Episode 65 Rebelle Rally 2021


Show Notes for Podcast #65
Rebelle Rally 2021


Ashley Giordano, Matt Scott, and Scott Brady discuss the most recent Rebelle Rally, including the vehicles, tactics, and winning teams.

Host Bios:

Scott Brady

Scott is the publisher and co-founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal and is often credited with popularizing overlanding in North America. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and includes three circumnavigations of the globe. His polar expeditions include two vehicle crossings of Antarctica and the first long-axis crossing of Greenland. @scott.a.brady

Matthew Scott

Matthew is a leading expert in automotive adventure. He has extensively explored the world’s most remote places by 4WD and is considered an industry authority on overland travel. He is the only American to ever become an editor of a major Australian 4WD publication and has over 15 years of competitive auto racing experience. @mattexplore

Ashley Giordano

Ashley Giordano completed a 48,800-kilometer overland journey from Canada to Argentina with her husband, Richard, in their well-loved but antiquated Toyota pickup. On the zig-zag route south, she hiked craggy peaks in the Andes, discovered diverse cultures in 15 different countries, and filled her tummy with spicy ceviche, Baja fish tacos, and Argentinian Malbec. You can usually find Ashley buried in a pile of travel books, poring over maps, or researching wild medicinal plants. Ashley is a co-founder of Women Overlanding the World and crew member of Expedition Overland. You’ll find this Canadian-born couple exploring a different continent in 2021, and sharing their trip every step of the way at Desk to Glory. @desktoglory_ash

This episode sponsored in part by:

GCI Outdoor
RedArc Electronics


Welcome Rebelles!

The Rebelle Rally is the first women’s off-road navigation rally raid of its type in the United States. It is the ultimate road trip for the adventurous and competitive woman. The name of the game is pace and precision. You do not need to be a professional driver or have a race vehicle. The Rebelle is designed for 4×4 and X-Cross™ vehicles and takes place on the stunning dirt roads, double tracks, trails, and sand dunes of the vast American West. Whether you are new to off-road, or a seasoned pro, our goal is to challenge you to embrace and enhance your driving and navigation skills for your future journeys – wherever they may lead you.

The Rebelle Rally covers 2,500 kilometers of stunning terrain across the Nevada and California desert.

Blending the love of driving with the ultimate challenge of precise navigation, the Rebelle tests your skills over 8 days of competition. It is not a race for speed, but a unique and demanding event based on the elements of headings, hidden checkpoints, time, and distance using maps, compass, and roadbook.


The Rebelle Rally is designed with intention. Every last detail. It is a platform for women to shine. At its core, it’s a world-class competition. Peel back the layers, and it is a world-class brand.

IT IS TOUGH, RAW, AUTHENTIC, and all dressed up in one amazing package attracting adventurous, smart, empowered women from across the globe. Designed by the best in action sports, rally, automotive, & the adventure world, it delivers a unique & life-impacting challenge. The REBELLE is fast becoming a MOVEMENT built on community values seeded in action not simply words. Because talk is cheap.​


Rebelle Rally info:

Website: Rebelle Rally

Instagram: @rebellerally

YouTube: click here





Photos provided by Richard Giordano @desktoglory or www.desktoglory.com


Full Transcripts:

Scott Brady: [00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to the Overland journal podcast. I’m your host, Scott Brady and I’m here with my illustrious co hosts… Matt Scott and Ashley Giordano. So thank you all for being here. Cause we’re going to talk about the Rebelle Rally, which is, I think, one of the coolest events that we have in North America. I think it’s one of the coolest events on the planet and it has been so successful because of a lot of reasons that we’re going to talk about today, but Matt and Ashley were just there.

Matt Scott: We were there, actually.

Scott Brady: About a week ago and you both had different roles, so maybe start off by telling the listener what you guys were both doing there at the event.

Matt Scott: Why don’t you start, because mine was fluid.

Ashley Giordano: Okay. So I was social media manager, and so I captured the essence of what was going on the ground and posted so the [00:01:00] fans back home could see.

Scott Brady: So you were doing active posting during the whole event. So you were the one that was keeping us all up to date. I love that.

Ashley Giordano: Yeah, it was great, and I guess I was internal media. So that was pretty cool to be on the other side of the event and see it from the inside out, which is cool. This is my third year as part of the internal media team there.

Scott Brady: And were you involved with the event before that in a different capacity or you’ve only worked in the internal media side?

Ashley Giordano: Correct.

Scott Brady: And how did you get connected with Emily Miller and the whole…

Ashley Giordano: I don’t really remember exactly how I had this idea that I wanted to help out, but I just sent Emily an email one day asking if I could volunteer and she said yes, so I was pretty stoked about that. And then she… we worked at King of the Hammers together and she got down on one knee and proposed to me and asked if I could help with the social media at the next year’s Rebelle [00:02:00] Rally. It was great. She’s wonderful.

Scott Brady: Yes. Well, and we can’t talk about the rebel rally without talking about Emily Miller, because she is one of the most professional and accomplished event organizers in the country and she’s also a very accomplished racer and driver in her own right and if I recall correctly, she started off by participating in racing in the trophy Ayesha de Gazelles that’s conducted in Morocco, is that correct?

Matt Scott: I think she did some desert racing, because she was mentored by Rod Hall, a really close friend of hers. So I think she did a lot of stuff for Nora. I don’t know the classes cause there’s like a new class every week, but I know she did one of them, and had quite a bit of success on that and then definitely went on to the rally Ayesha de Gazelles. And then yeah, I’m just glad that she brought a similar format to the navigation rally. So, I mean, I guess let’s back up and let’s talk about what the Rebelle Rally is. So first off, it’s the longest off-road [00:03:00] race off road rally… don’t say race, it’s a rally… in the United States, which is incredibly impressive. The course this year was 2200 kilometers of which I would say 90% of that would have been dirt. You know, there’s just some areas… the course this year actually started at Hoover dam. So that’s where the tech inspection was. That was really cool to be able to like I dunno, hangout at Hoover dam all day, and then they did tech inspection, dam. There’s a lot of damn jokes. But then the next day…

Scott Brady: This is totally inappropriate.

Matt Scott: They left from lake Las Vegas. That’s kind of the hotel that was like the host hotel. And there’s prologue stage, which went up kind of by area 51, so it kind of did like a loop of Southern Nevada.

Scott Brady: No abductions in area 51 that you’re aware of?

Matt Scott: No…

Scott Brady: Any unaccounted for teams?

Matt Scott: I did stop at the little Ale-Inn.

Ashley Giordano: I saw the Earth Roamer parked there and I was like what is happening there?

Matt Scott: So it was like [00:04:00] this really kooky dive bar. They have basically an alien burger that is served on a hoagie, which is… if you’re a fan of dive bar cheeseburgers and those really cheap pickles…

Scott Brady: It was on point.

Matt Scott: It was on point. Some cooks work there.

Scott Brady: No loss of time for you?

Matt Scott: No loss of time. You know, except for that one thing. So first base camp, basically they kinda, you know, most of the base camps you were at for two nights and you’d transit to the base camp and then do a loop from that base camp and then transit to the next base camp. So you know, the first base camp for stage one… no stage one and two.

Ashley Giordano: Yes. Stage one and two. Yeah. It was like two nights.

Matt Scott: Yeah. So it started from there. It was maybe 45 minutes north of Rachel, which is on the extra-terrestrial highway. It was an interesting area, like it was super pretty.

Scott Brady: Is that where the storm came in or was that later?

Matt Scott: No, that was in the Amargosa Valley.

Scott Brady: Oh we got to talk about that.

Matt Scott: We’ll get to the [00:05:00] storm.

Scott Brady: That looked fantastic.

Matt Scott: That affected others, maybe more than it did me in the Earth Roamer. I felt really bad.

Scott Brady: No you didn’t.

Matt Scott: I shared it with my friends.

Ashley Giordano: But there was a ranch at that… first base camp as well.

Matt Scott: And they’ve been ranching there as a family since the 1800s. That was really cool, so that one in particular was on private property, a lot of the events on BLM land, cause there’s just so much BLM land.

Scott Brady: Especially in Nevada, everywhere.

Matt Scott: The event has such a great relationship with the land managers, and I think… yeah, that’s kind of, one of the themes I see is I don’t necessarily want to call it conservation, but it’s an incredibly healthy respect for the land for the agencies that allow an event like this to happen.

Scott Brady: What do you think they do differently to help maintain that relationship?

Matt Scott: Less energy drink sponsors.

Scott Brady: Got it. Maybe just less energy drinks being consumed.

Matt Scott: You know, I think, I think one, it’s a different style of competition. It’s not, let’s see how fast we can go. It’s [00:06:00] limited to 50 mile an hour which…. let’s approach the elephant in the room here is certain types of men love to hate this event, whether they’re jealous or insecure, or too stupid to read a map .

Scott Brady: Or entitled or whatever, yeah.

Matt Scott: Yeah. So this is a navigation rally. So what you’re trying to do is you’re given a map and a compass on day one. Your phones, devices, cameras that aren’t even allowed that have little GPS functionality and things like that.

Ashley Giordano: They wrap them up I believe.

Matt Scott: They wrap them up. They cover screens, like if your car has a navigation screen, that’s all kinda taped up and covered. I don’t know what the term for it is… it’s put in quarantine, although that has a different meaning after the last year or two.

Scott Brady: So anything that has the capability of providing navigational assistance…

Matt Scott: You get a map and a compass.

Scott Brady: Got it.

Matt Scott: You’re navigating from the checkpoint… there’s [00:07:00] three types of checkpoints. There’s green, blue, and black. So green checkpoints are staffed, so everyone has to go through the green check points and that kind of gives you your base level of points. If you complete just the green checkpoints each day, that means you’ve completed the route. Then on top of that, you have blue check points, which are harder to find than greens, but not as hard as black checkpoints. So they have a small little flag that you know, the competitors basically get a…

Scott Brady: Oh, there’s a whole punch.

Matt Scott: No, it’s actually like a GPS tracker in there. They’re judged on how close they were to that point and where it becomes really challenging and what separates, you know, the, the winners from those who don’t, or those who are competing and those who are… you know, there’s a lot of people I think respectfully that just go on the Rebelle to have an experience and a great adventure. These black checkpoints, are they generally in technical terrain? [00:08:00]

Ashley Giordano: No flag.

Matt Scott: There’s no flag. So you have to with, you know, map, compass, dead reckoning, however you’re doing this, you have to find these places that are in the desert, and it’s set up to where you can’t just get everything. So there’s a strategy. Like I’m going to try and get, you know, checkpoint 16, 19, 21, and 27 because that’s a route, and there’s no way that you could get back to checkpoint 15 and whatever numbers that I didn’t say.

Ashley Giordano: And then the checkpoints, you know, every team’s not necessarily going to the same ones. They have different ones that they’ve been, I guess, assigned. You can’t follow another team because that might not be your checkpoint.

Scott Brady: So it’s a way to kind of prevent people hedging by following maybe a team that has a great reputation for navigation or something.

Matt Scott: That was my idea, it was just to follow Nina.

Ashley Giordano: But an easy way to remember, like ski Hills, you have your green, blue, black.

Matt Scott: Yeah. [00:09:00]

Scott Brady: So the black points are not only more difficult. Terrain wise, but then they’re also not, you don’t know that you’ve actually made it.

Matt Scott: You don’t know.

Scott Brady: And then what do you do? You push a button to say…

Matt Scott: You push a button on the tracker, so all of the cars have, you know, there’s also some safety stuff that goes in. You know, when you’re taking people’s cell phones or locking people’s cell phones away… there are mechanics on the event that can come and help you. So, you know, there was a Porsche that totally destroyed an axle shaft and CV joint and stuff. So there’s actually a satellite phone in the car. This satellite phone is, you know, an emergency only. There’s also a vehicle. So like when you’re staff, you can actually go on… well actually, anybody can go online and track during the competition live scoring and where the competitors are throughout the events.

Scott Brady: That’s impressive.

Matt Scott: It’s actually pretty technical. A lot of the stuff comes from sailing races, yachting, and that kind of stuff.

Scott Brady: Well that makes sense. If someone was to have a [00:10:00] rollover and maybe they’re unconscious or maybe the vehicle caught on fire, they needed to get out. They would see that like the signal has dropped, this was the last known location, or the vehicle hasn’t moved in two hours or whatever. Yeah. That’s interesting.

Ashley Giordano: And comms, like all the staff… most of the staff, they have coms. So obviously the medical lab there.

Matt Scott: Yeah, all of them had that push to talk satellite communications this year, which is really, really cool. But, yeah, it’s just a fantastic race. This year there were eight…

Ashley Giordano: Rally. Rally mat, rally. It’s not a race for speed.

Matt Scott: You know? Yeah, it’s a wonderful event. Try criticizing that one… it’s a wonderful event. I want to say this year was eight stages.

Ashley Giordano: Yeah.

Scott Brady: And are any of the stages, like a special task [00:11:00] where like you, something you’d see in the Camel Trophy where they need to build a bridge or are they all some version of a driving event.

Matt Scott: They’re all pretty full on. You know, there’s 2200 kilometers of primarily dirt that’s covered in… as I was saying earlier with the route, it went up an extraterrestrial highway kind of over towards Tonopah and then down towards Death Valley. This year they actually were the first competition that ever got permission to do Titus canyon.

Scott Brady: That’s cool.

Matt Scott: That was super, super special. I think that just goes to say, how much work and how much respect the event you know, does have for those lands. But yeah, that is where things got…

Ashley Giordano: Interesting.

Matt Scott: Yeah, there were like 65 mile an hour winds and we were camped…

Scott Brady: The photos are awesome.

Matt Scott: If you haven’t seen them, like I think I posted some stuff on Overland Journal. I know there’s stuff on the Rebelle Rally [00:12:00] Instagram page. It was apocalyptic. I mean, I also had my TRX there that I loaned to Chris Walker, he was driving the media around. I had to get in that thing and go like three miles down the valley to find… What are those silver tents called?

Ashley Giordano: Yeah. I know what you’re talking about.

Scott Brady: The space pod, the pod…

Matt Scott: A shift pod. You know, they look like alien spacecrafts this time. You’re on the other side of area 51. And then you just kind of like… in this whiteout, you see this silvery thing, just kind of like a kick off, and you’re like… okay.

Scott Brady: So, it excited the whole area.

Matt Scott: It was found miles away.

Ashley Giordano: Rochelle Croft’s belongings were still inside of it when they found it like miles and miles away, all intact. So she was pretty happy to get all of her stuff back.

Scott Brady: That’s hilarious. So another question that comes to mind, you mentioned the 50 miles an hour, [00:13:00] since it’s a rally, do they actually deduct points if you go over that 50 mile an hour.

Matt Scott: Yeah, and that was a problem this year, like on the first…it was the first day, right?

Ashley Giordano: First or second day, yeah. I think it was, it’s all a blur now to be honest.

Matt Scott: Some people were, you know, you’d look down on the tracker and people are doing like 70 mile an hour… and you have to put it into context. Again, people will kind of criticize the event for this 50 mile an hour speed limit.

Scott Brady: These are public lands.

Matt Scott: These are public lands in stock vehicles without roll cages. I mean like I was struggling to do 50 in my TRX. That’s 700 horsepower with all of the travel, you know, this is everything from… There was a stock Subaru Cross trek this year. I think this event is less about what you put on the vehicle and how [00:14:00] you modify it and how much money you spend. There’s less ego in the vehicle and the ego is in the competitor and it’s in the skills of that…

Scott Brady: The driver and the navigator, sure. I love that.

Matt Scott: You couldn’t drive 50 on a lot of these roads. A lot of them are really technical, they’re not just like open flat desert stuff. I mean, although there are parts of that.

Ashley Giordano: And you helped monitor the Ontime Enduro’s.

Matt Scott: Yeah, I did, I think it was… I did two of the Ontime Enduro’s where they, you know, they have to average a certain amount of speed between two things.

Scott Brady: That’s really difficult.

Matt Scott: It’s really, really difficult. The interesting thing was, how close people actually were, which gave you a clue as to the talent of these women. You know, I want to say the one that I did, they had to finish it with. 17 minutes and there was like a two-minute interval and like most of them came in like within seconds.

Scott Brady: And is there a rally computer on board? That gives them average speeds?

Matt Scott: They have, Terratrips,

Scott Brady: Terratrips. Okay, yeah. [00:15:00] So that helps.

Matt Scott: Yeah, Terratrips and some of them have IKOS.

Scott Brady: But what really can set it off is a wheel spin or, you know, instead of taking like the center of the route that they cut all the apexes or they, maybe they blow some corners, and it adds time and distance

Matt Scott: There were people blowing corners on mine. I had somebody almost roll and roll into my Earth Roamer that was parked behind the turn. I think that was the day that…

Ashley Giordano: Yeah, that’s probably that day. There was a little chat at base camp about that.

Matt Scott: Emily was not super happy.

Scott Brady: But it makes sense as the event gets more and more popular and there’s more and more at stake. Some people are now sponsored and there’s big OEM involvement. So it’s going to make sense that…

Matt Scott: There were seven OEMs involved this year.

Scott Brady: Which I think is the coolest part. To see so much support at every single level from Matt, you being there with Max Traxs [00:16:00] to Volkswagen…

Matt Scott: Volkswagen, Rivian, Ford, Jeep, Kia, Nissan Porsche.

Scott Brady: I mean, these are big…

Ashley Giordano: Mitsubishi, Honda, Toyota,

Matt Scott: Honda Toyota…

Ashley Giordano: I think it was 50%, almost 50% of the teams were rookies this year, which is a lot.

Matt Scott: Yeah, and some of them did really well. The Toyota engineers.

Scott Brady: So what’s the story of the Toyota engineers?

Matt Scott: I’m going to turn that one over to you.

Ashley Giordano: Oh, they just rocked it.

Scott Brady: So they were both Toyota engineers? Product engineers?

Ashley Giordano: Yeah. In the She-quoia, it was like team She-quoias.

Scott Brady: What a great name.

Ashley Giordano: Yeah. So they won the rookie of the year award and they just placed really, really well and did a great job for the first year.

Scott Brady: And was the vehicle totally stock or like a TRD?

Matt Scott: It was a TRD version of the Sequoia. [00:17:00] It sounded great.

Scott Brady: The five seven? Sure.

Matt Scott: It was throaty. I think it was pretty much stock. It definitely didn’t have that much done to it.

Scott Brady: And then what stood out in your mind of what they did differently or better than the other rookies?

Matt Scott: I think that the top teams, the thing that I saw… you know, Elizabeth Williams and her sister friends of Scott and I, I think they were the second highest scoring team. The thing that I saw between those two teams was they were really, really comfortable and they had great communication with their co-driver and their navigator or the driver vice-versa. Cause this is maybe a little controversial, on the Rebelle it’s like, I think the driver’s kind of an Uber driver, you know, you’re being told where to go by the navigator and you have to have that trust and you have to work together. And if you’re not working together… you know, and to a [00:18:00] point that the driver has to say, no this isn’t… you know, they have to have their own common sense. But the navigation’s the really, really hard part, so I think the success for teams is mastering the navigation and having trust as a team, because if there’s no trust, I think…

Scott Brady: Then your drivers second guessing.

Matt Scott: You know, I mean like there’s definitely people at the event that I talked to that really were struggling with their teammates, and you could see it.

Ashley Giordano: And that must be a special person that you can spend a week of time with in a vehicle all day, every day, making strategic decisions…

Matt Scott: Then sleeping in a tent. Most of them sleep in a tent together.

Ashley Giordano: They can be separate. You can bring your own tent, but I think a lot of them, yeah, share tents too.

Scott Brady: I mean, it makes sense with Elizabeth being her sister. They’ve communicated together their whole life and even if something feels contentious with a sibling, it’s usually very brief, because I mean… [00:19:00] it usually isn’t like… you don’t have the big meltdown, you have the mini meltdown kind of thing.

Matt Scott: I would just have a meltdown, like every five minutes. It is incredibly challenging.

Ashley Giordano: I think there were several mother-daughter teams.

Scott Brady: That is so cool.

Matt Scott: Second place, the Benzie’s.

Scott Brady: Let’s talk about the classes. So there is a stock crossover class.

Matt Scott: It’s called X-Cross, and that’s a class specific to the Rebelle. So that’s everything from a Porsche Cayenne to a Subaru, you know, this year a Ford Bronco sport won it.

Scott Brady: Okay. Who was driving the…?

Matt Scott: Cora Jokinen was driving and Melissa Fischer. You know, and then Kia actually sponsored two vehicles this year and I want to say they’re like Korean spec PHEVs.

Ashley Giordano: They both were, yeah. Second and third place.

Matt Scott: Second and third. [00:20:00]

Ashley Giordano: Nina May and Tana White came in second place.

Scott Brady: And that’s in the PHEV class?

Ashley Giordano: That was an X-Cross class. I think that the electrified designation is a separate…

Scott Brady: So it’s a crossover electrified.

Ashley Giordano: It’s kind of… there’s like an electrified designation. But they don’t compete against each other specifically. They’re all competing against each other. So it’s like a designation.

Matt Scott: And that’s within the four-by-four class. So the bulk of, I’m not going to say that the real competition, cause that’s the totally wrong way to say it. The X-Cross class is a super huge challenge.

Scott Brady: These are all wheel drive vehicles?

Matt Scott: All wheel drive vehicles. I mean, they can have four-wheel drive. I don’t think there’s anything that necessarily prohibits them, but there are different routes that the X-Cross class is going to take and the cool thing with X-Cross is it just opens it up to more people. You know, if you don’t have a four-wheel drive and you can just take what’s in your driveway. You put some tires and wheels on it, I [00:21:00] want to say is pretty much what most people do, and then you go.

Scott Brady: Maybe a bash plate or something.

Matt Scott: Yeah. There’s also… so within the four-by-four class, which is probably the more contested class, I guess is probably…

Scott Brady: What qualifies it as a four-wheel drive? Does it have to have low range?

Matt Scott: Low range… although I don’t think it has to have low range.

I think it’s about the transfer case.

Yeah. So it’s probably low range. You know, I guess I always looked at it like that’s a crossover. It’s in the X-Cross class. That’s a four-wheel drive. That’s in the four-by-four class. That’s why you’re seeing Jeeps, FJ, cruisers, pickup trucks, that kind of stuff. I mean, Jeep was the most popular this year.

A Jeep Wrangler?

Yeah. They actually swept first, second, and third in the four-by-four class, which was really cool.

Scott Brady: And who won that?

Matt Scott: Nina Barlow and Carolyn won that. Fantastic driver. Fantastic four-wheel drive trainer. Carolyns is an insane navigator. They actually got the bone stock win, so there’s [00:22:00] also… if the vehicle was completely stock there is an additional trophy for that.

Scott Brady: And wasn’t it a PHEV Wrangler?

Matt Scott: It was, it was a Four by E so first, and second this year were Wrangler Four by Es. Both are completely stock. Third place was a… Well, here’s the argument. Third place was that 2021 Wrangler EcoDiesel that had… you know, it had bumpers that were factory Mopar bumpers. It had factory Mopar Bead lock wheels. It had a factory Mopar lift, so it wasn’t necessarily bone stock. But I mean, I guess now you could just go, it essentially mimics the recon extreme package. So, you know, maybe next year that’ll be a little more… it’s been cool seeing jeep support the event from the beginning you know, that that’s been really cool.

Scott Brady: Well, Nina is a known entity in the industry and a professional and a four-wheel drive trainer and she manages big events herself, so you can see why pairing her up with the right navigator is [00:23:00] like, that’s tough to beat.

Matt Scott: I mean, she had a pretty commanding performance this year.

Ashley Giordano: They just went for it, like on the day that we had that crazy storm, they were still out there in these gales in sand dunes.

Matt Scott: You couldn’t see 20 feet and she was in the dunes driving, you know…

Scott Brady: Trying to use a compass, that’s insane. That’s impressive.

Matt Scott: And they were getting stuff, so you know, again, like so much of this rally comes down to endurance, like, you know, I guess Emily’s thing is that there’s a rally within the rally for the staff and it takes a while to even recover as staff.

Ashley Giordano: It does.

Scott Brady: So how did, how did, how did that feel to you, Ashley, having to keep up with that kind of output on the media side?

Ashley Giordano: Yeah, it’s challenging. I think the lack of sleep, that’s one of the things that gets [00:24:00] you and working those long days, and it’s nice to be able to work with a really good team as well. Like Emily always talks about, she has the best team in the world, which is very flattering, but we each have our own team within the bigger team. It’s all about like, obviously for my role, I rely on the photographers a lot and my lead Kiersten, who is amazing, working with her and the photo manager and all of the different media people to get shots. Sometimes I’ll ask Dan, who flies the drone, and he has amazing shots to lend me a couple so I can post them on social media…

Scott Brady: Some of those were incredible.

Ashley Giordano: Yeah. He’s very talented. So yeah, I think we have to think about it like a marathon, not a sprint and just take one day at a time, but it’s very rewarding to have… you’re like, oh, I got through that as well. But I also looked at the women after that storm night, they had to go right onto a marathon stage, which means they don’t have any [00:25:00] like food trucks or what else? There were not very many facilities, I guess at that next base camp, it was basically like dry camping and so they went from this crazy storm to this super remote. With two days of really long, hard competition and I just… yeah, I was in such admiration of them all because that’s so tough.

Scott Brady: I was so impressed. I mean, there was not a single complaint that I saw from any of the teams about that. Most of them were like, that was epic. What an amazing adventure. Like there wasn’t, there wasn’t anything about sand in the sleeping bag. I mean, it was just really…

Matt Scott: Only from me.

Ashley Giordano: Only for me too, our tent was like completely… You should see this photo. It was like, all of our stuff covered in sand, but it’s all good.

Scott Brady: The competitors, they were in it. They were just in it.

Matt Scott: The positivity in the tent once the tent reopened, cause they had to kind of… I mean, it was gnarly. They had to kind of structurally inspect it. The vibes were [00:26:00] great. People were excited. I mean it was either be in the tent or be not in…

Ashley Giordano: Like the main media tent? Is that you mean? Yeah.

Scott Brady: What do you see, Ashley, about that organization now that you’ve done it for three years? Because Emily Miller and her team, they’re known for their professionalism and the level of I would say not only professionalism, but execution of the event. It’s very impressive. It does not feel like a small-time event. It feels very professional at a very high level. What are some things that you’ve noticed and you too Matt, but what have you guys noticed about that organization that’s different? Like what makes it perform that much better?

Matt Scott: She doesn’t sleep.

Ashley Giordano: Yeah… she doesn’t sleep.

Scott Brady: She’s great leadership, it sounds like.

Matt Scott: Incredible leadership.

Ashley Giordano: She really knows how to…

Matt Scott: Yell at people while making them smile? Which is something that I took away from [00:27:00] that…

Ashley Giordano: I love it when Emily gives her pep talks to both the internal team, and also to the teams, she’s a leader through and through. I wonder what it is. You can see it.

Scott Brady: A lot of competence. A lot of specific knowledge because she’s done it herself, and then she really seems to reflect a really high level of leadership for sure.

Ashley Giordano: And she lives it breathes that, you know, they’re researching and running those courses all year round. So she lives and breathes. She’s very passionate about it and

Matt Scott: Yeah. I think people will critique the cost of the Rebelle. So the Rebelles $15,000.

Scott Brady: But that’s why it turns out the way it does.

Matt Scott: You have Drew Deckman, who has one of the hottest restaurants in Mexico, he’s in the Guadalupe valley. Shout out to Drew doing all the catering. I mean, it’s wonderful food. You know, you have showers. You have good showers, bathrooms, you know, a base camp that’s awesome, and it’s almost a 10-day event by the time… cause it’s Wednesday [00:28:00] competitors get in until Sunday to leave. You know, and again, I get the monster energy flat bill crowd. Oh that’s so much money, I’m like, I know what you spend on Modelo for the 1000. I know what you spend on tires. I know what you spend on all of this. Like you can’t… unless you’ve actually done it. Like I will almost guarantee you this is not a huge money-making project for Emily Miller. This is a passion project, you know?

Scott Brady: And she deserves to make a living, and so does her staff.

Matt Scott: She, she pays people for the event well. She looks after people, but you know, this year I was kind of privy to some unexpected expenses. You know that, are five-digit expenses that, you know…

Scott Brady: The damage from a giant windstorm that you weren’t expecting.

Matt Scott: A giant windstorm or like catering went crazy or this or that and it’s like…

Ashley Giordano: Events of this magnitude, you’re going to have things that are going to come up.

Matt Scott: And the level that it’s done is unlike anything I’ve seen. [00:29:00] I mean, like Harry Wagner, who does the press releases and the automotive journalists, he’s been on… he’s done pretty much everything. He’s done Dakar, he’s done….

Scott Brady: Score, Nora, all of it.

Matt Scott: He was like, this is the best rally that I’ve ever been to, and I think a lot of it does really come down to the staff. They’re just fantastic people. And there’s just driving, everybody that’s there, you know, I went on the first Rebelle and this is the sixth Rebelle, and what’s cool is that the same people are still on it.

Scott Brady: It says a lot.

Matt Scott: And when you have a high stress event like this, that’s once a year that people may have stuff might come up or whatever. The fact that like almost all of that crew is still there. I think it just speaks volumes about the leadership of the event and the event itself. People believe in it and it’s cool now to see…

Scott Brady: We totally do. I mean, we’ve been so fortunate…

Matt Scott: We were the first sponsor.

Scott Brady: We were fortunate to be the first sponsor. The first media

Matt Scott: I’ll fight you [00:30:00] for it…

Scott Brady: We were the first media sponsor. So we were literally both the first sponsors.

Matt Scott: So, you know, it’s been cool to see that this segment, this type of motor sport and competition develop because now you walk in and you’re like, you know, oh that team’s good. That team’s good. That team’s great. Like you can kind of start to get in it, and we’re at that point now where the competitors themselves have evolved and the competition has evolved and…

Ashley Giordano: The event has evolved in the last like three years.

Matt Scott: And it can go so many ways, you know. Yeah, it’s been really cool.

Scott Brady: I think it’s great and it sounds like that starting with a great vehicle, you don’t really need to do a lot of modifications to the car doesn’t give you some huge advantage. If you have a good driver and a good navigator, or you’ve invested the time in becoming good drivers and good navigators and collaborating well as a team that will serve you [00:31:00] far better than spending money on some shocks.

Matt Scott: Spending the money on navigation training and driver training. I mean, eight stages. I’d want some good shocks too but…

Scott Brady: That’ll just help prevent you from breaking down.

Matt Scott: It’s a max of 35-inch tires. I think 35s are the max.

Scott Brady: That makes sense. It sounds like it really wouldn’t benefit you to have much larger than that anyways.

Matt Scott: And you’re just going to have more stuff getting broken. But it’s cool. The event as of last week was 50% at capacity, 50% sold already.

Scott Brady: Wow. For the next year for 2022. So cool. So cool. Now, Ashley, how do people find out more about the Rebelle Rally. If someone is interested in participating, how do they go about doing that and [00:32:00] what is typically expected from them? Like I remember hearing about some training that they do so how do people find out more information? And if they’re interested in racing, what are some things that they need to think about before they make that decision?

Ashley Giordano: Yeah, I would highly recommend visiting their website, RebelleRally.com. All the information is there. They even have packing lists and suggestions for training. I know they run what’s called RebelleU, and so they have various courses. Then if you don’t necessarily do RebelleU, then there are other courses that are listed there that you can take instead. So they have a list of recommended ones. You can also visit them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and all the usual suspects.

Scott Brady: So cool. Matt, what were some of the takeaways for you for the event? I mean, what did you leave there with a takeaway on?

Matt Scott: Tough women.

Scott Brady: Yeah, amazing.

Matt Scott: Yeah. It was a lot of adverse conditions this year and you know, [00:33:00] all of these nights in a tent with little sleep, long days, you know, most of the teams are up at 5:00 AM… you know, and they’re not going to bed until 10 because you know, they get their maps the night before and they’re planning their strategies and things. Just really tough competitors.

Scott Brady: Yeah, I love the fact that it ends with this big celebration.

Matt Scott: I had oysters.

Ashley Giordano: It’s nice to put a dress on at the end of that. You know, you walk in and everybody’s like, oh wow, you clean up well.

Matt Scott: You cleaned up in a port-a-potty…

Scott Brady: So it ends in Glamis. So lots of driving in the dunes and then it kind of wraps up with this gala at the end of it. Oh, that is so awesome.

Ashley Giordano: Yeah, that’s great.

Scott Brady: That’s, that’s really fun. Well, you know, thank you both for being there and helping [00:34:00] to support such a great event and Emily and her team, we just really support you. We’re grateful that you have the event available. For those that want to find out more information, we’ll also put links in the show notes and in the description. So that way you can check that out. We’ll also include some footage in the YouTube video that we’re recording for the podcast as well, but check it out for sure. RebelleRally.com. All right, thank you all for listening and we will talk to you next time.

Lisa Williams is an Arizona native that spent much of her childhood exploring backroads with her family in whatever project vehicle her father was wrenching on at the time. She has traveled the continental United States by foot, by Ford Econoline, and, most recently, by Jeep Cherokee. All her passions center around driving, connecting with nature, and a deep love for adventure. Though a practicing weekend warrioress, she aspires to write, photograph, and eventually rally race around the globe and share her journeys through photojournalism. Upcoming goals include competing in the Rebelle Rally, the Baja 1000, and an immersion into the less-traveled roads of New Zealand in her 2019 Toyota Tacoma.