Team Tuesday 2019: Debbie & Maria

The mother-daughter bond is like no other, and today’s Team Tuesday is taking it next level by competing in the Rebelle – together. With 2018 Rebelle Maria Guitar participating alongside her mother Debbie Bruen as Team #114 Sand Cats Rally Team, they’re not afraid of a little digital detox. And their chosen third teammate? Maria’s 98’ Toyota 4Runner. Please welcome Debbie and Maria!

Debbie is originally from the Bronx and now resides in Raleigh, NC. where she owns Home Organization by Debbie and is a design consultant. Debbie has not competed in the Rebelle, but that doesn’t mean she’s not familiar with it. In true mom fashion, Debbie was glued to her computer last year watching Maria’s every move on the rally tracker. And now she will be the one out in the middle of nowhere finding her way – alongside the only person she’d do it with.

It all began when Debbie flew out to join Maria at Rebellation last year. Caught up in the competitors’ excitement, when Maria asked Debbie to be her 2019 teammate Debbie quickly responded, “Sure!” after a few gin and tonics. The next morning, she realized what she had done (relatable). So here she is now, learning how to read maps, and there is no one else she’d would trust to be her partner than Maria.

She’s also excited to explore parts of the west that are brand new to her, and get back to her desert roots.

“I lived in the desert region of the Turkana District in Northwest Kenya for over 12 years, where I learned to love the desert. My driving gear was just a loose dress (the culture) and flip-flops. And we avoided driving on the sand dunes if possible. We had a Toyota Hilux and always kept a machete under the front seat. I once buried the truck up to the axles in mud, which is when we pulled out the machete, hacked away at palm fronds, and positioned them below the tires to get out of the mud. We never heard of MAXTRAX – how they would’ve made life so much easier!”

Although she’s a little nervous to test her skills in the rally, Debbie has complete confidence in her multi-talented daughter.  And she’s not leaving home without her bible and and LOTS of Ziploc bags!

Maria is originally from Kenya and now calls Ostrander, Ohio home. She’s an Engine Test Engineer at Honda and cannot wait to get back in the Rebelle after competing in 2018. 

“The Rebelle embodies many things that I love in life – adventure, maps, and problem solving that challenges you to become better than you were yesterday. I love being off grid, knowing where I am, not just because a GPS tells me but because of the ability to utilize a compass and map.”

This is the first time Maria is competing in her 4Runner. She’s a little nervous with it being 21 years old, but is putting it through the paces now and making certain appropriate modifications are complete prior to the rally. She has confidence her “super awesome” 4Runner will be good to go!

Maria is also looking forward reuniting with the community of Rebelles.

“Having the wonderful comradery of strong, brave women who come together for this event is amazing, the feeling is like nothing else! And coming back for round two is exciting. I had the time of my life last year; it is such a wonderful and empowering experience, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with my mom!”

She’s also looking forward to having some serious vehicle time with her mom as they always have a blast together. And Maria’s must have item? A photo of her husband and cat!

Maria welcome back to the Rebelle and Debbie – buckle up for an adventure like nothing else! 


Team Tuesday 2019: Debbie & Maria2019-09-18T12:35:43-07:00

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


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!


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.

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!

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.


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  Their great crew has recreated AIRAID to connect people’s love of driving and is literally breathing new life into adventure on wheels.

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 Stephen Bruner, Corkcicle Co-Founder and 2017 Rebelle Rally Sponsor

We’re proud that our competition takes place entirely in the great outdoors of the American West. And what goes hand in hand with the vast desert landscapes and steamy sand dunes we cover from Nevada to California? Hydration – a key factor in Rebelle competitors staying on top of their game. Enter Corkcicle, our 2017 hydration sponsor, and Stephen Bruner, co-founder of the company. He also happens to be one of Orlando Business Journals’ 2016 40 Under 40 Honorees, and has a knack for innovation with a twist for enhancing our drinking experiences.

Rebelle staff has used Corkcicle products for as long as they’ve been on shelves, and we’ve all definitely put their products to the test. Design is at their core, and we love that they’re bringing the “refined” to our “rough” here at the Rebelle. Given Corkcicle’s ever-popular canteens will literally be helping teams cross the finish line this year, we were excited to pick Stephen’s brain on all things beverage, and his functional solution for the masses.

So what’s in a name, anyway?
The name Corkcicle is inspired by our first product, the in-bottle wine chiller. It looks like an icicle with a wine cork on top of it…and its really fun to say three times fast.

Where did the inspiration come from for Corkcicle bottles?
We had been making a lot of products for wine and wanted to build an amazing wine carrier that would keep it cold when you travel to the beach, pool, picnic, etc. After launching that product, our customers were in love with the design and effectiveness and asked us to expand into a full hydration line of cups and bottles of a wide range of colors and sizes. So we listened and the rest is history.

We know Corkcicle uses a first of its kind, proprietary insulation. What else really sets Corkcicle apart from the rest?
Outside of the insulation, the other two things would be our uniquely patented flat sides design. It’s extremely ergonomic and also contributes to a sleek modern look. Secondly, we put a lot of energy in to understanding color trends and the designs we select to put on our bottles.

Stranded on a desert island – what three Corkcicle products would you take with you?
3 of our amazing 60oz Canteens to stockpile my liquids

Most rewarding part of creating a company/product/brand like Corkcicle?
Seeing the product being used out in the wild when you’re out and about around the country.

Are there any new products in the works you can let us in on?
Well…I guess so. We wanted to get back to our roots a bit and marry the insulated hydration products back to wine. So look out for a little insulated wine cup from us here pretty soon. (Big applause from the Rebelle office!)

Lastly, any words of wisdom?
One of our brand ambassadors, Miles-Chamley Watson, lives by the credo “Create a Legacy, Not a Moment.” I love that idea, and its a powerful thing to consider how to achieve that in various parts of your life.

Meet Stephen Bruner, Corkcicle Co-Founder and 2017 Rebelle Rally Sponsor2017-08-09T20:32:31-07:00

Rebelle Rally International Cup

Attention International competitors! With the overwhelming interest from women across the globe, we are launching the INTERNATIONAL CUP. We are breaking down the borders and tearing down the walls…It is our way for the rally and US teams to show respect and appreciation for the efforts it takes to participate. From travel, language, customs, currencies, added costs, etc., we know it isn’t easy, but we want you to feel a big, warm welcome to the USA!

International teams will bear the special International designation on their vests. The highest scoring International team (comprised of two non-US entrants*) will receive $2,500 to the non-profit organization of their choice in their team’s name, have their name live on the much-anticipated “Prize Cup,” and take home a special IC plaque.


*An International team is defined as 2 teammates, non-US citizens or holding dual citizenship, and a valid non-US passport. A minimum one teammate must live full-time abroad.  Rally officials will also confirm the team’s designated non-profit/charity is in good standing. A special press release will be issued featuring participating teams and distributed to media in the teams’ countries of origin.

Please note, the Rebelle Rally and competition documentation is conducted in English.  If you have questions about interpreters or additional details of the International Cup, contact

Rebelle Rally International Cup2018-04-09T20:04:03-07:00

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,


Reflecting Back, Looking Ahead2018-04-09T20:05:02-07:00

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 To find out more about the Rebelle Rally, go to

Media Contact:

Kirsten Tiegen


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

Check Points – The Overview of How It Works

The Rebelle is about accuracy and consistency. For the 2016 edition, everyone was new to the game. As the team that set the course, it was interesting for us to watch as competitors tackled this new format.   As you prepare for your 2017 adventure, here is an overview for the navigation challenge and capturing points in this “highest score wins” rally.


The Rebelle focuses primarily on compass and map navigation. The checkpoints are rated as green, blue, and black, indicating the level of difficulty in finding the CP and what to expect then they “see” it. A green CP is marked with a prominent green flag and course official. A blue CP is marked with a smaller blue flag or marking such as a blue, Rebelle branded stake.   A black CP bears no physical marking, and competitors must get within the “bullseye” to get points.

All Green CPs are mandatory and must be collected in order.  Blue and black CPs are optional. You may skip a blue or black CP but then continue on to the next CP, but it must be in chronological order. Competitors cannot go back to a missed CP or check off CPs out of order.

All competitors have a handheld Iridium tracking device to signal when at the CP. You only have one chance to signal the tracker.   The tracker gives a time stamp and latitude/longitude coordinate which the team records on their scorecard.

Signaling the tracker more than once at the location to “try again” or to get a coordinate to help pinpointing your location results in a penalty.


Each day, the competitors are given a CP Guide. The CP Guide lists the CPs by number, rating (green, blue, or black) and the points value. It also gives the coordinate and/or a heading or distance from a known location, as well as other pertinent information.


The maps we provide are US Topo maps and are very detailed and accurate. The scales we use are 1:50,000, 1:100,000, and 1:200,000. This gives our competitors a good challenge to work with different scale maps, but also gives more close up detail in some areas where it is helpful. When a route is mandatory, we place blue hash marks on the maps to denote the road or trail. In some areas, we also provide an accompanying roadbook to provide additional reference.

From that CP Guide information, you plot (locate with precision) the CPs on the appropriate map.  You do this by using a “minute ruler” graduated in the appropriate scale. We recommend using Map Tools’ scales, as they are very easy to work with and also include a handy distance scale on the opposite side. However, if you lose a scale or don’t prefer to use one, you can use math, or make your own scale.   Plotting CPs may sound difficult, but it does not take long to learn, and once you do, you will become quick and accurate with practice.


A compass tells you where you are in relationship to north (true or magnetic depending upon your compass). You use your compass to do some of the following key tasks:

Confirm the direction you should be going

To make sure the road you see on the map is the one you are on

To place your eyes in the direction you want to travel

To evaluate what geographic features you see are which ones on the map

To triangulate (to accurately locate your position on land to your position on the map if you are not sure your exact position, or accurately locate a geographic feature if you know your position).



So the system is, plot your CPs, examine your route, use a map scale or ruler to accurately measure roads, trails, etc., and use your compass to confirm or determine your direction and/or location.   Now this may sound like a tall order, but with practice and precision, you will become a proficient navigator with some basic practice. (Registered Rebelles have access to our online training course.)  What is of critical importance is accuracy. When you become tired, do not go through the proper steps, daydream, it is easy to get confused or lost. However, as we always say, “You are not as lost as you think you are.”


The Endro challenges of the rally are not necessarily extensive (in the 2016 edition, we had 3  timed Rebelle Enduro Challenges), but it does make the Rebelle more challenging for the all-around competitor. Enduro Challenges use a roadbook and challenges are designed for competitors to stay either “on route” or “on time.” “On time” Enduro sections involve a specific prescribed route with an assigned start time and assigned target average speeds through the route. Time controls are encountered along the route, indicated by a sign at the right side of the road, where competitors’ time of passage will be recorded by control workers. The goal of competitors is to follow the route and maintain assigned target speeds as closely as possible, points are awarded for being “on time” at each time control.  Competitors continue at the prescribed average speed without stopping or slowing at or immediately after a passage timing control. Each Enduro section finishes at a Green Checkpoint (unless otherwise noted), which is dealt with in the usual manner, and after which the time constraints no longer apply.  Points are awarded for ideal “on-time” passage at each timing control.

“On route” Enduros are designed to merely keep competitors on an assigned route.  Competitors use a roadbook to follow the instructions.  Nominal points are awarded, but can make a difference in tight competitions.


While the skills are not difficult to learn, what becomes a challenge on the Rebelle is “management.” …Managing time, communication between teammates, managing lack of sleep, fueling the body and mind, managing expectations, managing efficiency, etc. It is important to stay sharp, listen intently in competitor briefings, read all documents, asking questions if something is not clear, and ensure you come to the rally ready to follow the daily instruction as given in the CP Guides and notifications. Manage your time! This is not a race for speed, but wasting time will bite you.


Be prepared to be the best teammate you can be. A positive attitude in the face of challenges can make or break your experience. If you want to win or place in the top ranks, from our perspective, don’t focus on other teams and what they are doing, or the CPs they are getting. FOCUS on your own competition, and enjoy the journey. In Year 1, many black CPs were left on the table. So hone your navigation skills, practice with your partner, and take great care of your third teammate – your vehicle.
See you in the dirt!

Check Points – The Overview of How It Works2019-04-18T13:28:11-07:00

2016 Rebelle Team Spirit Award

Here is the latest on the Team Spirit Award.  This award is very important to the leadership team at the Rebelle.  It is not always about your score, but how you compete that matters most.  Read on, and #JoinTheRebelle.

The Rebelle Rally Team Spirit Award is designed to promote and encourage a positive spirit in the midst of focused competition.

What is Team Spirit?
It is a positive attitude in the face of adverse conditions and challenging situations. It is searching for solutions, proving encouragement and treating others with respect and enthusiasm, which ultimately results in fostering a spirited competitive climate.



  • Submit the 501(c) 3 organization of your choosing – by October 1st.(Rally will review the organizations to ensure they are in proper standing.)
  • Voting will be conducted on the final evening by 2016 Rebelle Rally competitorsand officials.
  • The winning team will be announced at the awards gala on October 22nd.
  • Winning team will have $5,000 donated directly to their designated charity.Criteria:
  • Role model behavior
  • Positive spirit
  • Helpful to competitors (but not expected to sacrifice score or competition)
  • Solution oriented

    The Team Spirit Award is made possible with generous support from the Lerner Foundation.

2016 Rebelle Team Spirit Award2017-04-20T17:15:11-07:00

Rebelle News – Suunto Signs On

We are proud to announce Suunto as our timepiece for the Rebelle Rally – and of course, our preferred compass! Born in 1936, Suunto has always been committed to accuracy. Bothered by the inaccuracy of traditional dry compasses and their lack of steady needle operation, engineer and Suunto founder Tuomas Vohlonen discovered and patented the production method for the liquid-filled compass. This made for a much steadier needle, better readings, and a whole new level of accuracy. Since then, Suunto has been at the forefront of design and innovation for a variety of sports instruments used by adventurers all over the globe. 

From the highest mountains to the deepest oceans, Suunto equips and inspires outdoor adventurers to conquer new territory. We truly believe in this brand – from incredible watches to creating our favorite compasses, the durability, reliability, history, and heritage of this company are something we solidly stand behind. Suunto, many thanks and welcome to the Rebelle!

Remember Rebelle competitors, Suunto is offering 10% off on product via  If you haven’t received the code, contact us at

Rebelle News – Suunto Signs On2016-08-31T16:23:30-07:00