Age is just a number for the Rebelle Rally team of Karen Hoehn and Dana Saxten…and so is the number eight, as in 8-time returning Rebelles, two of the “OG” competitors, and the only 100% Rebelles who are also original teammates. Karen and Dana are known for their grace under pressure, savvy teamwork and, of course, their love of Land Rovers. Harry Wagner of the Rebelle Rally Live Show team summed it up best: “There are no better ambassadors for this event. They are the epitome of style and grace.” Once again, in 2023, they will be competing in their eighth Rebelle Rally with beloved 2013 V8 LR4 Land Rover nicknamed “Bella Due” after their original LR4 “Bella” was retired in 2021.
Bound by their love of adventure, Karen Hoehn and Dana Saxten may be gearing up to be Rebelle teammates for the eighth time but have been friends for almost 30 years. Both residing in Southern California, the duo live less than 10 miles apart and became friends when their daughters were both six years old.
Karen Hoehn is from Del Mar, CA, and works in the automotive industry. Her strong connections to Land Rover give her a deeper appreciation for what the rally has taught her about her car, driving and the bonds of comraderie that form during the Rebelle competition. When asked why she keeps returning year after year, she told us, “It’s really a lot of fun and it’s a wonderful challenge that we don’t get to do in our everyday lives. It’s fun to get out here and get our brains going. We get to be single-minded for seven days focusing on getting down the road and getting as many checkpoints as we can.”
Right down the road is Dana Saxten who has lived in Encinitas, CA since 1984. She has been in the restaurant business for over 40 years and is always happy to supply dining recommendations for the San Diego area. Despite being the oldest competitor in the Rebelle, Dana’s confidence grows year after year. “As people get older, it’s easy to start to lose confidence and feel like you’re slipping out of the game.” However, the mental and physical challenges of the Rebelle continue to make her feel like she is still very much a “player.”
While the Rebelle may be a demanding 8-day competition, and Dana may be one of the oldest competitors in the field, the Hoehn Adventures team has no plans to slow down. At the finish line of the 2022 Rally, Katy Kunkel asked if what she heard from Dana was true, that “if Keith Richards can keep getting up and singing, [Dana and Karen] are going to keep coming back every single year.” To which Karen Hoehn replied, “You Betcha!” Look for them in the 2023 Rebelle Rally field of competitors when they hit the dirt starting on October 12th!