The Rebelle Rally
The first women’s off-road navigation rally raid of its type in the U.S. debuts this fall
Posted: Sept. 9, 2016
Don’t let Emily Miller’s petite frame fool you. The North County resident is an experienced and accomplished off-road competitor, driving and navigation instructor, and event producer — who is now also the owner and organizer of the Rebelle Rally, an off-road auto navigation event set to take place October 13-22.
Open to women competitors and based on navigation and driving precision — not speed — the Rebelle kicks off in Lake Tahoe with technical proceedings before participants move to the first base camp location in Nevada. From there, they begin a challenging trek across the iconic landscapes of the American West utilizing a compass, maps, and roadbook notes; no GPS or Internet-enabled devices (including cell phones) are permitted. Vehicles must be street legal, stock-manufactured SUVs, pickups, and crossovers — no different from the ones in the carpool line at school. Seven days and 2,000 kilometers later, the course finishes in Southern California, where the rally transfers to North County for a black-tie closing gala and awards celebration on Saturday, October 22, at Del Mar Race Track.
Attracting both novices and professional off-roaders, the Rebelle Rally is designed for women who love to drive and embrace a sense of adventure. “My goal is for women to sharpen and refine their capabilities and build the confidence and skill set to take on future journeys, wherever they may lead,” says Miller, whose passion for getting women interested in off-road began years ago when she recognized that there were so few women involved. “But women love to drive, love to adventure,” Miller points out. So it seems only fitting, then, that Carlsbad-based Hoehn Adventures has taken notice and signed on as the Rebelle’s presenting sponsor, fully embracing the event by fielding six full teams: Jo Hannah Hoehn and Susie Saxten in a Land Rover LR4, Karen Hoehn and Dana Saxten also competing in a Land Rover LR4, Josan Badillo and Jaimy Grigsby in a Jaguar F-PACE, Trish Lewis and Sally Gallice in a Mercedes G550, Lisa Wolford and Sandy Conner in a Porsche Cayenne, and Meli Barrett and Sabrina Howells in a Honda Ridgeline.
When asked what she hopes will be the takeaway for women at the conclusion of the Rebelle, Miller says, “I want women to increase their skills, and add new ones to the quiver. Because of the length, I believe they will learn a lot about themselves. But I also want them to feel like the Rebelle is a badge of honor, that they have completed a real, core challenge.”
Ranch & Coast readers looking to get into the driver’s seat can take advantage of R&C Reader Loyalty Program pricing of $10,000 per team (a savings of $1,000 per team). The deadline to register is September 23. 775.345.3450, rebellerally.com MIA S. PARK
Photography by Nicole Dreon & Daniel Mayfield/Soulside Network