What Goes into the Cost of the Rebelle

Ever wonder what goes into producing the first women’s off-road navigation rally raid in the United States? A lot more than you think – and we want to give you a peek behind the scenes! From traveling basecamps with showers and bathrooms to a staff complete with qualified safety and a Michelin-star Chef to a world-class competition, we’ve hand-crafted this event just for YOU.  We know you work hard to make the Rebelle happen, so here’s a glimpse into how your registration fees are distributed.

Essentially, we have taken the costs and logistics it would take to do this on your own (bringing your own support team, all your food, etc.) and bundled all the costs together and then divided it amongst a larger group of people to off-set costs and simplify it. Plus, it creates a rally that is doable by a broader range of people with differing experience levels, as well as minimize the impact on land management aspects.

We work hard to make the Rebelle Rally a world-class event with the following commitments:

  • Sustainability for a long lasting event
  • Environmental sensitivity
  • Safety
  • Quality

Most of all, we want this to be turn-key so that people who are unfamiliar with endurance rally don’t have to spend all year sorting out logistics, team travel, etc. And those who are familiar with those logistics, also don’t have to do the same.

Providing a turn-key experience sets ourselves apart from so many events and races. For example, just a four-day driving tour in Baja can run over $6,200 per person. And a one-day rally school can run 1,200 per person and does not include food or lodging.

While a race or rally may have a lower registration cost, it can be deceiving. By the time you have factored in and planned your team, mechanics, media travel, meals, lodging, spare parts, hauling and positioning your fuel, water, etc. you have spent substantial fees and have a complex logistics puzzle to manage. A one-day competition can be 2.5-5+ times more financial commitment than the costs of the entire 10-day Rebelle Rally. Plus, given it is not a race for speed, you will not face the high prep and post event vehicle costs. The Rebelle is designed to be all-inclusive, so the only things you have to worry about during the event is the competition!

STAFF – We have 4 people working on the rally throughout the year full time. 60+ staff work during the event for approximately 10-14 days with each lead working with our staff throughout the year to prepare. We gathered the very best in off-road, overland, rally, adventure, and action sports to bring you the very best event that we can.

COURSE – We built this course for you. It’s our dream course – the course that we want to compete on! We easily spend 1,000+ hours in its design and implementation. We met with countless BLM offices and government offices to make sure our competition is challenging, scenic, doable, and of course, legal. Our course spans over 2,000 km throughout Nevada and California with a significant amount of dollars going towards permits. The course is at the heart of our competition and we want it to be an enjoyable experience and fun to drive.

SAFETY – We have a staff of four search and rescue safety professionals to ensure our competitors and staff stay safe during the event. On the days that we were in more crowded areas, it grew to six. We also had additional EMT-I’s on staff to assist if needed. Everyone’s safety is incredibly important to us and we don’t want to leave anything up to chance.

SHOWERS & TOILETS – There’s nothing like taking a hot shower at the end of the day! Getting enough water out into the desert for hot showers, sinks, and toilets definitely isn’t easy, but they’re part of the amenities we want to provide. Our go-to guy worked on them round the clock, towed them and arranged for their servicing every day. We also made sure all our grey water for cooking, showers, etc. was stored and disposed of properly to miminize our impact on the land.

FOOD – Camping and great food don’t always go hand-in-hand, but we want it to be at the Rebelle. That’s why we’ve recruited Michelin-starred Chef Drew Deckman and his team of five all the way from Valle de Guadalupe to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner for competitors, staff and media. They not only prepare 600 meals per day for 6 days, they have to pack up and drive all their equipment between every base camp, and set up to do it all over again.

CLEAN DRINKING WATER – Nothing is more important to one’s health on these long days in the desert than staying hydrated! Gallons upon gallons of water follows us from basecamp to basecamp to make sure you are well hydrated in the desert. And while the water truck isn’t driving the Rebelle Rally course, it does have to a little bit of off-roading to meet us at Base Camp!

FUEL – We bring in the best and most conscientious fuel provider in the biz – Amber Fuel Services. A team of four people drive a semi from base camp to base camp ensuring that Rebelles and staff are topped off each day. They even are all smiles when people bang on their door at every hour of the night.

OPERATIONS TEAM – Six people work for 10 days with our trusted vendors to ensure Base Camps are set up, decorated beautifully, and ready to go. They also make sure to do a final sweep once Base Camps to make sure the area is cleaned up, trash free, and even better than when we found it.

MECHANICS – We have a rare combination in our mechanics team…ASE Certified mechanics that can work on a wide range of vehicles, but are also top trail mechanics, gifted with the ability to troubleshoot and McGuyver just about any problem they face. We also have an additional 4 mechanics who are course officials and on call if additional help is needed.

Our scoring, tracking, and maps take extensive planning due to the nature of our competition. This is based on navigation accuracy, not just dropping the flag, so our GIS specialists, tech experts, and scoring gurus work hard to make sure it all comes together when you arrive at the start line. This takes several months with year-round communications.

SCORING & TRACKING TEAM – Our scoring and tracking team is a team of 4 working 24 hours a day for 8 days. We even have people in England and California working remotely to troubleshoot when our team has the off-chance that comms go dark.

MAPS – It takes several months to make the maps using a complex GIS program. And once all the maps are created, we print them. Just to print, it takes 2 people and a specialized printer working around the clock for 5 days printing over 800 beautiful color maps. If you were to print them, each map would cost approx. $30+ per map.

Making Rebelles shine like the rockstars they are:

MEDIA PROFESSIONALS – We have 14 people working over 18 hours per day every day during the event all working to make your stories come to life through photos, news and magazine stories, and video. And our content collectors are world-class, top of their game professionals who are passionate about the Rebelle.

REBELLATION – Our final awards gala is event unto itself. We go the distance to make sure you are able to celebrate and be celebrated by friends, family, sponsors, and fans. So while you are on course, we have a separate team preparing the final event to make sure every detail goes without a hitch.

And the list goes on… We know the Rebelle registration cost is not inexpensive or something to brush off as “no big deal.” But with so many moving pieces to our event, costs do add up. We truly strive to keep costs down while bringing you not only a world-class event, but a world-class experience. It’s not just the competition, it’s about the total package.

So while you are working on your budget and planning, please know that the Rebelle team is working hard for you to have an incredible, memorable, and professional platform to shine!

What Goes into the Cost of the Rebelle2018-04-09T20:02:08-08:00

Rebelle Enduro Challenges

The 2017 Rebelle Rally will present several “Rebelle Enduro Challenge” (REC) sections which are intended to train and test a team’s ability to stay on route and on time while using a roadbook with specific instructions.

  • On Route – Teams will be provided with a roadbook that defines the specific route they must follow. The roadbook contains a series of waypoints with instructions that include mileages, diagrams, headings, and verbiage to communicate the course to be followed.
  • On Time – The roadbook may also define the time it must take to travel the specified route. The roadbook will either specify this time directly or waypoint instructions will prescribe average speeds over given distances so that teams must calculate the time themselves.

Teams are scored on how well they follow the given instructions. Controls will be located at some of the waypoints along the route to mark the passage and/or time of each team. The types of controls are as follows:

  • Start Control – the location where officials release vehicles onto the route at prescribed intervals.
  • Timing Control – a control that records the exact time a team passes that instruction. Teams are not allowed to stop at or near a timing control and must pass without impeding other traffic.
  • Passage Control – a control that records teams that have followed the specified route.

Teams will be notified in advance how many controls will be on each route and how many points each control will be worth. Rebelle Enduro Challenge sections will finish at the next green checkpoint along the route if not stated as ending before that.

REC Basic Terminology:

  • Waypoint – A place that corresponds to a line of information in the roadbook that may include an overall mileage, an incremental mileage, a diagram, written instructions or descriptors, a PAS, and/or a heading.
  • Overall Mileage – The mileage calculated from the start of the Enduro Challenge to the waypoint.
  • Incremental Mileage – The mileage calculated from the last waypoint to the current waypoint.
  • Heading – The compass direction of the road at the end of the instruction.
  • PAS (Prescribed Average Speed) – Indicated at a waypoint by a circled number. The number represents the average speed in KPH (kilometers per hour) that a team must travel to be on time to following instructions. If a team travels at exactly the given PAS then they will pass following instructions at the correct time until the PAS changes.
  • Start Time – The specific time of day which is assigned for a team to start a Rebelle Enduro Challenge section.
  • Key Time – The correct time in hours, minutes, and seconds, to travel a given distance. It may be given directly or may need to be calculated using the PAS and distances given in the instructions (see TSD Equation).
  • True Time – The ideal time of arrival at or passage past an instruction calculated by adding the Key Time to the Start Time. Expressed as time of day.
  • TSD Equation – A significant aspect of all rallying is the relationship between distance, speed, and time. Described arithmetically, these relationships can be expressed as:

If you are given any two of those variable, the third is a matter of multiplication or division.

Rebelle Enduro Challenges2018-02-05T22:29:49-08:00

Reflecting Back, Looking Ahead

Last week was International Women’s Day as part of Women’s History Month. We were all so encouraged by the outpouring of great posts by Rebelles, so I spent a little time reflecting as well as thinking about our future.   So I looked back in my journal where I wrote a lot of things early on that were on my brain — trying to convey what we were working to accomplish. I dug this up:

“I make no promises about what you will personally feel, what you will take away. My honest intention is for you to embrace and enhance your driving and navigation skills, and we will build that platform for you to shine.   I intend for you to gain experience that will enable you and empower you in your future journeys – wherever they may lead you. You will be blazing trails across our American West, kicking ass and taking names, and at the end, we will wash off the dust and celebrate as Rebelles know how. “

It feels really good to circle back to this and say that this is exactly what I still intend.  As we roll toward year 2, I am so happy to see such an incredible camaraderie between Rebelles, and how these women are connecting with each other as well as working to encourage other women to chase their dreams, to sharpen and test their skills, and take on new challenges. I speak on behalf of our whole crew when I say we are stoked that the spirit is alive, is super positive, and growing.

Today, we have many great new teams signing up to be a part of the Rebelle. On behalf of our awesome staff and 2016 teams, we welcome you into the community and can’t wait to share the journey with you!

Thanks to everyone…Rally on,

Emily

Reflecting Back, Looking Ahead2018-04-09T20:05:02-08:00

Journey to the Rebelle

– Words from Rebelle Founder Emily Miller

The Beginning:

I’m a car fanatic.  Growing up with my father, he always had a stack of car magazines next to the fireplace that we would study religiously. As a kid, I was taken to see famous architecture and cars – not standing in ride lines at Disneyland.

After I started my business, Soulside Network, a sports marketing company, I was at the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada for a meeting. It was a typical meeting with lovely people who oversee the late Bill Harrah’s car collection – housed within the walls of NAM. Board members were at the table, including a gentleman named Rod Hall. I can say that single meeting would have a major impact on my life.

The meeting that day wasn’t necessarily about the collection, but about my tourism authority client’s mission to promote the Reno Lake Tahoe region as an adventure destination, with NAM, vehicles, and off-road being amongst those adventures. Perfect combination given my passions for adventure, the outdoors, a lifelong love of cars, and “line picking sports” of skiing, snowboarding, and cycling. I was a fair bit younger, and living my dream, combining my hobbies and passions with business.

Yoda:

So Rod got my cell phone number and immediately began calling, asking me to help him on a couple projects. One – to help him sort out his purchase and revival of the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame. Two – to help his event production company achieve higher vendor status at GM (basically a paperwork process). It began.

Little did I know, at that time Hall was (and is) one of the most winning racers in the history of off-road. Today, at almost 80 years old, he still holds many records including the longest string of consecutive wins (35), racing in every single Baja 1000 since its inception, 23 Baja 1000 class wins, only overall Baja 1000 victory in a stock 4-wheel drive….And the list goes on.

We spent a large amount of time working together, and he was able to observe me tackle a variety of Soulside’s projects.  At the time, they were mostly large sporting events for companies such as Red Bull, that usually involved shutting down streets, and plenty of logistical challenges which required a 24/7 work ethic and “never quit” mentality. Not too dissimilar from Rod. We added projects to our list including several multi-dealer off-road events for GM/Hummer, vehicle launches, etc.

During that time, he taught me how to drive off-road, simplifying the 4×4 lessons, and basically just throwing me in and seeing how I fared. I loved it. A vehicle is a piece of equipment just like a pair of skis, a bike, a snowboard. Once you are strapped in, it becomes an extension of your body. One day, on the way to Starbucks, he announced that he had found his new driver for his factory supported off-road racing team. Me. Whoa. He promised to teach me everything I needed to know, but that I would have to learn how to win. But for anyone who knows Rod, the lesson you must learn first is how to finish.

At first, I co-drove for many races, and got to learn from the best. I was put through the paces, and tested. And then I took the left seat. It was not only an honor, it was at once stressful, intimidating and completely reassuring to have him watching over.  He is an absolute stickler for taking care of the car, and puts the fear of God into you for driving too fast (faster than you need to, and faster than the car can handle long term).   It was more pressure than I let on to, as I took the job and his instructions very seriously. I saw it as a huge responsibility to do exactly as my teacher had taught me. He was my Yoda.

Coaching:

While racing, I got to see amazing places that are off the beaten path, as well as learn so much from Rod. The ins and outs of strategy, how to drive by feeling the vehicle, how to take care of a stock 4-wheel drive, throttle control, line choice, learning backroads, trails, Baja, and the desert from the most seasoned veteran I could hope to find. Another perk was to hear hear his amazing stories from an outstanding career, and the one-liners he is so well known for. ….He then asked me to be a demo driver running hot laps for his Michelin/BFGoodrich Light Truck Tire seminars. Before long, given my day job of producing and promoting events, my role expanded to managing the seminars as well as coaching. Our schedule bulked up to two programs per week, 20 plus events per season running 48 people per week – 450-600 per year – through the series. 7 years.

During this time, I couldn’t ignore the fact that there were almost no women racing, or participating in the seminars. The classes were for sales managers who sold the product and it was the perfect chance to learn more about the product from hands on experience. We were constantly told the female sales managers, although few in number, posted top results. The only thing I could sort out was the intimidation factor. The microscope. The fear of failure. Who knows, but given the fact that women make up half the population, the numbers didn’t make sense. On the other hand, we had plenty of women come to our customer events for the GM/Hummer brand. The women loved the trail drives and coaching. And for the ones that didn’t start out driving, before we knew it, they would be in the driver’s seat with ear to ear smiles waiting for the next challenge.

So I launched a women’s driving event. A one-off bringing top female journalists (not just in automotive) together with top female athletes and put them through the paces we did in a regular driving course. It was a hit. The non-intimidating course, along with the great crew at Rod Hall Events created the right environment for these ladies to not only enjoy the lessons, but excel and immediately improve their competence and confidence. Mission accomplished. Competence and confidence are two attributes that don’t just positively apply to driving – but to life.

Fast Forward:

Fast forward a few more years… On my racing bucket list was a series of cross-country rallies in Africa.   A family member had also mentioned a rally for women she had seen in Morocco that I needed to check out. Rod and I figured it would be a perfect chance for me to get some experience with that part of the world. It wasn’t a race for speed, and the rules were no outside support, so it wouldn’t require a race truck or team. This was a bonus given this was not part of our racing schedule or funded by our sponsors. Racing is a costly sport. So I set about trying to figure out how to go…an extremely difficult task given there were no Americans or British competing, and it was conducted in French.

It was a much more challenging than I expected. The language barrier, the lack of local knowledge, the initial cold shoulder, a vehicle we hadn’t driven before, and the list goes on. But with my dear friend and amazing teammate Wendy, we thrived and rolled with it. We made friends, and loved the opportunity to compete with a field of women. They were tough, talented, and undaunted. Trading GPS for a compass and a map, the way adventurers have navigated for centuries was not only refreshing, but added more skills to our quiver.  We continued and then dedicated ourselves to helping promote and train U.S. and Canadian women to compete.

So Why The Rebelle:

Although I love racing….I love my husband, business, people that work for me, my family, traveling, and my sports. So when Hummer closed down, instead of pursuing another ride, I became committed to continuing to help women learn or sharpen their driving and navigation skills. I want to honor my coach mentor, along with honoring the lessons in life that I’ve learned and continue to learn from wonderful people, places, and experiences, by passing it on to others.  And I absolutely and whole heartedly love watching women fall in love with off-road, test themselves, and grow. The Rebelle is a culmination of this, a combination from a journey across many platforms, competitions, and experiences I’ve been blessed with. The goal is to build a great competition in the U.S., as well as a great environment and movement, shared by a team that deeply loves off-road, rally, sports, and adventure, and wants women to share this same love.  May they pass it along to others and not try to keep it to themselves!

There are many incredible events and rallies across the globe. Some based on speed, some on points, some on particular challenges, some shortest distance, some for women, some for co-ed, and mostly ones that don’t categorize based on gender. Ultimately, I believe most women want to compete in an arena where gender does not dictate classes or outcomes. I know competing against all or almost all-male fields has been good for me and a valuable experience.

Well, if it wasn’t specifically for women, the general trend would prevail – it would be almost entirely comprised of men entering, with a team or two of women, and it would do little to create a women’s community or an environment where women feel they can thrive and connect with other likeminded women. And in the long run, the ones who compete in motorsports will keep doing so, but many who may have been timid or discouraged might feel much more empowered to take on additional challenges and opportunities beyond the Rebelle.

I’ve also been asked, “Why not just do an abbreviated course, 3 days so people can make it work with their schedules and stick their toes in.” My response? The Rebelle is an event where women can feel proud of their accomplishment, spend time focused on their job, push themselves, and be respected for completing it. That doesn’t happen by making it fit in, or sticking a toe in the water. You have to dive in. I’ve definitely learned that the most rewarding and memorable moments in life are the things you have to work for, stumble, fall, fail, and overcome.

This post is dedicated to my driving mentor Rod, and those who have greatly impacted my life – my inner circle, teammates, colleagues, competitors, and role models.  Thank you!

Journey to the Rebelle2019-04-04T10:18:33-08:00

Concept, Competition, & Community

What can you expect from this year’s event?

My life has led me to building the Rebelle, a culmination of life, work, and sport experiences.  I’ve spent many years…days and hours of emotion and personal experience coaching and encouraging women to take up challenges that push them out of their comfort and experience zones.  I’m not promising this will be the hardest thing you have ever done, because the Rebelle has not been “done” yet.  But I envision a rally that is a badge of honor as a competitor.  As with anything in its infancy, we will be learning and refining the Rebelle Rally.  I am always pleasantly greeted by the tenacious competitive spirit of women, so we know you will push the curve, and we vow to respond.

As mentioned in my very first post for the Rebelle, I am not going to tell you what you will feel and what you will personally take away.  However, I can tell you what we are working on and planning. The mission is laid out – to build a platform for you to shine, to embrace and or enhance your skills.

A couple words come to mind over and over again. Competence and confidence.
Through training and participating, I believe even the most seasoned woman can gain and grow in this department.  Despite any amount of experience, additional “seat time” in a new setting just adds to the tools in the quiver.

The driving is fun!  This is not beat your brains out driving, but “Mmmm….I could do this for the rest of my life” kind of driving.  If you haven’t already fallen in love with off-road driving, you will.  You weren’t just meant to drive that capable 4×4 in rush hour traffic jams.  You’ve got a lot of ground to cover, but with speed taken out of the equation, you will need to settle in to a comfortable pace that keeps your car happy and doesn’t outdrive your navigators ability to use traditional techniques.  (Penalties for speeding? Check!)  If you want to score well, ensure you have excellent throttle control, accurate tire placement, and know how to drive sand.  And in case our deserts receive much needed rain, add mud skills to the list.

The navigation will be interesting and challenging.  One of the primary CP scoring systems is one I borrowed from my love of skiing and snowboarding.  The green, blue, black markings are designed to help you understand the level of navigation challenge.  For the beginner, you will definitely be able to reach CPs, but try your hand at the more difficult ones to find.  For the intermediate and expert, you will have to really know where you are to get the black CPs.  There is no marker, no big waving flag. You will have to signal via the handheld tracker once you believe you are in the designated radius of the coordinate.  The ultimate goal?  Create a playing field where women possessing a wide range of skills can compete together, yet challenge themselves.  Oh…and do you drive up to every CP?  No.  So make sure you have some cardio in your workout routine.

The terrain is stunning.  Every day I have pre-run the routes, I stop and remark about the beauty of our country.  I’ve spent time racing and hurrying past these spots, but adding in the element of “no tech navigation” forces you to really read what you see.  To soak it up and absorb it.  Nothing better than having 7 focused days with no cell phone, no Facebook, no Instagram, no election coverage, to celebrate the awesomeness of our U.S. deserts.

I want you to feel like a part of something bigger.  We have assembled a very capable team (of whom you will meet over the next 6 months), and we hope to provide a warm environment that also fosters a positive competition.  Who says you can’t have fun while being absolutely serious about the task at hand.  We hope you walk away with lifelong friends.  But whatever you feel, it’s yours.  We can’t dictate it, but we are committed to a vision and vibe that we hope permeates throughout the competition and community.

So welcome to our competition, and welcome to our community.  May it be one helluva ride.

Concept, Competition, & Community2017-04-20T17:15:11-08:00