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.