Rebelle Rally 2017 - English report

Pictures by Paolo Baraldi


Seven days to over a thousand kilometers through the most spectacular areas of Nevada and California using only compass and maps to reach the goal. This is the Rebelle Rally! A unique race of its kind in the United States designed by Emily Miller and dedicated exclusively to female crews.

Seven days for over a 2000 kilometers traveled through the most spectacular Nevada and California territories using only compass and maps to reach the goal. This is the Rebelle Rally! A unique race in the United States designed and designed by Emily Miller and devoted exclusively to women's crews. The second edition of this beautiful competition took place from 12 to 21 October with 36 crew members from five countries and eighteen different states, who came for technical inscriptions and technical checks at Squaw Valley; a California resort located on the Nevada border in the heart of the Sierra Nevada and one of the most famous ski resorts in the United States of America to be home to the 1960s of the Winter Olympic Games. Two categories in the race: 4x4 and Crossover with three distinct designations: Bone Stock, namely standard vehicles including those officially provided by Ram, Ford, Jeep, Chevy and Nissan, International Cup dedicated to foreign crews and 4030 specially designed for machines with over 40 years of life. From Squaw Valley, the teams headed for their day 0, the day dedicated to getting to know the race rules, to the first field, located not far from Silver Peak, crossing unique landscapes like the iconic Emerald Bay on Lake Tahoe and staging at Jacob's Berry Farm in Gardnerville. This historic farm dates back to 1872 when Danish colonizer Lorens Christensen founded Lampe Ranch. Inside the ancient barn, Emily Miller and Chrissie Beavis, scoring director, during a long briefing provided the crews with all the information on the race. From the following day 1 onward it was a unique crescendo of emotions, adrenaline and breathtaking paths that led the 72 Ladies of the Rebelle to the final challenge that took place on the imposing dunes of Glamis, almost on the border with Mexico, which welcomed crews with a strong sand storm, winds blowing over 50 miles per hour, making the experience even more difficult and challenging. As points of interest crossed by the Rebelle Rally, although every meter of the race was unique, they are definitely worth mentioning Goldfield, the Dumont Dunes, the Johnson Valley and the Imperial Sand Dunes. Teams, devoid of any modern device such as mobile phones, computers and gps, had to rely solely on their old-fashioned navigation skills by tracing the route to reach the various check points using only compass and paper maps. Even the race, although the race is not about speed, has been demanding with some technical steps. Compared to last year, the competition among the winning teams for the win was much tighter without however losing sight of sportiness and fairness. There are numerous examples of teams that have lost valuable points to help their challenged opponents. Among them, the Rebelle Angels team, made up of French Melanie Baudin and Senegalese Syndiely Wade, was the one she was most used to helping other crews. Their solidarity and willingness cost him dear to the rankings, twelfth, but he won the prize for the best Team Spirit of the event. In the 4x4 class, the Rebelle Rally 2017 was won by the Americans Kaleigh Hotchkiss and Teralin Petereit on Jeep TJ in 1999 with a detachment of only two points from the second. Kaleigh Hotchkiss, in partnership with Charlene Bower, won last season. Nena Barlow, sailed by Frenchman Chris Mayne, on board the official RAM Power Wagon 2017, won the Bone Stock category and Canadians Michelle Laframboise and Elise Racette, Jeep Rubicon 2017, won the International Cup. The Rebelle Rally 2017 has passed in all respects the previous and the first edition that had already proved to be of excellent quality. The road is now well-traced and the American race has entered right among the most beautiful and interesting international competitions. We are confident that the organizer Emily Miller will be able to give us much more for next year and for this reason we are eager to be able to attend the Rebelle Rally 2018.

October 12, 2017 - Teams Rev Up for the 2017 Rebelle Rally. Vehicles Clear Tech Inspection at Squaw Valley Ski Resort.


Teams from five countries and eighteen different states arrived at The Village At Squaw Valley in anticipation of the second running of the Rebelle Rally.  For the uninitiated, this week long all-female navigation and driving challenge spans thousands of kilometers throughout the rugged wilds of California and Nevada.  Before shifting into low gear, technical inspections were required to confirm the presence of required items such as first aid kits, distribute satellite phones, and install team numbers and Yellow Brick trackers that allow live tracking of team positions on course.

Thirty-six teams are split between the 4x4 and Crossover classes, as well as special designations for Bone Stock, International Cup, and 4030.  As the name implies, the Bone Stock award is for the best finisher in a vehicle that is exactly as delivered from the factory. RAM, Ford, Jeep, Chevy, and Nissan have all provided vehicles to skilled teams in an effort to win this coveted award. Tomorrow marks “Day 0”, when the teams will depart before sunrise and wind their way around iconic Lake Tahoe before partaking in Rally School and starting the provisional competition via random draw. Day 0 will not be scored, but will serve as a prologue for teams to settle in to the format and challenges they can expect to encounter during the competition.  The route will include a combination of dirt and pavement in the shadows of the breathtaking Sierras and White Mountains. 


About the Rebelle Rally

Blending the love of driving with the ultimate challenge of precise navigation, the Rebelle tests a variety of skills over seven days of competition. It is not a race for speed, but rather a unique and demanding event based on the elements of headings, hidden checkpoints, time, and distance using maps, compass, and roadbook.

October 13, 2017 - Day Zero of the 2017 Rebelle Rally. Rally School and a Taste of What’s to Come.


Rebelle Rally competitors departed The Village at Squaw Valley at 5 AM in the morning, amidst freezing temperatures and dark skies.  Twelve hours later the women of the Rebelle Rally arrived at the first Base Camp, and this was just Day Zero!  This day is not scored, but rather designed to give teams an introduction to this new and unique discipline.  Scenery included the iconic Emerald Bay as the participants made their way around Lake Tahoe to Jacob’s Berry Farm in Gardnerville, Nevada.  Jack and Diana Jacobs grow their fruit on land that dates back to 1872, when Danish settler Lorens Christensen started Lampe Ranch. It was under the pitched roof of the historic Jacob’s barn that Rebelle founder Emily Miller and Scoring Director Chrissie Beavis performed Rally School.   The intention was to review the competition format, start and finish procedures, tracker use, and emergency protocols to ensure that all teams have the same information. The information was then put into practice as the teams navigated from Gardnerville though the White Mountains en route to their first Base Camp. First-year and experienced Rebelles alike were given the opportunity to get a feel for the start procedure, navigating via map and roadbook, seeing what green and blue checkpoints look like, and checking their times in a practice Rebelle Enduro.  This mock prologue gives the teams the opportunity to be warmed up for the first day of competition. Once arriving at Base Camp, each competitor was required to turn in their technology (cell phones, laptops, etc) for the duration of the event, as no GPS or outside assistance is allowed on the Rebelle Rally.  After setting up their tents, each team was treated to a dinner of rockfish ceviche, suckling pig, stewed zucchini, and polenta, courtesy of Michelin-star chef Drew Deckman and his crew. Nena Barlow and Chris Mayne of Team Four Corners (#129) will be the first off the line tomorrow.  Both women competed last year in the inaugural Rebelle Rally, but not as teammates.  “I knew a task required all of Chris’ attention when she started counting in French!” Barlow joked.  They are among the 36 teams competing in the driving and navigation rally that spans over 2000 kilometers from Lake Tahoe to San Diego.


Daily Tech Tip- What Are Green and Blue CPs?

Rebelle checkpoints (CPs) follow the same color scheme as snow ski runs, with green, blue, and black CPs. “The format rewards those who take risks,” Rebelle founder Emily Miller explained. The green checkpoints are the easiest, marked by a staff member and a large green flag.  The green CPs are worth the most points and are mandatory for all teams.  Blue CPs are optional and more difficult to find, marked only by a small stake or flag in the ground.  Most difficult to locate are black CPs, which have no visible marker on the ground. The closer teams are to black CPs when they signal their tracker, the more points they receive.

October 14, 2017 - And They're Off! Day 1 Of The Rebelle Is In The Books.


The first scored day of the Rebelle Rally covered the high desert chaparral, rugged mountains, and sweeping valleys of the rural Nevada landscape.  Day 1 started with a short Rebelle Enduro Challenge, where the women are required to follow a roadbook while maintain a prescribed speed.  From there the teams had to break out their maps and compasses in an effort to find various checkpoints.  Devoid of GPS, cell phones, and all technology, the competitors tested their navigation skills in and around the living ghost towns of Belmont and Manhattan.  These historic mining towns serve as a reminder of the silver boom that Nevada enjoyed in 1867.  Five years later all but the hardiest of residents had left these two communities, giving the competitors a taste of the Old West. Nena Barlow and Chris Mayne of Team Four Corners (#129) were first off the line in their Ram Power Wagon, and when the dust settled, the team was tied for first place in the 4x4 Class with Kaleigh Hotchkiss and Teralin Petereit of Team Blondetourage (#125) in their Jeep Wrangler TJ.  “We made a last minute decision for Teralin to navigate and me to drive,” Hotchkiss revealed.  “We were uncertain because I navigated last year and won, but everything clicked today.” Both teams identified the checkpoints with a 97% accuracy, putting them just ahead of Team Anemoniacs (#140) and Team Jucy (#152). In the Crossover class, Meli Barrett and Sabrina Howells (#204) put their Honda Ridgeline in an early lead over their Team Hoehn Adventures teammates Jaimy Grigsby and Lori Arterburn (#203) in a Jaguar F-Pace. By the time the ladies returned to Base Camp both fuel tanks and stomachs were on empty.  “We had to stop for road construction and I shut off the engine,” Thuy Davis of Team Dandelion Adventures (#156) shared.  “I thought we might have to push the Jeep into camp!” After refueling their vehicles and placing them in impound for the night, the competitors enjoyed Cornish game hens and roasted potatoes with rosemary prepared by Chef Drew Deckman and his staff.  Those with a sweet tooth were satisfied by fresh carrot cake by Deanna’s Gluten Free before washing their dishes.  “Minimizing impact is more than just a slogan,” Rebelle founder Emily Miller noted.  “All participants are washing their dishes rather than using disposable plates, and our water tank allows them to refill their Corkcicle canteens rather than consuming water from scores of plastic bottles.”  Day 2 will ramp up the challenge of the event, with less visible landmarks to aid navigation.  Nena Barlow and Chris Mayne (#129) will be first off the line again on Sunday.  Starting order is determined each day via random draw, not finish order, and Team Four Corners (#129) has drawn the number one slot for two days in a row.  Precise navigation and driving skills are critical for success at the Rebelle Rally, but a little luck never hurts. 


Daily Tech Tip- What Is A Rebelle Enduro Challenge?

Precision driving sections involve a set route with an assigned start time and assigned target average speed through the route.  Participants use a roadbook common to rally raid events such as Dakar to navigate to the next Green CP while trying to maintain a designated average speed. 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.

October 15, 2017 - Rebelle Rally Field Update: Day 2. The Competition Heats Up.


Sunday marked Day 2 of Rebelle Rally competition, with teams embarking out to the playa - this isn’t Burning Man though. The women of the Rebelle crossed Kibby Dry Lake, one of the numerous dry lake beds that endure as remnants of the Great Basin that once spanned across Nevada all the way to the Great Salt Lake.   The course required teams to travel in a large figure eight; stopping to mark checkpoints along the way that they had plotted with their maps and compasses.  Not every team did the two loops in the same order, which minimizes the ability to play follow the leader in the rally. Contrasting with the wide-open playa were several mountain passes and rocky, technical terrain that challenged both competitors and their vehicles.  Patience was rewarded in these sections and Team Hoehn Adventures (#109) capitalized with the highest score of the day, earning 168 out of 175 possible points.  “Everything was just clicking for Susie and I,” Jo Hannah Hoehn commented at the end of the day. This moved the team up in the standings, however Team Four Corners (#129) and Team Blondetourage (#125) remain tied for first in the overall standings.  Team Clearwater Designs (#115) moved up to third place overall, with Canadians Michelle Laframboise and Elise Racette now leading the five teams vying for the International Cup. Day 2 ramped up the navigation and driving challenges, giving competitors 12 hours to complete the 16 checkpoints (CPs) scattered throughout the Monte Cristo Mountains.  The first teams were back to Base Camp in as little as 9 hours, however Team Rebelle Angels (#155) used up their entire allotted time in an effort to reach as many CPs as possible.  Melanie Baudin is new to navigation, but Syndiely Wade is an experienced rally veteran.  The two women methodically picked off checkpoints throughout the day and were rewarded with a bump up to fourth place in the overall standings. In the Crossover class, Meli Barrett and Sabrina Howells (#204) maintained their lead over Team Hoehn Adventures teammates, Jaimy Grigsby and Lori Arterburn (#203). Omada Adventures (#116) will be first off the line on Monday as the course winds south through Silver Peak and Goldfield, Nevada before crossing into California, where the first dune section of the course awaits.  Day 3 will also mark the first half of a marathon stage, where the women will be camping on their own without the luxuries of Base Camp.  The night will be spent in camaraderie over Mountain House dinners and Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) under the stars before departing deeper into the dunes. 


Daily Tech Tip- Is The Rebelle Rally A Race?

The Rebelle Rally is NOT a race, it is a competition.  It differs from a traditional race where speed is a priority to finish as quickly as possible.  By contrast, the Rebelle Rally is about precision, not speed.  Precise navigation and precise driving. There is no GPS, no pre-running, and you don’t need a highly modified vehicle to be successful at the Rebelle Rally. “My vision was to create an event that rewards intelligence, proper planning, and attention to detail,” Rebelle founder Emily Miller explained.  Over seven days, teams comprised of two women (one driver, one navigator) use maps and compasses and roadbooks to navigate to multiple checkpoints (CPs) in a prescribed amount of time.  Some CPs are visibly marked by a flag and course worker (Green CPs), while others are marked by a small flag or PVC pipe (Blue CPs).  Black CPs offer the greatest challenge, with no visible reference on the ground.  Teams check in at each CP with their tracker, and the closer they are to the exact Black CP location the more points they receive.

October 16, 2017 - Rebelle Rally Field Update: Day 3. Marathon Stage 1.


The morning started early as competitors had to pack up their tents, bags, and gear to start the Marathon Stage.  Day 3 started with a Rebelle Enduro Challenge through the picturesque White Mountains to Silver Peak, Nevada.  From there teams navigated their way south towards Goldfield, Nevada and the bizarre Car Forest of the International Church.  The product of artists Chad Sorg and Mark Rippie, this roadside monument contains dozens of vehicles augured into the ground and used as a canvas for art.  After grabbing a couple CPs, there was a long transit via the highway to Dumont Dunes to bag more CPs. The women are camping unsupported for the night before venturing back into the dunes.


Daily Tech Tip- What Is A Marathon Stage?

A Marathon Stage takes place over multiple days with minimal outside support (only fueling is allowed).  The teams are required to carry all of their own camping gear and cook for themselves, without the luxuries of Base Camp.  Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) substitute for Drew Deckman's cuisine, but only for one night.

October 17, 2017 - Rebelle Rally Field Update: Day 4. Marathon Stages Shakes Up Standings.


Day 4 of the Rebelle Rally was the second half of the Marathon Stage, picking up where Day 3 left off in Dumont Dunes.  Last year these dunes wreaked havoc on a variety of competitor vehicles, and this lesson was not lost on the 2017 Rebelles.  Mechanical issues were minimal on the Marathon Stage, with teams showing the dunes the respect they demand.  “Our goal isn’t to damage vehicles when we set the course,” Course Director Jimmy Lewis commented.  “We do want competitors to have a healthy appreciation for the dunes though, because they will get more difficult as the rally progresses.” The night between Day 3 and Day 4 was spent self-camping in the dunes, Dinners varied from Oreos (we’re talking about you Team Roads Less Traveled #154) to pasta seasoned with peppers from her own garden (Thuy Davis of Team Dandelion Adventures #156).  Chris Mayne of Team 4 Corners (#129) serenaded her fellow competitors while Sabrina Howells of Team Hoehn Adventures (#204) strummed her guitar. No sheetmetal was rearranged in the dunes, but the overall standings for the Rebelle Rally were.  Team Blondetourage (#125) now sits alone at the top of the rankings, followed by Team Anemoiniacs (#140) and Team Clearwater Designs (#115), who are currently tied for second place overall.  Team Anemoiniacs and Team Clearwater Designs moved up in the standings by scoring 97% of the possible points on Day 4. “You see how vast the US is; it is impressive, and majestic, and we look so tiny in that scenery.  We have wide open spaces in Canada, but it is such a treat to share this with our European friends at the rally,” explained Elise Racette of Team Clearwater Designs.  She and her teammate Michelle Laframboise currently lead the International Cup.  Should they maintain their lead in the International Cup though the duration of the rally, a donation of $2,500 will be made in their name to the Cystic Fibrosis Canada. Emme Hall and Rebecca Donaghe of Team Anemoiniacs (#140) are Americans so they don’t qualify for the International Cup, but they lead in another designation: Bone Stock. Awarded to the team with the highest finish in a completely stock vehicle, the pair is currently putting the Chevy Colorado ZR2 at the front of the pack.  “That vehicle in your driveway is more capable than you realize,” Rebelle founder Emily Miller explained.  “The Bone Stock award is an opportunity for manufacturers to earn bragging rights.”  Plenty of OEMs have stepped up to the plate, including Ram, Ford, Nissan, and Chevy. Once leaving Dumont Dunes, the teams headed through the breathtaking Mojave Preserve and got their kicks on historic Route 66 on their way to Base Camp 2 in Johnson Valley OHV Area.   The wide-open spaces allow for a land rush start on Day 5, but those same wide-open spaces make it incredibly difficult to navigate off of landmarks.  Could we see a new leader on Day 5? 


Daily Tech Tip- How To Follow The Rebelle Rally Standings

There are a variety of ways to follow the Rebelle Rally standings in real time as the event progresses.  Clicking on rebellerally.com/live-tracking provides up-to-the-second positions of competitors on course providing by YB Tracking via the Rebelle Rally website or YB Tracking's app for Apple and Android.  The tracking information is overlaid on a Mapbox framework that displays points of interest and check point (CP) locations.  For those that prefer tabular data, rebellerally.com/live-scoring has just about every statistic you could ever with for.  There are overall standings for the 4x4 and Crossover classes, links to team bios, and individual CP scores for each day.  Note that 4x4s are separated into Group A and Group B in order to discourage teams from playing follow-the-leader.  The Flow Chart is a handy way to chart momentum of teams from day to day; no one has a perfect rally and bouncing back from adversity is a critical skill for overall success.

October 18, 2017 - Rebelle Rally Field Update: Day 5. Jeeps Rule The Day.


Day 5 of the Rebelle Rally started in Johnson Valley, home of the famous Hammers trails.   This an open OHV area, affording competitors more freedom in their route selection.  “The navigation was very difficult, all of the checkpoints were very close together, but they were in the mountains,” Florence Pham of Team Flowkey (#123) explained. “We had to go away from the mountains in order to determine which direction to go.”  Johnson Valley is home to whooped-out desert roads, giant boulders, and washes that can sneak up on you if you aren’t paying close attention.  The terrain took its toll as teams attempted to bag 18 checkpoints scattered throughout the mountains and valleys of the OHV area. “It's important to take care of your third teammate out there,” Sedona Blinson of Team Wild Grace (#106) noted.  Tie rods were bent, shock mounts were broken, and every mechanical component was taxed to the limit in Johnson Valley.  The worst carnage was suffered by reigning Crossover Class champions Meli Barrett and Sabrina Howells of Team Hoehn Adventures (#204), who seized the engine in their Honda Ridgeline after a rock struck the oil pan.  The damage allowed their Hoehn Adventure teammates of Jaimy Grigsby and Lori Arterburn (#203) to overtake them for the lead in the Crossover Class.  Team Rebelle Angels (#155) of Syndiely Wade and Melanie Baudin stopped to assist the Ridgeline, missing their finish time and sacrificing points in the process.  This was the second day in a row that Team Rebelle Angels has put camaraderie ahead of their ranking, making them an early favorite for the Team Spirit Award. Not surprisingly, the experienced rockcrawlers rose to the top of the pack in Johnson Valley.  Bailey Campbell and Kendra Miller of Team ARB Machine (#118) posted the top score of the day with an accuracy of 93%, just ahead of the 92% of Team Torq-Masters’ (#104) Cora Jokinen and Melissa Fischer.  “We really felt in the groove today,” Miller shared.  “Bailey did an amazing job behind the wheel.”  In the overall standings for the 4x4 Class, Kaleigh Hotchkiss and Teralin Petereit of Team Blondetourage (#125) have maintained a lead over Team Anemoiniacs (#140) by a mere five points.  On Thursday the course continues south through Johnson Valley before passing through Joshua Tree National Park on the way to Imperial Sand Dunes.  Better known simply as “Glamis”, this penultimate stage will put the Rebelles' navigation and driving skills to the test. 


Daily Tech Tip- Why Is The Start Order Random?

Most multi-day rally events determine the starting order for a day from the previous day’s results.  The Rebelle Rally is different in that each team draws a number out of a bowl at the end of each day to determine their starting order for the next day.  “By making the starting order random we prevent the less experienced teams from just following the more experienced teams each day,” explained Scoring Director Chrissie Beavis.  “We also set up more than one route to prevent teams from following each other.”

October 19, 2017 - Rebelle Rally Field Update: Day 6. Veterans Lead The Field.


Day 6 of the rally started with an Rebelle Enduro Challenge in Johnson Valley OHV Area that gave competitors a taste of traditional rally raid events such as the Dakar Rally.  Following the timed-controlled Enduro, the teams had 18 checkpoints to locate in just a few short hours before a long transit stage to the Imperial Sand Dunes.  The route took the women of the Rebelle Rally through Joshua Tree National Park.  The park’s 800,000 acres span three ecosystems and contain exposed granite monoliths that are a mecca for rockclimbers. Original Rebelles Jo Hannah Hoehn and Susie Saxten of Team Hoehn Adventures (#109) placed first on Day 6 in the 4x4 Class; the second time they have earned the top score on a given day.  “We really excel on the short, small stages where detail is key,” Hoehn confessed.  This strong day puts them in seventh place in the overall rankings for the 4x4 Class.  Returning Rebelles Cora Jokinen and Melissa Fischer of Team Torq-Masters (#104) came in second place for the second day in a row, moving them up to fifth in the overall standings.  “We switched up how we approach the Black CPs.  In my previous career I was an architect, so now I am drafting up the Black CPs and letting Melissa double check them.”  Kaleigh Hotchkiss and Teralin Petereit of Team Blondetourage (#125) maintained their slim lead over Emme Hall and Rebecca Donaghe of Team Anemoiniacs (#140) in the overall standings of the 4x4 Class.  The standings coming into the final day mirror those of the first Rebelle Rally a year ago, when it came down to the wire for these same two teams.  Consistency has been key to allowing Hotchkiss and Petereit to stay at the top of the standings throughout the Rebelle Rally.  Their worst finish on a single day was sixth place.  Hotchkiss won the 2016 Rebelle Rally prior to joining up with Petereit, who has plenty of experience exploring around her home in Moab, Utah. The top five teams in the overall standings all include women who participated in the first Rebelle Rally, highlighting the importance of experience. From Johnson Valley the teams drove around the Salton Sea before arriving at the Imperial Sand Dunes, better known as Glamis.  This area is the northern extension of the Algodones Dunes, the largest dune field in North America.  Base Camp 3 is set up at the edge of the dunes, which will play host to the final stage of the rally.  Friday’s stage was crafted to test every navigation and driving skill that the teams have developed over the past week.  “Those who take risks will be rewarded,” Rebelle founder Emily Miller shared. 


Daily Tech Tip- What Is Bone Stock?

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 are limited to the factory sizing. Currently Emme Hall and Rebecca Donaghe of Team Anemoiniacs (#140) lead in Bone Stock and are second overall in the 4x4 Class behind the wheel of a Chevy Colorado ZR2.  Only three points back from Team Anemoiniacs (#140) are Nena Barlow and Chris Mayne of Team 4 Corners (#129).

Additional Bone Stock participants include:

• Team Wild Grace (#106) in a Nissan Frontier PRO-4X

• Team Meraki (#111) in a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

• Team Omada Adventure (#116) in a Land Rover LR4

• Team Flowkey (#123) in a Nissan Navara

• Team Nice French (#131) in a 2017 Ford Raptor

• Team Broncosaurus (#150) in a Ford Bronco

• Team Rubicon Recon (#157) in a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

• Team Hoehn Adventures (#203) in a Jaguar F-Pace

• Team Hoehn Adventures (#204) in a Honda Ridgeline

Four of the top ten teams carry the Bone Stock designation, proving that you don’t need a heavily modified vehicle in order to be successful at the Rebelle Rally. 

October 20, 2017 - Rebelle Rally Field Update: Day 7. Sand Storm Shakes Up Standings.


The final day of the Rebelle Rally took place in the Imperial Sand Dunes, with conditions that challenged each and every team.  Rebelle founder Emily Miller purposely made Day 7 the most difficult; what she didn’t anticipate was Mother Nature upping the challenge even further for the Rebelles.  Winds gusting up to 50 mph made visibility incredibly problematic for all competitors.  Without the ability to site on any landmarks, competitors had to strategize about which checkpoints to pursue and which to abandon. While there were no perfect scores on Day 7, the best score of the day was posted by Nena Barlow and Chris Mayne of Team 4 Corners (#129).  They closed the gap on Kaleigh Hotchkiss and Teralin Petereit of Team Blondetourage (#125), but when the final scores were tallied, it was not enough.  A mere two points (out of 1177 points accumulated over seven days of competition) separated the two teams at the end of the rally.  In the end, the consistency of Team Blondetourage kept them at the front of the pack in the 33-vehicle field in the 4x4 Class.  In the Crossover Class, Team Hoehn Adventures’ (#203) Jaimy Grigsby and Lori Arterburn took the victory in their Jaguar F-Pace. Team 4 Corners’ (#129) strong finish earned them the Bone Stock Award, with Barlow earning Ram Trucks the honor for the second year in a row.  Last year she piloted a Ram Rebel, and this year Barlow was behind the wheel of a Ram Power Wagon with Chris Mayne navigating.  The pair edged out Emme Hall and Rebecca Donaghe of Team Anemoiniacs (#140) in both the overall standings and the Bone Stock Designation. The Anemoiniacs battled mechanical issues all day, but their determination was rewarded with a spot on the podium. Michelle Laframboise and Elise Racette of Team ClearWater Designs (#115) placed fifth overall and first in the International Cup.  They will head back to Canada with bragging rights and $2,500 donated to Cystic Fibrosis Canada on their behalf. Competitors determine the Team Spirit Award, given to the team who best exhibits a positive attitude in the face of adverse conditions and challenging situations.  The camaraderie this year was pervasive from Day 1 of the rally, so Team Spirit could go to any one of a number of teams.  The winner of the Team Spirit Award will have $5,000 donated in their name to their chosen charity.  The celebrating has started in Base Camp 3 and will continue on Saturday evening at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina.  There teams will reconnect with their loved ones and plug back in after a week of being separated from laptops, cell phones, and all other technology.

Kaleigh Hotchkiss / Teralin Petereit, 1999 Jeep Wrangler, 4x4 class winner
Kaleigh Hotchkiss / Teralin Petereit, 1999 Jeep Wrangler, 4x4 class winner
Jaimy Grigsby / Lori Arterburn, 2017 Jaguar F-Pace, Crossover class winner
Jaimy Grigsby / Lori Arterburn, 2017 Jaguar F-Pace, Crossover class winner

Nena Barlow / Chris Mayne,  2017 RAM Power Wagon, Bone Stock winner
Nena Barlow / Chris Mayne, 2017 RAM Power Wagon, Bone Stock winner
Michelle Laframboise / Elise Racette, 2017 Jeep Wrangler (Canada), winner International Cup
Michelle Laframboise / Elise Racette, 2017 Jeep Wrangler (Canada), winner International Cup
Melanie Baudin  / Syndiely Wade,  Jeep Rubicon  (France - Senegal), Team Spirit winner
Melanie Baudin / Syndiely Wade, Jeep Rubicon (France - Senegal), Team Spirit winner

October 21, 2017 - 2017 Rebelle Rally Final Update. Out Of The Field And Into The City

Rebelle Rally competitors returned to the reality of cell phones, emails, and traffic on Saturday after seven days of intense competition in remote corners of Nevada and California.  The return to normal life also reconnected them with their families and old friends as they reacclimated along the San Diego coastline at the Sheraton Hotel and Marina.  On Saturday evening, friends new and old celebrated the completion of the rally at the nearby Coasterra restaurant on Harbor Island, with the stunning downtown San Diego skyline in the background. The women shed their bandanas and boots (and their old selves!) for dresses and heels.  During dinner, Vigil Films set the tone for the evening with their powerful video that perfectly captured the essence of the Rebelle Rally.  Emily Miller (Rebelle founder) and Bob Hoehn (owner of presenting sponsor Hoehn Adventures) both addressed the crowd. Their rousing speeches thanked all the competitors, staff, and sponsors for believing in Miller’s vision and bringing the innovative driving and navigation rally to life.  “Last year we silenced all of the doubters,” Miller noted, “and this year we applied what we learned from year one to make the Rebelle Rally truly world class.”   36 teams from 12 states and 5 different countries participated in the event, with Kaleigh Hotchkiss and Teralin Petereit of Team Blondetourage (#125) awarded for top honors in the 4x4 Class.  In the Crossover Class, Jaimy Grigsby and Lori Arterburn brought the hardware home for Team Hoehn Adventures (#203) in their Jaguar F-Pace.  Complete results for both classes can be found here.  Nena Barlow of Team 4 Corners (#129) earned Ram the coveted Bone Stock Award for the second year in a row, this year piloting a Power Wagon with Chris Mayne navigating.  The International Cup heads north to Canada this year with Michelle Laframboise and Elise Racette of Team ClearWater Designs (#115), along with a $2,500 donation in their team’s name to Cystic Fibrosis Canada. The Senegalese/French Rebelle Angels (#155) of Syndiely Wade and Melanie Baudin earned the Team Spirit Award for repeatedly prioritizing assistance to their fellow competitors ahead of their own score.  Most notably, the Rebelle Angels towed the Honda Ridgeline of Team Hoehn Adventures' (#204) Meli Barrett and Sabrina Howells several kilometers back to Base Camp, sacrificing their position in the standings in the process.  $5,000 will be donated to Make-a-Wish France in the name of Wade and Baudin for the selfless acts that earned them the award and admiration from their peers. While chatting with spouses and sponsors, every competitor we overheard agreed that the Rebelle Rally was a life-changing experience.  “This is part of my identity now; who I am,” explained successful architecture photographer Kristian Vockler of Team Fast N Curious (#145).  “I plan to come back every year… forever!” Start planning for the 2018 Rebelle Rally now, dates will be announced soon!

RANKING 4x4 Class

Rank      Team    Driver / Co-Driver                                      Vehicle                                           Points  

1            125        Kaleigh Hotchkiss / Teralin Petereit           1999 Jeep Wrangler                       1177   

2            129        Nena Barlow / Chris Mayne                        2017 RAM Power Wagon              1175   

3            140        Emme Hall / Rebecca Donaghe                 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2       1159    

4            104        Cora Jokinen / Melissa Fischer                  2005 Jeep Wrangler                       1150   

5            115        Michelle Laframboise / Elise Racette         2017 Jeep Wrangler                       1143    

6            123        Florence Pham / Karen Rayrolles              2017 Nissan Navara                       1130   

7            154        Tiffany Walker / Rori Lewis                         2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser                  1121  

8            118        Kendra Miller / Bailey Campbell                  2015 Jeep Wrangler                      1106  

9            152        Katy Kunkel / Frances Spencer                  2017 Jeep Wrangler                       1102 

10          109        Jo Hannah Hoehn / Susie Saxten               2012 Land Rover LR4                     1100  

11          106        Sedona Blinson / Leah Heffelfinger            2015 Nissan Frontier PRO4X         1099  

12          155        Syndiely Wade / Melanie Baudin                2015 Jeep Wrangler                       1096 

13          110        Amy Hopkins / Naomi Grebe                       1991 Toyota Land Cruiser             1070  

14          160        Teresa Stewart / Sara Jehn                        2016 Jeep Wrangler                       1066   

15          153        Jennifer Clarke / Alicia Byers                      2015 Jeep Wrangler                      1061 

16          131        Helene Becour / Armelle Medard Lang       2017 Ford Raptor                          1041   

17          156        Tracey Ristow / Thuy Davis                        2015 Jeep Wranger                       1022   

18          116        Deborah Najm / Amy Martinez                     2012 Land Rover LR4                  1018   

19          132        Coralee Lack / Christy Long                       2013 Jeep Wrangler                      1008   

20          161        Amy Volmer / Robyn Garrison                     2007 Jeep Wrangler                     1000   

21          145        Charlene O'day / Kristian Vockler               2014 Jeep Wrangler                        987   

22          108        Karen Hoehn / Dana Saxten                       2014 Land Rover LR4                     935   

23          146        Erin Williams / Alyson Hamilton                   2012 Land Rover LR4                    912   

24          142        Pamela Hall / Keri Boyer                             2015 Jeep Rubicon                         911   

25          111        Heather Lewis / Jenn Zipp Richmond          2017 Jeep Wrangler                       885   

26          159        Kellie Philips / Tracy Veliz                           2017 Jeep Wrangler                       882   

27          157        Nicole Honstead / Lyn Woodward               2017 Jeep Wrangler                       876   

28          126        Michelle Davis / Andrea Shaffer                 2004 Jeep Wrangler                        861   

29          148        Anna Lewis / Morgan Lytle                         2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser                   838   

30          150        Susan McPartland / Viola Nungary             1995 Ford Bronco                           825   

31          151        Pat Shirley / Lisa Allen                                2016 Ford Expedition                     751  

32          103        Rachael Ridenour / Doreen Adorno           2006 Toyota 4Runner                     702   

NR         149        Courtney Latter / Martha Tansy                  1969 Jeep Wagoneer                     164  

RANKING Crossover Class

Rank      Team    Driver / Co-Driver                                         Vehicle                                         Points

1            203        Jaimy Grigsby / Lori Arterburn                    2017 Jaguar F-Pace                        841   

2            204        Meli Barrett / Sabrina Howells                     2017 Honda Ridgeline                    636   

3            206        Elizabeth McLaughlin / Marty Lawrence     Subaru Outback                              634