Off-Roading

Rebelle Rally teams overcome elements, mechanical failures to conquer 1,700-mile course

At the end of the Rebelle Rally, participants drove their vehicles to Broadway Pier in San Diego for a public car show and their awards ceremony.

Photo by Eileen Falkenberg-Hull

The recipe for a Rebelle Rally team is straightforward. Take two adventurous women and combine them with analog navigation skills, basic emergency vehicle rescue techniques, and an off-roading-worthy vehicle. Add in a dash of hardiness, good communication skills, and a sense of humor. Marinate for 10 days in California and Nevada's forests, mountains, and deserts. On the last day, bake in the heat of the sun.

The journey itself is anything but simple. Rebelle Rally founder Emily Miller and her team spent months discovering and plotting the course for the navigation challenge, which had its beginning at Lake Tahoe and its end at the Imperial Sand Dunes near the U.S.-Mexico border. Desolate wasteland, tight corners, bulging dunes, craggy trails, and flats were all on the menu. Though the teams likely didn't take the time to stop and enjoy the views, Miller joked during the end-of-event celebration in San Diego on Saturday, the scenery was spectacular.

2019 Rebelle Rally team navigation Rebelle Rally participants were unable to use modern technology to help guide them on the course.Photo by Eileen Falkenberg-Hull

At the beginning of the journey, temperatures hovered near freezing. By the time the teams reached the dunes, it topped 100 degrees in the abundant sunshine.

The course consisted of a number of check points which garnered the teams points. Green check points, all of which were mandatory, were the easiest and marked by flags. Blue were harder to find with only a few of them marked by flags while the rest were designated by posts. Black check points proved the most difficult with no official markings indicating that the team had arrived at the destination.

2019 Rebelle Rally Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Team 207 ran a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross in the event and ended up with second place in the Crossover category.Photo by Eileen Falkenberg-Hull

How many points the teams earned depended on how close they were to the correct coordinate positioning when they signaled in that they had arrived. They competed in two classes – 4x4 and Crossover. At the end of the race, the team in each category with the most points would leave the desert as the winner.

The 2019 Rebelle Rally ran 1,700 miles and featured 76 women paired up in 38 teams from 67 cities in 20 states/provinces in six countries. The vehicles were as diverse as the drivers themselves, with everything from stock vehicles to specially modified rigs.

None of the going was particularly easy. Team 200, driving a Rolls-Royce Cullinan, suffered during the Johnson Valley stage getting three flat tires. They could only carry two spares, so the teammates had to patch one of the punctures and hope for the best heading to Glamis, California and the final day of the competition. Taking on an extra tire would have resulted in a 50-point penalty and the standings were tight.

2019 Rebelle Rally Land Rover LR4 Team 164 had to be towed back to Base Camp after rolling their Land Rover LR4.Photo by Eileen Falkenberg-Hull

Team 210, driving a 2017 Subaru Crosstrek, lost their clutch during that stage, putting them out of the competition, but the event's mechanics were able to replace the clutch overnight making them able to complete the event though they no longer were eligible for points.

On the last day of competition, Team 164 rolled their 2013 Land Rover LR4 in the Glamis dunes, causing multiple windows to break, the windshield to crack, and airbags to go off. The Rebelle Rally support team was able to rescue the team quickly and towed their Land Rover back to base camp.

Later that evening at dinner, longtime Rebelle Rally competitor and 35-year Army Veteran Rachel Ridenour presented the Land Rover team with a large sticker featuring the image of a rolled over SUV and a phrase favorited by Forrest Gump. In front of the Rebelles, as term Miller uses to refer to the competitors, Ridenour reminded the group of a favorite saying of hers, "There are two types of off-roaders. Those that have rolled and those that haven't rolled yet." The crowd roared with laughter and applause.

2019 Rebelle Rally End Day Stage Glamis Rebelle crossed the finish line at the end of each day not knowing how many points they had earned. They would be told several hours later.Photo by Eileen Falkenberg-Hull

The Rebelle spirit of survival and overcoming obstacles is something that Miller doesn't just promote. She lives it as well. As a respected off-road racer and adventurer in her own right, the competition is just as personal for her as it is for the competitors.

Though Toyotas, Jeeps, and Land Rovers are often thought of as the champions of the off-roading space, the teams piloting them did not come out on top in the Rebelle Rally results.

When all was said and done, Team 190 driving a stock 2019 Lexus GX 460 took top honors in the 4x4 category. The Crossover class was won by Team 200 in their 6,000-pound Sapphire Blue Rolls-Royce Cullinan.

"This Cullinan is a hundred percent more capable than I thought it would be," said Team 200 driver Emme Hall during the awards ceremony Saturday at Broadway Pier in San Diego. "I thought we were going to have to go really slow through a lot of things. I thought we were going to have problems in the dunes. I thought it was going to be too heavy … Every single time, every day, it proved me wrong."

Each year, the Rebelles prove a lot of people wrong, including themselves, by rising to the challenge and pushing themselves and their vehicles to the limits.

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Jessica Hawkins, stunt driver, sits behind the wheel of the 2020 Land Rover Defender on the set of 'No Time to Die'.

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

When James Bond knocks, you answer. Whether it's Aston Martin or Land Rover, British auto brands have been well represented in the forthcoming James Bond movie "No Time to Die".

The new Land Rover Defender 110 appears alongside Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Naomie Harris, Ralph Finnes, and Ben Whitshaw. It is featured in a change sequence that showcases the vehicle's prowess in extreme off road conditions. Behind the scenes photos of the action show stunt coordinator Lee Morrison, who has worked on Jason Bourne, Indiana Jones, and James Bond movies, and stunt driver Jessica Hawkins, who competes in the W Series, at work.

The Land Rover Defender 110 driving through thick mud during filming of "No Time to Die."

"Designing and coordinating the action sequences for the Bond franchise requires a non-compromising mindset." said Morrison. "We needed an unstoppable vehicle to help us battle against the elements, steep descents and river crossings so we chose the new Defender. I'm beyond impressed that the Defender is not only back but much, much better!"

The Defender appears alongside the Range Rover Sport SVR, Land Rover Series III, and Range Rover Classic as the Bond character, played by Craig, traverses the globe to rescue a kidnapped scientist.

Land Rover's design team worked closely with Special Effects and Action Vehicles Supervisor Chris Corbould to spec the Defender vehicles in the film. They are based on the Defender X model in Santorini Black, with darkened skid pans, 20-inch dark finish wheels, and professional off-road tires. The modes were the first Defender vehicles to be built at Jaguar Land Rover's new production facility in Nitra, Slovakia.

No Time To Die | Land Rover USA www.youtube.com

Land Rover has had a long-standing partnership with EON Productions on the Bond films, going back to 1983 when a Range Rover Convertible appeared in "Octopussy".

The Land Rover Defender 110 featured in "No Time To Die" will be on display for the first time in Los Angeles during the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. Consumers can see the vehicle at the 2019 Los Angeles International Auto Show between November 20 and December 1, 2019.

"No Time to Die" will be released starting April 2, 2020 in the U.K. and in the U.S on April 10.

The Defender 110 will be priced from $49,900 in the U.S. and will go on sale in the spring.

The Land Rover Defender has debuted and it's getting ready to go on sale in the U.S.

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

Land Rover doesn't just make adventuremobiles. They also make luxury lifestyle transportation solutions. As capable as a Land Rover SUV is, it's also as stylish.

The idea behind that blend is the anthesis of the 4xFAR live music festival event. 4xFAR combines lifestyle, culinary, adventure, and music experiences on January 18-19, 2020 at the Empire Grand Oasis in the Coachella Valley.

"The new Land Rover Defender is an iconic vehicle reimaged for the modern era. We've created the 4xFAR Festival to introduce the Defender back to the U.S. in a fresh and exciting way by bringing together a unique experience combining adventure, culinary arts, and music in an unforgettable weekend," said Kim McCullough, Vice President of Marketing, Jaguar Land Rover North America.

4xFAR event poster Land Rover will host the 4xFAR festival, where event goers will be the first in the country to drive the new 2020 Land Rover Defender.Photo courtesy of Land Rover

The festival was created in honor of the arrival of the 2020 Land Rover Defender on U.S. shores. Alongside the traditional lifestyle elements, event goers will be able to test out the Defender on a purpose-built off-road course, alongside the full range of current Land Rover vehicles. There will also be displays of Land Rover heritage vehicles and parking corrals for Land Rover Club members.

The musician lineup is impressive. The line-up is led by Grammy-winning Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals with Mark Ronson & Q-Tip, as well as two-time Grammy nominated live electronic duo Sofi Tukker. The unique programming continues with former The War on Drugs frontman turned solo artist Kurt Vile and the Violators, and British-Japanese electronic house producer Maya Janes Coles. Additionally, Young The Giant, English songwriting prodigy Mahalia, surf-rock icons Tijuana Panthers, synthesizer expert LP Giobbi, and Brighton's Chappaqua Wrestling join the lineup. More artists will be announced closer to the event date.

An adventure area will include workshops in slacklining, rock climbing, yoga & mobility, mountain biking, campsite mixology, navigation & wilderness safety, along with other demos and activities throughout the weekend.

Celebrity brand ambassadors including professional volleyball player Gabby Reece and big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton, the United States Equestrian Federation and the United States Ski and Snowboard teams will be at the event.

There will also be activations from art and design companies, interactive photo moments, VIP amenities, and exclusive branded and curated goods and apparel.

Tickets for the event start at $185 and can be purchased at www.4xfar.com.