Team Tuesday 2019: Eliza & Kendra

The Rebelle not only brings strangers together, it brings strangers together to compete…together. Today’s Team Tuesday showcases a team who has never competed with each other, and also never met in person! Two like-minded women sharing a love for adventure and serious determination chops teaming up for the rally makes our day. Because, in the spirit of the Rebelle, why not just go for it?! On that note, let’s welcome the team – Eliza Coleman and Kendra Miller!

Eliza is originally from Berlin, New York, and splits her time between Park City, Utah, and Santa Rosa Valley, California. Eliza is also a stuntwoman/stunt coordinator, and happens to race stage rally in her 2WD 2010 Scion xD.

A self-described habitual experience collector, Eliza loves adventure, and loves driving on dirt roads. She’s excited to add the Rebelle to her collection as she’s new to navigation and dune driving.

“In the Rebelle, I’ll get to see remote areas that are otherwise out of sight. The whole experience of traveling with analog navigation, exploring with a teammate and being in a community of like minded women is pretty awesome. I can’t wait to be ‘away from it all’. I hope the food is good!”

Eliza is piloting her Jeep Wrangler that she purchased from her son last year with the idea she’d like the option to off-road whenever, wherever. Voilà! Unbeknownst to her in 2018, that option is happening this October. And with someone who she has an easy communication with, and has a great attitude. “I feel very fortunate to have a teammate that has experience doing the Rebelle, and I can’t wait to meet Kendra in person!”

Kendra is from Hemet, CA and lives in Snoqualmie, Washington where she works in marketing. Kendra is also a 100% Rebelle, meaning she has competed every year since the inaugural competition in 2016. Why is she coming back for year four?

“Because I love it. I love getting rid of my electronics, sleeping in the desert, getting to see amazing places that most people don’t even know about, the strategy, using analog tools to navigate the earth. It feels kind of wild but also completely natural to be coming back. Every year I think ‘Oh, I’ve done that. I’m good.’ and then registration opens. My mind immediately goes to planning who my teammate will be, what vehicle I can take, which class should I enter!”

Kendra is looking forward to seeing what new challenges Emily and the Rebelle staff have in store, and also self camp night – a night teams spend away from basecamp comforts for an evening together full of conversation, good food, and a little more rest than usual.

Kendra is also stoked to be competing with Eliza as she has a great sense of humor, is really easy going, and very dedicated to having a good rally. And she’s not leaving home without a positive attitude!

We love your attitude already, Team #184. See you in the dirt!

Team Tuesday 2019: Eliza & Kendra2019-09-18T12:34:38-07:00

Team Tuesday 2019: Chelsea & Kristian

A 1992 Mercedes Benz G Wagon running on chocolate-based biodiesel. A dynamic pair of sisters whose desert adventures date back to college. One epic adventure this October bringing all three together to test their skills this October. Please welcome in today’s Team Tuesday, Team #124 Chelsea Vachon and Kristian Yehl Moley!

Chelsea currently resides in Noosa Heads, Queensland, Australia. She moved quite a bit during her life, and considers Boulder, Colorado home. A Research Fellow at the University of Southern Queensland, Chelsea completed her PhD last year. She studied winegrapes and climate! “Everyone always laughs when I say I have a PhD in wine,” mentioned Chelsea. We personally think it’s nothing short of amazing, Chelsea!

When Kristian called Chelsea to tell her about the Rebelle, her first words were, “This is the coolest thing ever!” and stated she wouldn’t miss it for the world. Every year Kristian and Chelsea would adventure to Moab during college, so teaming up for another one just made sense.

Chelsea is a little nervous about running out of chocolate fuel given its usual inaccessibility. She is excited to take on the digital detox, which won’t be a challenge. “I am more than happy to have a digital detox. It makes me sad to think that, today, we spend so much time online in a digital world. There is a whole natural world out there just waiting to be enjoyed in real life.”

Also competing is Bertha the G Wagon that Kristian lovingly restored. Bertha (named after Bertha Benz) will be the icing on the cake for Chelsea. Previously, Chelsea off-roaded in Jeeps, and is looking forward to the experience in a new type of vehicle.

And Chelsea won’t be leaving home without her stuffed bear, Como.  She travels a lot for both work and pleasure, and learned having a little piece of home with you when you wake up in a place far from home is key.

Kristian currently resides in Boulder, Colorado. She’s a mom and left her previous job to stay at home with her kids – but found she was sad not creating anything for herself personally in her daily life. So she started teaching herself photography, videography, design, and marketing, seeking a creative outlet. She is now a content creator and manager for her family’s chocolate company as well as a creative consultant for women run start-ups.

It’s natural for Kristian to compete alongside Chelsea as she not only introduced her to off-roading more than 20 years ago, but also to adventure.

“It was like Lara Croft walked into my life when I met Chelsea. She had taken a chance at life and not just left for college but abandoned a life to which she couldn’t belong. We soon spent most evenings, every weekend, every holiday, and now 20 years with each other. My family adopted her and gave her a new place to belong. I would be a shadow of myself if she had not brought such light and adventure into my life. She is my sister in every way that matters and the best person to ride the Rebelle with.”

She’s also excited to take on this dream adventure with like-minded women. “Every current Rebelle and future Rebelle that I meet seems to link arms with my spirit. I see the smiling face or the determined eyes of a Rebelle, and I see myself reflected back. I think this is a place to belong, and I’ve been looking for it my whole life.”

And that chocolate biodiesel? Kristian’s husband has 25 years in chocolate industry. From restoring abandoned chocolate equipment to buying used and making it better, he knows chocolate. After years of composting or giving away “waste” chocolate (chocolate that can’t be sold), he took his engineering mind and made a chocolate based biofuel.

“Not all 4x4s are available as diesel, so they’re not all capable of running on biodiesel, but the Mercedes G Wagon started out as a diesel and is nearly unchanged in design since it’s inception in 1979,” stated Kristian. “We’re excited to take a car that undoubtedly represents brilliant engineering and upgrade it with a 21st century, environmentally friendly fuel.”

There you have it – the first biodiesel in the Rebelle will be running off of chocolate. And not just any chocolate – Chocolove.

Team Tuesday 2019: Chelsea & Kristian2019-09-18T12:35:09-07:00

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Enters the New Cullinan SUV in the 2019 Rebelle Rally

NEWS RELEASE

July 1, 2019 (Reno, NV) – Today, Rolls-Royce announced their participation in the 2019 Rebelle Rally. The company will showcase the new Cullinan SUV with experienced competitors and 2018 Rebelle Rally co-champions Emme Hall and Rebecca Donaghe at the helm.

This exciting entry will compete in the CUV Class – comprised of street legal vehicles with unibody construction and two-wheel or all-wheel drive with no transfer case. The Rebelle Rally is open to stock manufacturer vehicles, not tube chassis race cars. Past entries include stock Subarus, Honda Ridgelines,  the Honda Pilot, Jaguar F-PACE, and Porsche Cayennes. Once again the class will not disappoint this year, with a wide range of capable vehicles.

“We applaud Rolls-Royce for believing in the Rebelle Rally as a place to showcase the new Cullinan. We are truly excited about the wide variety of vehicles and teams that participate and prove their competence,” noted rally founder and director Emily Miller.

Original Rebelle and automotive journalist Jaclyn Trop wrote about the Rolls-Royce Cullinan in this month’s issue of Fortune Magazine. One well-said quote from the brand’s CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös, “It’s the first Rolls-Royce that looks better dirty.”

For the full announcement from Rolls-Royce, click here.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Enters the New Cullinan SUV in the 2019 Rebelle Rally2019-07-01T14:28:11-07:00

June Newsletter – Course Surprises, AIRAID Offer, & 2019 Event Info!

In case you missed it, our June newsletter is full of exciting information for every Rebelle fan. Read on to find all about course surprises, how AIRAID leveled up their support, and details on our upcoming competition less than four months away!

2019 REBELLE COURSE HAS NEW SURPRISES

A lot is in store for teams this October thanks to Course Director Jimmy Lewis, who has outdone himself on his fourth year as Course Director. Expect the unexpected as Jimmy and Emily find even more ways to challenge teams while showing breathtaking parts of the U.S. that mostly go unseen. We’re super excited to reveal to this year’s competitors the adventures in store.

TECH RETURNS TO OLYMPIC VALLEY
The excitement will begin before the course; however, as we have our Tech Inspection once again in gorgeous Olympic Valley at Lake Tahoe. Set against the mountains, family, friends, and sponsors are welcome to send teams off with their support by joining us at the Squaw Valley Conference Center on Thursday, October 10th, and our Welcome Party that evening. This is the last chance to see the Rebelles as they will be out of all communications once they hand in their cell phones until San Diego!

REBELLATION & AWARDS AT SAN DIEGO’S PREMIER ON-WATER VENUES
And of course, we can’t call it the Rebelle Rally without finishing the competition in grand style. We will host our second annual daytime awards podium at Broadway Pier in San Diego at 12pm on Saturday, October 19th. Sponsors, friends, and family are welcome to join this public event by the water.

That evening, we’ll be trading in our wheels for heels at our always popular Rebellation gala at Coasterra, where we tell everyone to wear what makes them feel like a million bucks. This ticketed event – open to friends, family, and partners – is a way to celebrate competitors in their accomplishments along with dinner, dancing, and mingling under the stars and by the sea. Tickets go on sale August 1st.

AIRAID GIVEAWAY FOR NEW REGISTERING TEAMS!

We’re kicking off the first week of summer with some exciting news from the AIRAID team. AIRAID came onboard as a sponsor of the Rebelle Rally in May, and has just leveled up their support of competitors with an impactul offer:  the next five teams that sign up for the Rebelle Rally will receive a $300 AIRAID gift card.

The gift card can be used to help cover the cost of a team’s AIRAID air intake. It can also be used as an auction or raffle item for a Rebelle team’s fundraising efforts. As competitors know, a little goes a long way and we are thrilled that AIRAID has so generously donated to our 2019 teams. Teams signing up for the installment plan will qualify. Limit one per team. (Not redeemable for cash.)

A huge thank you to AIRAID for this direct support of our incredible teams.  And check out their new website at www.airaid.com.  Their great crew has recreated AIRAID to connect people’s love of driving and is literally breathing new life into adventure on wheels.

THE LIFE OF A LEGEND – REMEMBERING ROD HALL
By Emily Miller

This past Friday, we lost our great friend with the passing of Rod Hall. Hall was a legend in the off-road racing world, with a race and win resume that is beyond compare. But he also leaves behind an enduring legacy and impact that will be felt for generations. Many may not know, but without Rod, there would be no Rebelle Rally.

I met Rod Hall at the National Automobile Museum about 17 years ago. I started getting call after call from Hall to team up on a couple projects that he was working on. I didn’t know him, didn’t know his racing history. I just knew that he was funny, tenacious, and the projects sounded like something where I could lend a hand. It would change the course of my path. He taught me to drive off-road, and gave me the amazing opportunity to race for him. He even rode with me in the right seat in the Baja 1000 and the first thing out of his mouth was “I don’t think I’ve ever sat in this seat.” Talk about pressure! We partnered in producing ride and drive events, drive trainings, the Michelin/BFGoodrich Light Truck Tire Seminars, and worked to revive the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame. We spent countless hours, days and months scouting trails, laughing, and talking about life, ideas, and dreams…and he encouraged me to start the Rebelle.

Rod wanted to see more women in racing. We saw how well women did in our drive training programs, so we produced a women’s drive training event over a decade ago and knew we were on to something that could change the off-road experience for women. He was the inspiration to keep the Rebelle for stock, OEM vehicles. When it came time to lay out the first Rebelle course, Rod was our course director. He and I, along with Tom Heyl and Tech Director Chris Woo, spent days and days pouring over the upper part of the Nevada route, knowing it would set the tone of what would become the longest competitive off-road rally in the lower 48. As it became clear that his health was deteriorating, we would just go drive. Because nothing replaces windshield time with Rod Hall.

I am so thankful for the days spent in Rod’s kitchen with him and his wonderful wife Donna encouraging me through the launch of the rally. I’m thankful for our friendship. I’m thankful that he always believed in me. I’m thankful for his encouragement to drive beyond our borders – to see the world from the backroads and off the beaten path. I’m even thankful for all the 5 am text messages because Rod caffeinated early and was ready to go to work!

We will all miss Rod dearly. His stories. His one-liners. His delivery. Our sincerest condolences to the Hall Family and especially Donna, and his beloved granddaughter Shelby. The Rebelle community also thanks Original Rebelle Amy Lerner for her dedication to bring Rod’s story to the screen in One More Win. In his honor, donations may be made in his name to the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame.

June Newsletter – Course Surprises, AIRAID Offer, & 2019 Event Info!2019-06-27T10:40:19-07:00

Meet Nicole Pitell-Vaughan, TOTAL CHAOS Co-Founder and 2017 Rebelle Rally Sponsor

With a name like TOTAL CHAOS, it has to be good. Nicole Pitell-Vaughan, co-founder of TOTAL CHAOS Fabrication, is someone who prides herself on quality products, hard-work, and that perfect, enviable balance of taking time to enjoy the view (from the driver’s seat). As manufacturer of the highest quality bolt-on suspension systems and accessories, 100% made in the U.S.A., TOTAL CHAOS is a household name in the industry with headquarters in Southern California – shipping worldwide. With a heavy and respected presence and role in the off-road and adventure vehicle world, we were thrilled to catch up with Nicole in between racing, work, and well-deserved off-pavement enjoyment, to discuss what’s been on our minds this whole time – how does she do it all.

We’ve got to know – does the company live up to the name?
That all depends on who you ask. It is totally organized under the roof in regards to our day to day operations. The entire team suffers from OCD. But when a few of us get together in the dirt it is game on – 100% TOTAL CHAOS!

What makes your management style and philosophy unique behind the scenes?
I am not really sure why people think our philosophy is unique. We work really hard and play hard. We kind of run it like renegades. It’s a super healthy work environment that is built around the people.

 

TOTAL CHAOS is the brain child of you and your husband, Matt – what was that defining moment like where you looked at your husband and said let’s go for it?
It was all his leap of faith and willingness to risk nothing. Because we really had nothing to lose! We were in our early 20’s. I was getting ready to graduate college with a business degree and was headed in a totally different direction. Matt always wanted to do his own thing. He was desert racing at the time. I just cleaned the toilets. I am serious, you do anything to see your boyfriend during the middle of the day in your 20’s right (laugh). We were never going to work together. Fast forward 20 years. It is really awesome to work with my husband and our best friends that share the same passion that we have for TC.

TOTAL CHAOS has witnessed exponential growth over the past few years. How have you maintained to not only stick to your roots, but stay true to yourself?
We just do our own thing. Team TC has no egos. The entire staff works really hard and is dedicated to quality, craftsmanship, and supporting the brand. It is easy to stay grounded when you are surrounded by a group of people like that. It helps that we love to talk smack to one another daily too. Just like a healthy family should.

There are a ton of off-road events out there – why did you become involved with the Rebelle?
Because this event is really different than the other events. We like to be different. I feel the Rebelle promotes self-confidence. And what I find unique is that it is not gender specific with how is spreads. The competitors gain a tremendous amount of personal confidence, and their family and friends grow with them throughout the journey. I watched it last year and I am stoked to watch it happen again this year. I think supporting a program like this is really rad. Seven long days in a vehicle, fatigue, unpredictable weather, and a brain game. This event is awesome! The route Emily and Jimmy and the staff plot has epic scenery. A lot of it was our stomping ground for product testing for so many years. Lots of great memories on a lot of these trails.

What’s it like riding shotgun in one of the TOTAL CHAOS trucks…with Nicole “CHAOS” Pitell at the wheel?
Generally its spur of the moment, flying by the seat of your pants, & preferably on a road less traveled. CHAOS crop circles are common. And if we are in Baja, we never deviate from our Team Locos Mocos roots, “WE FIX STUFF FOR FREE”. Help the stranded guy and sip on some Code Reds.

You’re packing for a trip down to Mexico with the Locos Mocos crew – three items you can’t leave home without?
SPOT tracker, Baja Almanac, Canon 7D, and of course a stocked Yeti cooler.

Lastly, any words of wisdom?
This has been my go to quote this summer. I saw in on a billboard while on the road, “As a student he was no Einstein.” CONFIDENCE! Pass it along. It kind of represents my head space right now. See you in the DIRT!

Meet Nicole Pitell-Vaughan, TOTAL CHAOS Co-Founder and 2017 Rebelle Rally Sponsor2017-08-03T00:02:53-07:00

Rebelle U Launches Women’s Training Programs

January 19, 2017 (Reno, NV) – Rebelle Rally Enterprises, owner of the grueling Rebelle Rally, expands the brand by announcing the formalization of Rebelle U, the training arm dedicated to premium level coaching and training experiences for women in the adventure and off-road arena.

Founded by veteran off-road racer, coach, and rally founder Emily Miller, Rebelle U offers 1-4 day driving and navigation classes.  Miller, who has trained over 4,000 people in off-road driving skills, has assembled a team of top, experienced coaches including some of the most respected women in the space. Instructors include Chrissie Beavis, decorated rally navigator and driver, Nena Barlow, 4×4 expert, and Shelby Hall, off-road racer, driving coach and guide at Rod Hall Drive.  Additional coaches will join various programs, including decorated Dakar motorcycle racer and rally navigation coach, Jimmy Lewis. Lewis also serves as the Rebelle Rally Course Director.

After years of experiencing how women respond to automotive-based training, Miller knows that to bring more women into the off-road and automotive space, women’s-based programs are key. She assembled her first women’s specific off-road training event over a decade ago for female journalists and world-class athletes and has not looked back. “Women love to train, love to learn, and excel in the environments we have created. Bonds are built, barriers are overcome, and memories and skills are instilled for a lifetime.”

While classes vary in length, four-day events are the cornerstone to the experiential education. These programs include traditional navigation education, off-road driving skills, combining the skills in checkpoint exercises, sand dune training, mechanical instruction, on-trail troubleshooting, and gear review. Students tent camp and put their skills to the test, while coming back to the campfire to share stories and experiences.

Advanced one and two-day classes focus on specific topics designed for those with a good grasp of basic skills and looking to take things to the next level of proficiency. Rebelle U plans to expand the training component over the next 24 months. And while the program falls under the Rebelle umbrella, the training classes are not designed to teach women how to win the Rebelle rally, but to empower and prepare women to take on vehicle-based adventure. Classes are not exclusive to Rebelle Rally competitors.

To learn more about RebelleU, log on to www.rebelleu.com. To find out more about the Rebelle Rally, go to www.rebellerally.com.

Media Contact:

Kirsten Tiegen

media@rebellerally.com

 

Rebelle U Launches Women’s Training Programs2020-04-22T17:32:47-07:00

Laying Out the Rebelle Rally Course – An Epic Field Test of a Stock CUV

The past year and a half has been an epic adventure. Outside of launching the Rebelle Rally, working to promote it, raise awareness, build the format and checkpoint concepts, researching the best support technology, map planning, and assembling a large and incredible team….there was the development of the backbone of the Rebelle – the course. Sleepless nights, several hundred hours on the trails, back roads, and dunes, countless hours on Google Earth until my eyeballs bled, weeks upon weeks of land management research and permitting work. The result? A jaw dropping beautiful route, that was true to the mission – long, diverse, challenging at key times, and fun to drive.

 

The Rebelle is all about stock, capable 4×4 and all-wheel drive vehicles.  Not race cars. Street legal. Attainable. Affordable. Armed with a goal to make them shine, yet show off the durability of an OEM platform, I needed access to vehicles that I could drive and test the course with. While some manufacturers definitely were interested in the Rebelle, some kept a slightly skeptical standoffish “wait and see” demeanor. But BMW jumped in with both feet, knowing their X Series vehicles were up for the challenge I presented them. And while a BMW didn’t compete in the Rebelle, the one I drove went much farther, covering the course multiple times, with 12,000 miles put on the odo in under 4 months. Knowing we would have a Crossover Class, it was key for me to “feel” the course from the driver’s seat. While the course had numerous washouts, clearance challenges and variable terrain, I still knew this was a magnificent opportunity to showcase a CUV. Driveways, parking lots, and carpool lanes just don’t provide much of a proving ground.

 

My trusted course official CUV was the BMW X5 50i. While the conservative exterior makes it look more at home at a PTA meeting, or the Saturday morning soccer game, the powertrain is worthy of Laguna Seca.   The 4.4-liter TwinPower Turbo V8 has a thunderous, rumbling voice and 445 horses. It forced me to go easy on the throttle to keep a nice even pace, because it literally wants to leap out of its own skin.

 

Many people looked at me sideways when I would drive off the pavement and roost it in dunes. The Dynamic Traction Control system combined with the manual shifting option allowed for excellent traction and control in the “soft stuff.” While Sport Mode was an option, I found Comfort Mode was just the ticket in terms of power and ride quality. And while I am a tire freak, I kept on the OEM Pirellis to continue with the “bone stock” test. While it would have benefitted from more biting edges and beefy tread blocks, they got the job done – even when a nail in the middle of nowhere allowed for a sampling of the run-flat technology.

 

While I normally don’t need luxurious comfort, I now have a serious appreciation for the effect – LESS FATIGUE. The rich, soft chocolate brown seats reminded me of my favorite childhood Rawlings baseball glove that fitted my hand like a second skin. The Time Speed Distance team and Operations team all benefitted from the cushy ride despite the forced-march, unrelenting pre-run schedule.   I slept in it, piled it high with gear, and pushed it continually. The result? It still runs perfectly, never failed, and I only have one driving light that talked back. And while I have always admired BMW’s engineering prowess and commitment to performance, I am now a forever committed fan from this insane and punishing field test.

 

For 2017, I challenge BMW owners to step up, join the Rebelle, and put your X Series to the test. Drive smart, trust your third teammate, and you might just wind up on the podium.

–By Emily Miller

Laying Out the Rebelle Rally Course – An Epic Field Test of a Stock CUV2017-04-20T17:15:05-07:00