers – #210 to retire due to dehydration and a burnt up clutch, respectively.
Last year’s 4×4 Class champions, Team ClearWater Designs – #100, posted the top score on Day 6, hitting all the CPs for the day save for one blue checkpoint. This puts them just 13 points behind Team Xelles – #190 in the overall standings coming into the final day of the event. Rachelle Croft and Taylor Pawley of Team Xelles have been leading the rally all week, but last year Team Blondetourage led much of the rally only to see victory snatched away on the final day by Team ClearWater Designs. After six days of fierce competition, there is less than a 10% difference in points amongst the top eight teams. This is still very much anyone’s game.
The final stage of the 2019 Rebelle Rally will push the competitors deeper into the dunes of Glamis in search of elusive CPs. Past editions of the rally have revealed that nothing is certain when dunes are part of the equation. Teams have gotten broken, stuck, and ran out of fuel at Glamis, plunging their position in the standings. Other teams have taken all the skills that they have learned over the past week and applied it on course to upset significantly more experienced rivals. Anything can happen at the Rebelle Rally, and on Day 7 we expect it will. Follow us closely on social media throughout the day, as Creative Director Katy Kunkel performs live updates from Glamis.
Daily Tech Tip – What Is The Team Spirit Award?
It is not always about your score, but how you compete that matters most. The Rebelle Rally Team Spirit Award is designed to promote and encourage a positive spirit in the midst of focused competition. It is searching for solutions, proving encouragement and treating others with respect and enthusiasm, which ultimately results in fostering a spirited competitive climate. The Team Spirit Award winner, as voted on by staff and competitors, receives a $5,000 donation in their name to the charity of the team’s choosing.
Sponsor Highlight – Tepui Tent
Ever arrive in camp after dark? Or can’t find a clear, level spot to set up a tent? These issues are a thing of the past with the addition of a Tepui roof top tent. Tepui makes premium rooftop tents, including a new hard-shell model, and specialized outdoor equipment for a more secure and comfortable way to get the most out of every adventure. Every Tepui tent is purpose-built, made with the highest quality materials, and designed to withstand the roughest weather and toughest conditions. When it comes to adventure travel and pre-running the course, we choose Tepui.
Wagon Wheel to Cougar Buttes
As the Rebelle Rally reached Day 5, some teams are finding their stride while fatigue is taking its toll on others. “This event wouldn’t have the impact on the competitors if it was only three or four days long,” Rebelle founder Emily Miller explained. “It isn’t until Day 5 that you really start to feel the weight of the event. Even something as simple as setting up your tent can seem like a monumental task when you are completely exhausted. It is in these moments that we learn what we are truly capable of.”
On Day 5 teams left the line on a longer, more complex Rebelle Enduro Challenge than they had seen previously. Timing controls started in the Spangler Open OHV Area and ended on a dry lakebed northwest of Barstow, California. They then went into the incredibly rough and rocky Stoddard Valley Open OHV, the fourth new open OHV area visited during the 2019 Rebelle. Speeds slowed to a crawl and proper plotting and compass use was key for those looking to move ahead in the standings. Others played follow-the-leader only to find they weren’t at the right CPs and arrived at base camp as the sun was setting for the day.
In the Crossover Class, Team Jeeves – #200 extended their lead over the rest of the field. Emme Hall and Rebecca Donaghe will have to be careful in their Rolls Royce Cullinan though, after puncturing two tires they risk being penalized for outside assistance if they need to source another tire. Team Record The Journey – #207 placed second for the day in their Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, putting them in third in the overall standings.
Team Escape The Paved – #176 posted the best score in the 4×4 Class on Day 5, only missing two black CPs out of seventeen total CPs for the day. This moved Lindsey Hunter and Sarah Homer into fourth place overall, with Team Xelles – #190 finishing fourth on the day and retaining a 24 point lead over Team Clearwater Designs – #100. Longtime Rebelle Rally fans will recall that the French Canadian team of Michelle Laframboise and Elise Racette were 40 points behind when entering the dunes last year, only to come back and tie for the overall victory. Never count out Team Clearwater Designs in the sand dunes.
Day 6 will cover a lot of ground, starting two at a time with Team Front Range Rebelles – #130 and Team Roads Less Travelled – #154 off the line together at 7 AM. The route starts by crossing Johnson Valley, the largest OHV area in the United States at 96,000 acres. Elevations range from 4,600 feet at Hartwell Hills to 2,300 feet at Melville Dry Lake with numerous mountain ranges and rocky canyons. All of this is fertile ground for Course Director Jimmy Lewis to place CPs in the most creative of locations. Teams will depart the massive boulders of Cougar Buttes and head to Soggy Dry Lake. After departing Johnson Valley, the next section is on roadbook through Joshua Tree National Park to the Salton Sea with the opportunity for teams to relax before entering the infamous Imperial Sand Dunes (aka Glamis), where the winners of the 2019 Rebelle Rally will be decided.
The Bone Stock Award is presented to the team that places highest in a vehicle that is exactly as delivered from the factory. The only allowable change is different tires, but even that is limited to the factory sizing. The Rebelle Rally has become a proving ground for OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) who recognize that surviving a week of punishment off-road is a badge of honor. Team Xelles – #190 are currently leading the seven-vehicle field in Bone Stock, as well as the overall standings, demonstrating that a capable vehicle and a heavily modified vehicle are not necessarily synonymous.
Additional Bone Stock participants include:
- Team Martine and Nathalie #102 – Jeep Wrangler JK
- Team Escape The Paved #176 – Ford Raptor
- Team Jeep Thrills #177 – Jeep Wrangler JK
- Team Dirt Dweebs #188 – Jeep Wrangler JL
- Team Sol Seekers #201 – Subaru Crosstrek
- Team Challenging Spirit #203 – Honda Ridgeline
Sponsor Highlight- Corkcicle
Corkcicle is a fan favorite amongst Rebelles and staff. Since 2017, we’ve counted on the triple-insulated canteens to do everything from keeping our coffee hot in the mountains, to keeping our water cold in the dunes. They also help us minimize trash on the rally, keeping plastic out of our oceans and landfills. Rebelles have also found some creative ways to make use of the sleek, easy grip design that does it all — including a make-shift radiator replenisher and a source of hot water quickly on the go. We interviewed Corkcicle Founder Stephen Bruner last year to find out how he got started, and how his knack for innovation is bringing the refined to our rough at the Rebelle. Check out our throwback interview here.
Harrison Ranch to Wagon Wheel
After a chilly night self-camping in the mountains at the private Harrison Ranch, Rebelles descended back down to lower elevations and warmer climes at Wagon Wheel OHV Area. The course passed through the spectacular Jawbone Canyon, where they refueled before heading out into Spangler OHV Area to find more CPs. While many teams struggled with the new rules on Day 2 of the rally, by Day 4 the top teams were starting to distance themselves from the pack.
Team Jeep Thrills – #177 posted the best score for the day in the 4×4 Class. The mother and daughter duo of Christine and Emily Benzie are scientists by trade (an aerospace engineer and geneticist, respectively) who have applied what they learned last year to compete at the top ranks of the Rebelle Rally this year. “They day I got home I was still distilling what just happened to us over 10 intense days,” Christine recalls. “But the next morning, as I was unloading gear and pouring the glorious sand out of said gear, my little voices said ‘next year, we take less clothes’ and ‘next year, we need a place to put all those maps’. Apparently, my subconscious had already decided: yes, there would be a next year.”
While many of this year’s rookie teams are grouped around the 20th position in the overall standings, Team Luna – #107 has moved into the top ten. April Leone and Joanna Chen are both software engineers who met at a dune training class earlier this year. “I have been following the Rebelle Rally for the past few years and it is fun to finally be able to participate,” Joanna confessed. The strong finish by Team Jeep Thrills – #177 moved them into third place overall, behind Team Xelles – #190 and last year’s winners, Team ClearWater Designs – #100.
In Crossover, Team Sand Mode – #208 posted the best score for the day in their Honda Passport. “Tasha and I have been switching off driving and navigating,” Liz Casteel explained. “It takes a lot more work to navigate here than it does to drive, and changing roles really makes us empathetic to each other.” The strong showing for the day moved the pair of Honda engineers into second place overall in the Crossover Class behind Team Jeeves – #200.
Upon returning from a grueling marathon stage, teams had the option to participate in a skills challenge. Unlike last year this challenge was not scored for points, but rather a bonus with prizes for the fastest time finding required items such as fire extinguishers and first aid kits. Team Waypoint Wanderers – #148won the event with a time of one minute, thirty-four seconds. Prizes included items from sponsors KUHLand Maxtrax as well as a dinner at Drew Deckman’s pioneering farm-to-table restaurant in Valle de Guadelupe.
On Day 5 teams leave the line starting on a longer, more complex Rebelle Enduro Challenge than they have seen thus far. Timing controls starts in the Spangler Open OHV Area and ends on a dry lakebed northwest of Barstow, California. Teams continue on via roadbook and must stay on route. Two black CPs embedded in the roadbook force teams to stay on point and not get distracted by the sweeping vistas. The route then continues through Stoddard Valley Open OHV, the fourth open area that is new to the 2019 Rebelle. Teams must keep heads up and not just follow each other in order to ensure they collect their own CP, and not the CP of another group. They will then cross the pavement and make their way to the base of Ord Mountain and the northern part of Johnson Valley OHV Area. This day is designed to be slighter shorter time-wise to give the competitors and vehicles an ever-so-slight break from the beating they will face in Johnson Valley on Day 6.
Daily Tech Tip – How To Follow The Rebelle Rally
There are a variety of ways to follow the Rebelle Rally standings in real time as the event progresses. Clicking on rebellerally.com/live-tracking provides up-to-the-second positions of competitors on course providing by YB Tracking via the Rebelle Rally website or YB Tracking’s app for Apple and Android. The tracking information is overlaid on a Mapbox framework that displays points of interest and check point (CP) locations. For those that prefer tabular data, the Rebelle Rally scoring page has just about every statistic you could ever with for. There are overall standings for the 4×4 and Crossover classes, links to team bios, and individual CP scores for each day. Note that 4x4s are separated into Group A and Group B in order to discourage teams from playing follow-the-leader. The Flow Chart is a handy way to chart momentum of teams from day to day; no one has a perfect rally and bouncing back from adversity is a critical skill for overall success.
Wagon Wheel to Harrison Ranch
Rebelle Rally competitors enjoyed warmer temperatures overnight in the Wagon Wheel OHV Area outside of Ridgecrest, California. Wagon Wheel was one of four new open OHV areas visited by the rally in 2019. What is the importance of open OHV areas to the rally? Wagon Wheel, Spangler, and Dove Springs, three areas which comprised much of the course for Day 3, are criss-crossed with roads and washes that make navigation far more challenging for the competitors than the two-track roads of Day 1 and Day 2. The CPs in Dove Springs were dotted among the peaks and valleys in order to test the precision of drivers and navigators alike. The CPs were split into two groups to keep teams from following each other, and Course Director Jimmy Lewis put CPs from both groups near, but not too near, each other to really push teams in the fourth edition of the Rebelle Rally.
The route led them through dense Joshua Trees and narrow valleys en route to the private Harrison Ranch, where teams will self-camp (no base camp) as part of the Marathon Stage. Team SassQuatch Rebelles – #184 posted the best score in the 4×4 Class on Day 3, moving them up to 12th in the overall standings. Navigator Kendra Miller has competed in every Rebelle Rally, while driver Eliza Coleman is new to the event. It would be an understatement to say that Eliza is comfortable behind the wheel though; she is an award-winning stuntwoman and stunt coordinator who has worked on feature films including Ocean’s Eleven and The Italian Job. Team Xelles – #190 retained the overall lead in the 4×4 Class after three days of scored competition, finishing fourteen points behind the SassQuatch Rebelles.
In the Crossover Class, Team Naviguessers – #210 finished first for Day 3 to put them in fourth place overall. While many teams are all business at the start line in the morning, Naviguessers Emily Winslow and Alicia Farrar started a tradition last year of rocking out to begin their day. Today’s pick: Diva by Beyoncé. Team Jeeves – #200 came in second for the day to retain their overall lead in the Crossover Class.
Tomorrow the second half of the Marathon Stage drops down Piute Peak and through the iconic, colorful Jawbone Canyon before passing back through Dove Springs. The course then crosses Spangler Open OHV area and then returns to Wagon Wheel for a skills challenge that will test their organization and preparation abilities, followed by another amazing dinner by Michelin star chef Drew Deckman and his talented crew.
Daily Tech Tip – Is The Rebelle Rally A Race?
The Rebelle Rally is NOT a race, it is a competition. It differs from a traditional race where speed is a priority to finish as quickly as possible. By contrast, the Rebelle Rally is about precision, not speed. Precise navigation and precise driving. There is no GPS, no pre-running, and you don’t need a highly modified vehicle to be successful at the Rebelle Rally. “My vision was to create an event that rewards intelligence, proper planning, and attention to detail,” Rebelle founder Emily Miller explained. Over seven days, teams comprised of two women (one driver, one navigator) use maps and compasses and roadbooks to navigate to multiple checkpoints (CPs) in a prescribed amount of time. Some CPs are visibly marked by a flag and course worker (Green CPs), while others are marked by a small flag or PVC pipe (Blue CPs). Black CPs offer the greatest challenge, with no visible reference on the ground. Teams check in at each CP with their tracker, and the closer they are to the exact Black CP location the more points they receive. Scores are updated live throughout the day here.
Sponsor Spotlight: Mapbox
Why would an emerging tech giant be interested in a competition that relies on paper maps and compasses? Mapbox values the lost art of navigation, and their software’s ability to plot location features with maps and navigation made Mapbox the perfect fit for live tracking at the Rebelle Rally. You might not know the name Mapbox, but you have definitely used their software before. If you have ever used AirBNB, Lyft, Snapchat (or followed the Rebelle Rally for that matter) you have used Mapbox’s location data platform. Mapbox is the backbone of our live tracking system, which combines CPs and vehicles positions on course with photos, descriptions, points of interest, and videos that are necessary to tell the full story of the Rebelle. Partners of the Rebelle Rally don’t just write a check, they share our values and are immersed in the event.
Gold Point to Wagon Wheel
Day 2 was a long one for Rebelle teams, covering 390 kilometers. The teams departed Gold Point starting at 7 AM on a Rebelle Enduro Challenge before heading to Amargosa Dunes (aka Big Dune) south of Beatty, Nevada. Many teams spent far too much time in the soft sand, not fully aware of what awaited them in Death Valley National Park and beyond. The course covered over 100 miles on dirt and went through Death Valley’s Wildrose Canyon before reaching the Trona Pinnacles. There were numerous blue and black CPs near Trona and the finish line at the Base Camp at Wagon Wheel OHV area, but most teams had to forego these CPs in order to reach the finish before the closing time 11 hours after they began.
Last year’s Rookies of the Year, Team Escape The Paved – #176 edged out Team Xelles – #190 by just one point on their way to the best score of the day in the 4×4 class. The Xelles’ Rachelle Croft and Taylor Pawley retained their overall lead though ahead of reigning champions Team Clearwater Designs – #100. In the Crossover Class, Team Dandelion – #202 bested The Naviguessers – #210 on the day, but Team Jeeves – #200 held on to their overall lead in the Crossover class.
Many teams struggled with time management on the day, a situation that was not completely unforeseen by Rebelle founder Emily Miller. “We purposefully made more checkpoints than were possible to force teams to strategize about what CPs they were going to chase and which ones they were going to abandon,” she explained. “This isn’t something the competitors have seen before, and even women who have done the event for four years struggled today.” Those struggles are something that will have to be left behind on Day 3. “There is a reason the windshield is so much larger than the rearview mirror,” mused Tech Director Chris Woo. “You have to look forward, not backward.”
After dinner, Teresa Carrington spoke to the women about her business Ten by Three. Ten by Three reduces poverty in developing countries by using their unique Prosperity Wages model to pay for artisan products. This innovative financial model creates a cycle of entrepreneur driven growth resulting in permanent financial independence for the artisan. Teresa shares the ideals of the Rebelle Rally and explained how she has met so many women who have the heart of Rebelles, even if they have never had the opportunity to participate in the rally.
The exhausted competitors will be happy to learn that they have only 160 kilometers to cover on Day 3, but it won’t all come easily. Day 3 is the first half of a marathon stage, starting with a winding Enduro through high desert terrain overlooking the Southern Sierras. Vehicles in the 4×4 Class will head south into winding canyons, while Crossovers will head into Dove Springs Open OHV. Dove Springs is a tight canyon with extremely steep, yet short climbs. These trails can be visually intimidating to a person in a stock vehicle, but once examined more closely, most will realize these are absolutely conquerable. Once leaving this area, they will head north through a thick, impressive Joshua Tree forest before cresting a pass where the Pacific Crest Trail crosses. Just south of Lake Isabella, the competitors will climb up Piute Mountain to their camping location at the high alpine, private Harrison Ranch.
Daily Tech Tip- What Is A Rebelle Enduro Challenge (REC)?
A Marathon Stage takes place over multiple days with minimal outside support (only fueling is allowed). Mountain House freeze dried meals substitute for Drew Deckman’s cuisine and there is no mechanic in camp to repair vehicles. The teams are required to carry all of their own camping gear and cook for themselves, without the luxuries of Base Camp.
Sponsor Spotlight: Total Chaos
The Rebelle Rally is in a class all on its own as a driving and navigation challenge, so it shouldn’t be surprising that the companies we choose to partner with are just as unique as we are. Case in point: Total Chaos Fabrication. Single-handedly responsible for the “midtravel” suspension segment with their introduction of the tubular Upper Control Arm (UCA) in 2002, Total Chaos Fabrication has been innovating for decades now. Their control arms use race-quality components to increase wheel travel without the need for custom fabrication. This year we had more competitors running Total Chaos suspension components than ever, and despite hundreds of miles of punishing terrain none have suffered from a single suspension issue. Total Chaos’ commitment to quality, craftsmanship, customer service, and constant innovation, we are proud to call them the Official Suspension Partner of the 2019 Rebelle Rally.