by Chris Cordes

If you’re a woman interested in four-wheel drives, chances are that you’ve heard of the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles. This incredible womens only event brings people from around the world together for a race through the Moroccan desert. Unfortunately getting a team, a vehicle, and your supplies over seas isn’t easy, which is why we’re happy to announce a new women’s only event right here in the USA!

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This seven day journey from Salt Lake to San Diego is not actually a race, but a navigational challenge where precise driving and locating hidden check points determine the victor. Sound easy? We should mention that cell-phones, nav-units, and anything with GPS capability is forbidden during the event. Competitors must use maps, roadbooks, notes, a compass, and of course a little dead reckoning to find their way across 2000 kilometers of trails, two-track, sand dunes, and back roads. “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,” said Emily Miller, the event’s owner and organizer. Emily is an experienced four-wheel drive racer who has not only competed in, but made the podium at Rallye Aicha des Gazelles.”The sport of off-road, the vastness of the open desert, and the lessons of precise navigation have had a profound impact on my life and the lives of many others.”  Our team is excited to share this and build a platform for women to shine.”

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Don’t worry, you won’t need a race ready truck with a roll cage to compete in this event. In fact, you don’t even need low-range. In an effort to remain accessible, two race classes are available, one for a traditional four-wheel drive with low range, and one for cross-overs like Subaru outbacks and Jeep Renegades. Both races can be completed with a totally stock vehicle, though they do recommend off-road tires and under body protection. Besides being street legal and insured, just a small amount of gear is required including things like a fire extinguisher, 5 gallons of water, a compass, and a first aid kit.

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Competitors will spend one night “self-camping”,and four other nights at base-camps with a traveling support village complete with toilets, showers, food, medical staff, mechanics, event staff, and competition officials. You won’t exactly be “roughing it” in the desert throughout the week either. Did we mention your breakfasts and dinners are prepared by Michelin-starred chef Drew Deckman? How about the black tie gala held at the Del-Mar raceway?

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Drivers of all experience levels are encouraged to enter, and a mandatory navigational aid class will be held for all participants before the race. Validation of driving experience or participation in a four-wheel drive course is required for entry. The entire event will last ten days starting on October 14th 2016. Registration opens December 15th and will close as soon as 60 teams have been processed so check it out as quick as you can!

For more information or to sign up, check out the Rebelle Rally website here!

 

 

The Rebelle Rally announces women’s navigational event!

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About the Author: Chris Cordes

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Chris didn’t receive a real taste of the outdoors until moving to Prescott, Arizona, for college in 2009. While working on his business degree in the Embry-Riddle undergraduate program, he learned to fly and spent his weekends exploring the Arizona desert and high country. He fell in love with backcountry travel and four-wheel drive vehicles, which led him to Overland Journal and Expedition Portal. Chris was immediately hooked by the concept of overlanding, which combines the excitement and adventure of flying with his affection for cars and trucks. After receiving his degree, Chris did a summer internship with Overland International before accepting a full-time position on our team.