About Kirsten Tiegen

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So far Kirsten Tiegen has created 4 blog entries.

Meet Chris Birchby, Founder of COOLA Sun and Skincare, 2016 Rebelle Rally Sponsor

COOLA sunscreen and suncare, our inaugural Rebelle Rally sunscreen sponsor, is a full line of luxury sun and skincare products that incorporate a Farm to Face® sourcing philosophy. Using the freshest and most natural ingredients whenever possible, it’s right up our alley given our competition takes place entirely outside. Not to mention we like to put good stuff in our skin when we slather up against the elements at daybreak — it’s free of parabens, paba, petroleum and phthalates. Containing over 70% certified organic ingredients, COOLA produces limited quantity batches which they’re able to reformulate often, taking advantage of new developments in sun science.  We love the story behind this company, so we caught up with COOLA founder Chris Birchy who gave us the scoop on why he started the brand, and what continues to inspire his passion as he paves the way in the industry.

Tell us a little bit about the story behind COOLA (and what makes it so different from the rest)?

As a child and the oldest of four boys, I spent a lot of time at the beach, teaching surfing and windsurfing lessons over the summers. My family sunscreen drawer was full of SPF 4’s and 8’s, and sunburn was a common occurrence. It was not until 2002 when both of my parents had melanoma scares that I started investigating proper sun protection and was inspired to create COOLA. I assembled an elite team of industry professionals, including several top FDA experts on sun protection. Together we created a full line of luxury sun and skincare products incorporating a Farm to Face® sourcing philosophy, which uses the freshest and most natural ingredients whenever possible.

Can you tell us what you’re most excited about in your product line-up?

This year we launched our new COOLA Beauty Collection which features 70%+ certified organic SPF 30 BB+ creams, Tinted SPF Mineral Liplux, and a Mineral SPF 30 Makeup Primer. These formulas not only contain beautiful, natural colors, flavors and scents, but also feature cutting edge skincare ingredients including rose and plant stem cells.

Why is San Diego (location of our black tie finishing gala and residence of Rebelle founder) the perfect location for COOLA headquarters?

San Diego embodies the lifestyle, ethos and culture of the brand. Laid back, active, health focused, and beautiful scenery from the great big blue to the local mountains. Everyone in the company is active, loves to get outdoors, but are also concerned with protecting their skin for lifelong health. We really do get to put our products to the test!

Our teams will be braving the harsh deserts of the southwest for the Rebelle during daylight hours. Why is it so important for them to sunscreen up, even while in the vehicle or on cloudy days?

UVA rays are present year-round, all day long. They can penetrate through cloud cover and even through windows! Up to 90% of visible signs of aging and sun damage are attributed to daily UV exposure. Wearing sunscreen daily (rain or shine) can immensely reduce your risk for developing skin cancer and also help to prevent premature aging.

You and your wife just welcomed a baby. Is COOLA kid-friendly, or are their plans for a children’s line in the works?

We currently have our COOLA Mineral Baby SPF 50 Moisturizer, which is great for the sensitive skin of your little ones! It has also won over popularity with adults as well.  And yes, we are planning to expand the Baby Collection for 2017. Stay tuned!

We have lots of adventurous women competing in this rally who tend to hike, surf, swim, bike and take their kids to the park all in one weekend!  Which one product would you recommend for the “sporty” woman who does it all?

If we had to narrow it down, I would say our Classic Sport SPF 50 Fresh Mango Moisturizer. This product is great for all over face and body, rubs in easily, provides 80 minutes water resistance, and has a beautiful and captivating fresh mango scent!

Lastly, any words of wisdom?

Never be afraid to veer off the beaten path! And wear sunscreen rain or shine, every single day. Happy Sun-Blocking!

Meet Chris Birchby, Founder of COOLA Sun and Skincare, 2016 Rebelle Rally Sponsor2016-10-21T01:35:04-07:00

Meet Chrissie Beavis – Director of Scoring and Head Rally Judge of the Rebelle Rally

A former X Games gold medalist, Chrissie Beavis is one of the most successful women rally drivers and navigators in the world. She’s earned many stage and rally wins as a performance stock driver and is frequently sought out as a navigator by some of the biggest names in the sport such as Travis Pastrana and Tanner Foust. An architectural designer and fabricator by trade, Chrissie joins the inaugural Rebelle Rally as the Director of Scoring and the Head Rally Judge. We caught up with Chrissie to learn more about her racing chops, and her role onsite during the Rebelle.

What kind of motorsport experience do you have (and what does that mean to you, heading into this event)?

I grew up in the sport of stage rally. My parents both competed and organized one of the biggest rallies in the US. I’ve been competing for 20 years myself and have done several rally-raid events. I love the camaraderie and teamwork that a rally takes. Being involved with the first all women’s Rebelle Rally is a very unique experience.

How did you hear about the Rebelle Rally (and what made you want to be part of it)?

I’ve known Emily, the founder of the Rebelle, for years. She is a mentor and friend and I’m stoked to be a part of anything she is involved with.

What are some of your car-racing career highlights?

I have a gold and silver from X Games as a rally co-driver. As a navigator I’ve won the X-Over class at the Gazelle Rally in Morocco and taken 2nd in the 4 x 4 class. I’ve also had many stage and rally wins as a performance stock driver in my Jetta rally car.

What is your current occupation and what does that mean to you?

I am an architectural designer and fabricator. I design homes, restaurant and retail interiors, and custom architectural fixtures such as gates, doors, staircases and furniture. I love using reclaimed materials in my designs and always use sustainable methods in my constructions.

What are your passions outside of work? Besides your occupation, what makes you tick? Do you have creative interests? Other sports that you do?

I love all outdoor sports. I love to take road trips with my husband and family.

Please describe your role at the Rebelle Rally?

I am the Director of Scoring and the Head Rally Judge. I am responsible for the development and implementation of the scoring system and will be onsite with the rally to monitor and maintain the scores in real time.

Why were you selected for this position?

I have extensive experience in a variety of rally events and as a competitor I know what it takes to not only make a fair event, but also to make it fun and challenging.

How will women competing in the Rebelle interact with you during the Rally?

I will be available for the teams if they have any scoring issues. I will also make judgments along with other qualified staff when it comes to penalties and inquiries.

What do you think makes an all-women’s event unique?

Despite many advances for women in recent decades, many women still don’t understand what they are capable of. This rally will give them the chance to really understand how tough they are, and I know that this will change many of their lives.

What kind of person would you encourage to do an event like the Rebelle?

I think the only requirement for the Rebelle is a good attitude. If you have this, then you can learn the rest!

How does someone with no car background prepare for this event?

A lot of the competitors are taking our online navigation course, which really teaches you the basics of how to get through the event. Once you know which vehicle you will be taking, I recommend visiting your mechanic and learning about basic vehicle prep and maintenance. If possible, it is also a good idea to take an off-road driving course to really get familiar with what your vehicle can do.

As a professional navigator, what advice would you give to someone learning how to navigate? Please be specific to the terrain on the Rebelle.

Take a navigation course. Study and practice too!

You’ve competed in rally before as part of a team. What are some important lessons you’ve learned from being part of a team?

Being a good teammate can be a challenge in itself. It’s all about communication. Remember to give your teammate the benefit of any doubt and to forget and move on from any disagreement.


Meet Chrissie Beavis – Director of Scoring and Head Rally Judge of the Rebelle Rally2018-04-09T20:07:23-07:00

Meet Drew Deckman – Chef of the Rebelle Rally

With a commitment to sustainability, Drew Deckman—who earned a Michelin Star for his work at Restaurant Vitus in Germany– joins the Rebelle Rally as its head chef in 2016. Deckman spent a decade in Europe honing his culinary skills at restaurants like the Four Seasons Berlin before landing in the Guadalupe Valley in Baja, Mexico.

According to chefsroll.com, Deckman has cooked with masters such as Paul Bocuse, Jacques Maximin, Gilles DuPont and Tommy Byrne. He also mentored under star-teacher and cookbook author Madeleine Kamman, in addition to being part of the final class of the School for American Chefs at Beringer Vineyards.

Today, Deckman is the proud owner of Deckmans en el Mogor where all the wine, vegetables, herbs, lamb, olive oil, and eggs are estate grown or produced on the Mogor Ranch.

A former commercial fisherman, Deckman is an avid off-roader, who recently started racing in his spare time. He grew up in Peachtree City, Georgia and holds a degree in philosophy from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. He lives in Baja with his wife and three children.

We caught up with Deckman to learn more about his passion for cooking, and his plans for the Rebelle Rally.

When did you know you wanted to be a chef?

Not until I was in my early 20’s. I worked in kitchens since I was 15, but never considered it as a career. I tried to do a bunch of other stuff, and it turns out that growing facial hair and cooking are the only things I’m good at doing.

Can you please tell us any highlight stories from your commitment to sustainability?

I think I’m in an interesting place in my life. I’ve worked as both a commercial and sport fisherman, and I have 25 years of kitchen experience. My desire to be an activist for sustainability doesn’t come from political or environmental philosophies, but instead from a desire to have incredible, responsible ingredients for a long period of time and that my children and their children have access to the those ingredients. The political part comes as a spin off of the whole circus. There is so much green washing and mis-information in the sustainability world its tough for consumers to figure it out sometimes. I feel a need to communicate responsibility to people in laymen’s terms and help them to make their own decisions.

We hear you love motorsports. Please describe your motorsport experience

I have always liked NASCAR and other motor sports. Not until I moved to Baja California did I really understand what off-road really meant. A good friend of mine Steve Barry, who has been successful in Baja racing in several different classes, allowed me to get close to his Class 1 team. I started out cooking for his team, then moved on to pre-running races with him, then on to some limited co-pilot stints in his Class 1. I caught the racing bug, and I’m now trying to start racing with my own car of some sort.

How did you hear about the Rebelle Rally (and what made you want to be part of it)?

My dear friend and mentor to a certain extent, Emily Miller, mentioned to me one day her idea about the rally, I didn’t even let her finish her sentence before I said, “I’m in!”

What are your passions outside of work? Besides your occupation, what makes you tick? Do you have creative interests?

My number one passion is my family–my wife and my daughter and my two sons. I finally have time in my life to attempt to learn how to be a family man, and I’m truly enjoying it. After my family, I enjoy blue water fishing (but working the boats, not angling) and I’m a PADI Divemaster. Oh, and I really like going fast on dirt in the desert of Baja, or anywhere for that matter.

What kind of meals do you have planned for the Rebelle Rally? What kind of food can competitors expect to eat?

This is a special event. We will be in remote places with the intentions of providing good, healthy, energy packed foods that make you forget you’re in the desert. We are doing breakfasts and dinners in several different base camps. My desire is that the driving teams arrive after a long day in the desert, and they are greeted by food they would expect in a city restaurant. We also intend to respect personal food philosophies (i.e. gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, etc). I am researching local growers and ranchers along our route, and intend to use as much hyper-local ingredients as possible

To the non-foodie, how would you describe your style in the kitchen?

My kitchen is based on ingredients. The three most important words in my kitchen are ingredient, ingredient, and ingredient. Complexity created through the mastery of simplicity. It’s definitely not minimalist or modernist or molecular. We find contrast through textures, temperatures and atypical combinations.

How will you source your food?

Our food will be sourced from local ranches along the route as well as local markets and purveyors along the route. Seafoods and shellfish will be delivered fresh along the route by known purveyors.

Have you ever served meals in such a remote location before? What kind of challenges do your foresee?

I worked several years on a large mothership where I was preparing food hundreds of miles from the closest port. I also worked for Four Stars Catering in wildfire basecamps for the National Forest Service. Those basecamps will be my model for the Rebelle basecamp operations. It’s a thrilling challenge to pull off good food in extreme places and situations. We will have weather, winds, dust, and mechanical concerns to contend with along the way.

What are you most looking forward to during the Rally?

I am honored to be part of the first Rebelle Rally. To be around so many motivated and positive people over a course of time is going to be great. I’m really looking forward to the camaraderie, the teamwork, and the new friendships that will be forged during this adventure.

Meet Drew Deckman – Chef of the Rebelle Rally2017-04-20T17:15:10-07:00

Meet Jimmy Lewis – Course Director of the Rebelle Rally

A former pro off-road motorcycle racer who has podiumed at the famed Dakar Rally and Baja 1000, Jimmy Lewis will serve as the Course Director for the Rebelle Rally. In the months leading up to the Rebelle, Jimmy–who knows the deserts of the American West like the back of his hand–combed the back roads of Nevada and southern California, drawing up the course.

Jimmy and his wife, Heather, a forensic scientist in Orange County, split their time between Costa Mesa, California and Pahrump, Nevada, where they run an off-road motorcycle school.

We caught up with Jimmy to learn more about his off-road experience and what competitors can look forward to during the inaugural Rebelle event.

What kind of motorsport experience do you have (and what does that mean to you, heading into this event)?

I grew up in Southern California and lived out in the sticks. I had friends that had mini-bikes. I knew that riding was all I wanted to do. It was one of those things, once I rode a bike, I had to go ride all the time. I started racing motocross but then switched to off-road. I became one of the top guys and raced pro off-road my whole career. It lasted a long time, 15 years, everything from enduro to racing Baja and Dakar. I was able to do a lot of riding that involved exploring. I got to ride all over the world. I was always fascinated by just being out in the open and exploring.

How did you hear about the Rebelle Rally (and what made you want to be part of it)?

Emily Miller approached me one day at King of the Hammers and said she had this crazy idea. That’s how most of these things I get involved with start. We started talking about the areas where she was planning the Rebelle to go, and I know that terrain like the back of my hand. She said, “Perfect, you’re hired.”

I like the whole idea of navigation based events. Helping with the Rebelle has been a chance for me to re-learn navigation at a higher level. I think it’s cool that competitors are going to see all these remote places in the West. I’ve run the course several times now, setting things up and scoping the terrain. It’s merged my hobby with a job.

What are some of your racing career highlights?

I’ve raced the Baja 1000 over 10 times during my career. I won the overall in 1998 teamed with Johnny Campbell on a Honda XR 600, beating Ivan Stewart in his truck.

I did the Dakar Rally in 1996, 1997, 2000 and 2001. I got third overall in 2000. I was the only guy to win the single cylinder class and the twin cylinder class, but not win the overall.

I also have four International Six Days of Enduro gold medals, which is like the Olympics for motorcycling.

What is your current occupation and what does that mean to you?

I teach off-road motorcycle rider training. We have a school based out of Pahrump, Nevada, over the hill from Las Vegas, it’s called, Jimmy Lewis Off-Road Training. We also run an off-road motorcycle product-testing site, called DirtBiketest.com. We do a lot of motocross product testing, that’s my second day job.

What are your passions outside of work? Besides your occupation, what makes you tick? Do you have creative interests? Other sports that you do?

My second main hobby is drinking beer and running, seriously. It’s called hashing. It’s like a drinking club with a running problem. I’m also working on my beer mile time. You drink a beer and run a lap, you basically drink four beers over the course of one mile. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with it, although it’s hard on the belly and liver. My fastest time is 8 minutes and 20 seconds, but there are guys doing it in under 5 minutes. Check it out… Beermile.com.

Please describe your role at the Rebelle Rally?

As the Course Director, I worked with Emily Miller before the rally designing the course. She had the more global idea, general routes, and where the base camps would be, and I helped with more specifics, like knowing which routes were possible by what kinds of vehicles, basically refining the course. I’m in charge of making sure people are at the proper locations and making sure the checkpoints are in place. I will be coordinating with safety officials and the search and rescue teams.

Why were you selected for this position? And why did you say “yes” to being involved?

Hopefully, because I know what I’m doing, haha. It sounded like fun. I mean, I’m one of the few guys who gets to be out with 140 women in the middle of the desert. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or not, haha. When I was training for off-road, I was always riding around the deserts of the American West. I’m familiar with what’s out there. It’s kind of second nature. I can’t remember someone’s name or face but I can remember every rock out in the desert.

How will women competing in the Rebelle interact with you during the Rally?

Hopefully they won’t, because if I’m talking to them there is a problem. Largely with what we have done, it should be done and finished by the event. The route on the ground isn’t going to change, only how teams interpret it.

You helped design the course in the lead up—what is special about the terrain the competitors will encounter on the Rebelle?

The one thing that is really special, if you haven’t been involved in some of the land use issues, is the fact that we have an event that starts in Lake Tahoe and finishes in San Diego and the vast majority is on legal off-road trails. The scope of that is pretty far reaching. Having a rally in the United States is kind of unheard of especially one that is longer than one day. Competitors will go through a lot of different desert terrain and every day has a different feel from open roads to sand dunes to rough technical driving sections. It’s going to be visually stimulating and mentally challenging.

What are some of the challenges of being course director for an event like this?

We always want to do more than we are allowed. There are a lot of restrictions in what we are able to do with land, and we have to make the most of it. Emily has done a good job of working with land managers to get everyone on board.

You have competed in iconic events like the Dakar Rally. What does the Rebelle have in common with it? What makes it unique?

I think what it’s going to have in common, is that it’s really going to test the driver and navigator. Some days the driving will be easier, than there will be days when the driving will be more challenging. There will be hardships. It’s going to boil down to what the person is really made off. It’s like the life stories on the Dakar. You will see a lot of frustration and anger, but that’s what makes the event what it is.

Drawing on your years of off-road competition, what advice would you pass along to teams competing in their first car event?

Aim to finish—your only goal in the beginning is to finish, not to get caught up in competing. As you get your flow, then you can decide where you are going to take risks. You have to keep it together for a long time.

Meet Jimmy Lewis – Course Director of the Rebelle Rally2017-04-20T17:15:10-07:00