Field Proven: Rebelle Rally 2021

Field Proven: Rebelle Rally 2021

Rebelle Rally, North America’s first all women’s off-road navigation rally, a true challenge for even the most skilled drivers.
Success is hard, failure is hard, choose your hard!

- Emily Miller

Eight days of scenic routes, technical terrain, unmatched teamwork, and personal growth.  New sections of the course for 2021, were curated by Dakar Rally legend Jimmy Lewis, showcased more challenges for competitors than years prior.  It takes a certain kind of tough to compete in the Rebelle Rally, but that’s why this is such a special event Adventure Imports is proud to support year after year.

As the Rally’s 6th year of competition, the stakes were never higher.  With the introduction of the first ever Rebelle Rally Contingency Program, presented by Adventure Imports / MAXTRAX US, we couldn't wait to see what would go down.

At the start, all 53 teams had to pass tech inspection to ensure their vehicles were in proper working order, had safety devices in place, and vehicle GPS systems dismantled.  Tech inspection for 2021 took place at iconic Hoover Dam, a short distance from Las Vegas.  Teams choosing to participate in the MAXTRAX Contingency Program received identification decals hand installed by Matthew Scott, ensuring perfect placement.

Day 0, or Prologue, is set up to get teams into the rhythm of the competition’s structure with an unscored day on course.  Proceeding to the first basecamp from Las Vegas, competitors navigate their way to checkpoints along the way.

Competition between Day 0 & 1 took teams around scenic areas off the Extraterrestrial Highway near Area 51 in Nevada through diverse and challenging terrain.  This proved to be an early challenge for a handful of teams returning to camp with their vehicles needing repairs.  It looked like the mechanics team would be staying busy for the next couple days. 

Using the Earth Roamer as a mobile headquarters, the Adventure Imports team was able to comfortably assist the Rebelle Rally with scoring the timed enduro sections.

As they transitioned between camps, teams pushed through long stretches of silty backroads in Nevada as they made their way through locations like the International Car Forest.  Towering mountain ranges lined our next basecamp at Big Dune, which would be home for the next 2 days.  During the evening meeting, staff announced a possible extreme wind storm for the coming day of competition.

The route for Day 3 took teams through the historic Rhyolite Ghost Town and neighboring areas. Because of the unique nature of the event, a special route was approved through Titus Canyon in Death Valley NP.  As teams made their way into the canyon, winds began to pick up at a rather uncomfortable rate.  Luckily the towering walls of Titus Canyon brought shelter from the elements.  All we could see as we emerged from the final stretch of canyon were storms for miles and visibility plummeted from the sand, dust, and silt blowing in every direction.  Despite conditions of the storm, team morale was high on arrival as the Rebelles made the best of the situation at hand.  Truly one of the coolest experiences to see over the course of the rally.

With Day 4 under way, teams once again had another transit day leading them to the “self camp” leg of the competition.  This was located at a small oasis in the desert, just outside of the Mojave Preserve. Teams would have the ability to reset after the grueling night of the prior day’s storm.  This self camp would set teams up for the Day 5’s route through the Mojave Preserve on their way to Pirate Cove Resort outside of Needles, California.  

Setting the final stage, teams would make their way through the dunes of Glamis to collect the final checkpoints of the rally.  Scattered throughout the massive expanse of dunes, these checkpoints became more difficult the farther they travelled. Teams strategically grouped up to make navigating easier and ensure safer recoveries in the dunes by helping each other get unstuck. Consequences for incorrectly reading the soft sand and taking poor lines resulted in competitors finding themselves very stuck. This forced them to put their MAXTRAX to the ultimate test.  The dunes highlighted the talented efforts of both drivers and navigators.  As the final checkpoints opened, teams started making their way back to the final basecamp to close out the rally.

Rebelle Rally Gala MAXTRAX Award Nena Barlow Teralin Matthew Scott Caleb Wallace Adventure Imports

On Day 8, competitors relaxed and recovered before the gala awards ceremony.  The evening was closed out with a formal gathering to celebrate the extraordinary accomplishments throughout the week of competition.  Awards for top placing teams in both the 4x4 and X-Class, rookie of the year, bone stock award, and the MAXTRAX Contingency Awards were presented throughout the night.

The MAXTRAX Team Spirit Award, $500 for the team and $500 for the charity of the team’s choice, was given to Kristie Levy and Rachael Ridenour of Team 145 for their selfless work recovering multiple teams throughout the week using their MAXTRAX equipment.

53 competing teams, an all new course, more challenging terrain, and every single team making it across the finish line highlighted the success of this year’s event. Adventure Imports is grateful for the opportunity to continue supporting Rebelle Rally, an off-road event we believe in, and look forward to year after year.

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