The Road to Rebelle | Inspiring and Equipping Tomorrow’s Off-Roaders
Earlier this month, we teased Shelby Hall and Penny Dale’s preparation for the challenge of a lifetime: the Rebelle Rally. Today, we showcase more of the sweat and effort the women put into getting ready for the eight-day precision driving and navigation event.
Shelby Hall is no stranger to off-roading, having grown up in the backseat of vehicles manned by desert racing legends and then becoming a champion driver herself. Co-pilot Penny Dale, experienced navigator and overlander, joined Shelby for another round of Rebelle –– last year, the women placed first in the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport.
The Place: Glamis
Shelby and Penny weren’t the only team in a 2021 Ford SUV: 4 Wheel Parts’ Kathryn Reinhardt and Tori Bundrant had also entered in the 4×4 Class with their Bronco, and Melissa Fischer and Cora Jokinen took on the Rally’s X-Cross Class in the 2021 Bronco Sport. The teams met in Glamis prior to the event to train.
In Glamis, Shelby and Penny focused on their blindspots, taking every opportunity to do the tough stuff while they weren’t under extreme pressure. Rebelle is not a race but a rally composed of the “primary Compass & Map checkpoints plus secondary Rebelle Enduro Challenges where competitors use roadbooks to remain on route and, in some challenges, on time, factoring in time, speed, distance for average speed (at or under speed limits),” per the guidelines. Preparation and precision are among the biggest components of the rally, and Shelby and Penny timed themselves on everything from plotting map points to tire changes.
In this time prior to the actual event, the teams worked on communication, encouragement, and trust. In addition to the driving and navigation skills needed to do well, a strong mental game is a must. The women knew they would be competing against their best selves; they would have to avoid second-guessing decisions and being distracted by other teams.
Any woman can enter the Rebelle Rally, and in its six years, nearly all who have competed have finished. That’s not to say it is easy by any stretch. The days are long and staying on focus ––and on course –– for eight days without any GPS tools is a grueling task.
And the teams, no matter how well prepared, have to rely on good equipment. Shelby and Penny were excited to take on the 2021 Rally in the Bronco, a “legit, bad to the bone” competitor, and Shelby was pleased to use what she calls the perfect tire: BFGoodrich Tires’ Baja-champion All-Terrain T/A KO2s, the company’s toughest all-terrain tire. KO2s are designed to provide increased and aggressive traction on mud, snow, and rock, especially in aired-down use, and Shelby says they’re the only tire she believes in.
Both the 2021 Ford Bronco and the tires performed outstandingly in the rally. Shelby and Penny did extremely well, finishing 4th this year in the 4×4 Class. And in the X-Cross Class, Melissa and Cora helped the Sport defend its title, with another first place standing.
We applaud the skill and grit every woman poured into the event, and we congratulate the 2021 Ford Bronco and Sport teams for their jobs well done. We hope many other females see this rally as an opportunity to challenge themselves in years to come, and we trust the Ford Bronco, Sport, and industry providers to power them with the performance they need to compete.