“What’s the matter? Why are you guys stopping?” came a familiar voice around the corner. It was the Rebelle Rally’s Technical Director, Chris Woo, who looked concerned as Team Hemispheres United frantically exited their 2020 Jeep JLU. Day two of the competition was intensifying, with limited time to rally to the next checkpoint; no one dared stop for something that wasn’t urgent.
“About to shoot cats!” Irma yelled back, looking a bit green around the gills. “Shooting cats”, a well-known saying in Irma’s first language, Afrikaans, means someone is about to puke.
The saying quickly became a favorite in the Rebelle Rally over the next eight dusty days of rallying, where navigators got their fair share of car sickness while hunting down hidden checkpoints in remote areas of Nevada and California. This is one of the many highlights of Team Hemispheres United, consisting of Irma Bosch and Mandy Brezina, at the 2020 Rebelle Rally (a 1,500 mile-long women’s off-road rally consisting of a map, compass, wits, and determination). Irma and Mandy are dreaming of participating in this year’s rally in October.
Together, despite their geographic locations with Irma in Hawaii and Mandy in Maryland, they share important values and goals. One being an appreciation for quality products to keep them safe no matter where they take their vehicles.
Although they grew up on different hemispheres traveling the world in very different ways, the two share a love for exploring new places by vehicle. Irma grew up overlanding through Africa with her family in their Land Rover Defender, falling in love with the bush and its people.
She says, “To get to these remote locations, quality gear that you could trust to bring you back home safely from the middle of Africa was one of the first important lessons I learned from my family’s adventures.”
Often traveling for up to four weeks at a time in rough off-road conditions, vehicles had to be fully self-reliant and equipped to handle the severe punishment that the “non-roads” handed to them.
Whether tracking through the muddy, elephant trampled roads in Matusadona National Park in Zimbabwe or the thousand different two-track roads on endless sand dunes in Mozambique, recovery gear quickly became everyone’s most used item and provided peace of mind.
“That sense of adventure and exploring the unknown would not be possible if you could not rely on your home-on-wheels,” says Irma.
Mandy is an Army veteran who was introduced to the off-roading scene during a defensive driving course in preparation for a deployment to Afghanistan.
“The beating the vehicles experienced during the class and while deployed to Afghanistan,” Mandy says, “showcased how important quality equipment was to get you where you are going safely.”
When Mandy met her husband, he was into off-roading and overlanding which immediately drew Mandy to it.
“Being able to take your vehicle to remote locations that very few get the opportunity to see, in the comfort of your own vehicle, was a whole new world of exploration.”
ARB has been the go-to company she’s used for her 2008 JK8 and is now using for their future overlanding rig, a 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon. The company’s focus on innovation makes them her first choice when sourcing trustworthy accessories for the Jeeps.
Irma and Mandy’s unique backgrounds and similar mindsets brought them together to complete their first Rebelle Rally as a team. While training together, Mandy introduced Irma to the ARB products on the 2008 JK8.
“Irma was immediately hooked!” Mandy explained. “She quickly embraced the same reasons I chose ARB for my vehicles and added items to her 2020 Jeep JLU, which was the 2020 Rally vehicle.”
“From something as small as ARB’s E-Z digital tire deflator to the comfort of knowing your ARB Solis lights are there for you if you get lost on the way back to basecamp in the dark, to the solid yet sexy Classic Deluxe bumper, ARB’s innovation and quality are a driving factor in our decision to equip our rally vehicle with as many ARB products as we could.”
ARB products served the team well during the 2020 Rebelle Rally. They look forward to many more adventures with the Jeeps and ARB lineup giving them peace of mind.