This event proves anyone can off-road anything

Whatever vehicle you want to bring, the Avants All-Womens Off-Road class proves anyone can get stuck in

Screenshot 2024-03-11 at 14.57.29

Here at DirtFish, we love our off-road motorsport. Rallying, rally-raid, rallycross, or just about anything with dirt and a stopwatch involved; we’re here for it.

But the world of off-road extends well beyond the motorsport landscape. It’s a passion and a lifestyle that connects millions of people across the globe through their love of off-road machines.

And if you’re an off-road enthusiast looking for a community of like-minded gearheads, then there’s no better place to enjoy your passion than an Avants Off-Road event.

The Seattle-based membership program for car enthusiasts held its third annual Women’s Off-Road Women’s Day in March, bringing together 40 women to enjoy a day of driving, educational workshops and a celebration all things off-road with the Avants team.

Of course, to hold such an event, you first need some awesome off-road terrain to go play on. That’s where DirtFish Rally School comes in.

DSC01671 copy

Krissy Wells orchestrates the Avants All-Womens Off-Road events

“We’ve created an awesome off-road course here at DirtFish,” said Avants’ Seattle director Krissy Wells during the event. “We have about 40 women in vehicles, anything from your Ford Bronco to the Ineos Grenadier – who sponsored the event – to a Toyota Tacoma, and everything in between that’s just out here off-roading.

“Everyone’s learning lots of new techniques, and then we all come together at the end and celebrate everything we did. It’s just so much fun, and I love that I get to create lots of really great events for people to experience their cars, meet like-minded people, and just have a great time.”

Like any Avants Off-Road event, this gathering was about learning vital skills for any driver looking to take their vehicle off the beaten track. The participants learned how to properly use traction boards, as well as kinetic recovery and winching techniques. Plus, everyone got their chance behind the wheel of the Ineos Grenadier around the DirtFish course.

But developing those skills is only part of the Avant’s Women’s Day experience, as Wells explains.

“It means a lot to have so many women here,” she said of the event, which is now in its third year. “This event is not about creating a women’s event because we don’t think they can do [off-roading]. We create these events because we know they can do it, and we know that they can elevate [themselves] every single time.

“The Women’s Day has almost doubled in size each year, and I feel like we’re at a max capacity now, but I just want everyone to be able to have an opportunity and experience the course as much as possible.

“What we learn from these events is that we’re building confidence [in the participants], we’re building the power within us to just get out there and defeat the world. So it means a lot. I really love this event.”


Participants got a chance to try out the Ineos Grenadier in its natural environment

And there’s nothing that proves the Avants event’s power to empower its participants more than seeing what the women who attend are able to go on to achieve.

“The other part that’s so exciting about this event,” Wells explains, “and watching the women grow in the space is that we have many Avants members who have elevated and challenged themselves, and they’re doing Rebelle Rally now (a women’s off-road navigation rally-raid in the US), they’re doing rally racing too, they’re exploding.

“Really what we do here is just entry level, but it is an opportunity. It’s a door that opens to many different experiences and getting behind the wheel on dirt and terrain.”

The latest Avants Women’s Off-Road day came just a week after another groundbreaking event designed to bring more female participation in motorsport – DirtFish’s Women in Motorsport Summit. As someone who has attended each of the three Summits held so far, Wells can’t say enough about how important an event that brings together women in motorsport from all over the globe is.

“What I love about the Summit is all the different women in motorsports coming together to celebrate their passion,” she said. “But what hit it the most for me is the whole idea of ‘imposter syndrome’. I think that for us as women, we don’t really think about that very often.

So that’s why I love what [Summit panelist] Michele Abbate said: ‘Fake it till you make it!’ She hit the nail on the head, because for me that’s so true. Growing up, I raced go-karts and I did lots of things, and that was always my motto. I told myself, ‘I got this. I’m going to fake it till I make it.’

“I encourage everyone to come to the Summit because there’s something that’s going to be relatable. There’s something that you’re going to think about in your day-to-day, whether you’re behind the wheel or you’re not, that you’re going to pick up from that event. And the stories are just so amazing too, with Michèle Mouton and everybody. I just love it.”

To find out more about Avants, and their Women’s Off-Road Days, click here.

Words:James Bowen