YB Tracking has supported the Rebelle Rally ever since it began in 2015. We caught up with two of YB’s team - one rookie, one old hand - to share their experiences of the event.
The Rookie - Elonda
What I love about the Rebelle Rally is that it strips away so much technology that we’ve come to take for granted. You need to go to the event knowing how to use a map and compass, that’s a given. But just as fundamentally, you need to know how to work effectively in a team; how to communicate well under pressure. It was inspiring to watch the competitors digging inside themselves to find hidden depths of passion and strength, all for the betterment of their team.
The founder and coordinator, Emily, is extraordinary. Very calming, very true to herself, and you can tell she absolutely lives and breathes the philosophy of Rebelle - that growth comes from challenging yourself, and that you are stronger than you know. Every time she spoke, everyone was fully present - and yet she does not sugar-coat the challenge ahead of the competitors.
It is really hard work: you’ll be peeing in a porta-potty and going from extremes of temperature virtually every day. But it is so fulfilling for the women taking part; and it’s awesome that an event like this exists for women.
The Old Hand - Rachel
Rebelle is a family. Newcomers are made to feel incredibly welcome, and many of the staff were Rebelle competitors themselves a couple of years ago. The team have so much passion for what they do, and it’s infectious - everybody’s pulling to make this the best event possible.
Each day is like a new event: a new route, new points to find, new competitors, and new parameters for scoring points.
For example, there are three different types of checkpoints: two have flags, so when you’ve reached them, it’s very obvious, and you use one of the two YB3 trackers each team is issued with to send a waypoint location. The third - called ‘black diamond’ checkpoints - are just coordinates, and you send your checkpoint signal when you believe you’re in the right spot. Points are awarded for how close you are to the actual checkpoint, but go into negative points if you’re too far away!
There are also Rebelle Enduro Challenges - RECs - in which competitors have to make their way from A to B via usually four time controls. They’re awarded points for how close they are to the target time when they pass through the time control. This involves the YB team setting up geofences that record when the competitors enter the time control area, and these need to be very specific.
If there are several tracks into the time control, and only one is the ‘correct’ way in, the geofence needs to exclude the other tracks. We work very closely with the race organisers to get this right, and review the results together to ensure points are awarded appropriately.
The competitors are issued with two devices: one can be used exclusively to send waypoint markers, and the second is strapped to the vehicle, and provides a location update every two minutes. This lets friends, family and sponsors track their team on the YB Races app, and is also an invaluable tool for the safety team.
The terrain is dangerous and extremely remote, so the safety team keep a constant watch on teams’ locations. If they’re stationary for too long, or go very far off route, they’ll initiate a call to the team’s emergency satellite phone. Similarly, if the team gets in trouble, they use the YB3’s alert button to provide the safety team with instant information on their location.