Skyler Howes shows that he’s up to the challenge with a win in Northern Africa.
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And Leaves north Africa Celebrating a Victory, Birthday and His First Year in Rally Raid
The Morocco Desert Challenge (MDC) is not an occasion to be taken lightly. Considered by many a stepping stone on the pathway to World Class glory, the dune-heavy terrain showcases many of the obstacles one might face at the Amaury Sport Organisation’s (ASO) most infamous motorsport event, the Dakar. Special Stages at the MDC offer no liaisons, so every mile counts. And for the competitors, it’s the perfect setting to sharpen their skills as they prep for the coming Dakar Rally – this year making the seemingly controversial move to Saudi Arabia. So, when privateer Skyler Howes hits the scene in Agadir and quietly finishes his crusade atop the inevitable pile of carnage, it comes as a surprise to all but his fans.
Skyler Howes (#106) isn’t your average 20-something Millennial. Otherwise wholesome and good-natured, Howes took out his teenage aggressions on his dirt bike – pushing the limits every time he’d twist the throttle. But ambition, fearlessness and determination mix up a dangerous cocktail without limitations, and soon the young rider suffered a series of injuries slowing his progress significantly into adulthood. But determination dies hard. So, under the wing of racing legend Kurt Caselli, Howes learned to hold back just enough to find success consistently and safely, which is exactly what sent him to the top step of the podium in North Africa.
With the support of the Garrett Off-Road Racing team, Howes began navigation training and soon challenged the roadbook world of Rally – winning three out of the five events he’s entered, MDC included. Conquests aside, it’s safe to say his first trip to North Africa wasn’t a cakewalk. An epic battle was waged between he and veteran Joan Pedrero all week long, swapping 1st and 2nd place with each new stage. Pedrero was not going to let the formidable Rookie leave victorious without a fight. And although Skyler ultimately won the title, it was by a mere minute – 00h 01’ 06’’ to be precise. Still, duking it out with one of his idols, nabbing the trophy and venturing to Africa for the first time were quite the spread of gifts for this birthday boy who celebrated his 27th year of life at the rally.
“[An] unreal eight days through Morocco, battling it out with a legend in the sport, and coming home with the overall win at the Morocco Desert Challenge. After 3000 kilometers, the win literally came down to seconds. It was a blast racing through the African terrain and spending time with good people. Still don’t really know how to put the feeling into words” – Morocco Desert Challenge Champion, Skyler Howes #106
Follow the team’s racing efforts via social media as Garrett Off-Road Racing athletes – competing in everything from Rally Raid to Hare & Hound to ISDE to Hard Enduro – try to carve their names into Motorsport history.
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