DakarWorld Rally-Raid Championship

Skyler Howes recognised by hometown St. George with Skyler Howes Day

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Credit: Rally Zone

Skyler Howes has been one of the top American riders in international rally raid, competing four times at the Dakar Rally and winning the Rallye du Maroc in early October. In recognition of his achievements, his hometown of St. George, Utah, declared Friday, 4 November 2022 to be Skyler Howes Day.

Signed by Mayor Michele Randall, the declaration was read aloud by City Councilman Gregg McArthur, who called it “really cool” and praised Howes as “a very deserving individual […] that represents us so well.”

The proclamation is as follows:

  • WHEREAS, Skyler Howes began riding a dirt bike at a very young age and competed in his first race when he was only four years old; and
  • WHEREAS, in his teens, Skyler was able to procure sponsorships and raced in the Baja 500 and 1000 and the National Hare and Hound series, winning the 250cc championship in 2011; and
  • WHEREAS, Skyler began receiving invitations to join teams, introducing him to rally races and piquing his interest in desert stage rally racing; and
  • WHEREAS, a few years later, Skyler found himself on a team, going to prestigious competitions such as the Sonora Rally 2018 in Mexico, which he won, garnering him an entry into the 2019 Dakar Rally in Peru; and
  • WHEREAS, Skyler participated in and won several races until he broke his neck in January, 2020; and
  • WHEREAS, after months of healing, Skyler’s determination led him to race again and to go on to be eligible to compete in the Silver State 300, Vegas to Reno, taking first place overall; and
  • WHEREAS, earlier this year, Skyler won the 2022 Rallye Du Maroc which is a precursor to next Dakar rally being held in Saudi Arabia in January, 2023.
  • Now, THEREFORE, I, Michele Randall, Mayor, along with the City Council of the City of St. George, do hereby proclaim Friday, November 4, 2022 as SKYLER HOWES DAY
  • IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Seal of the City of St, George, Utah this 3rd day of November, 2022.

Howes began racing professionally in 2012, competing in North American desert racing such as SCORE International, Best In The Desert, and the AMA National Hare and Hound Championship; in 2018, he and Garrett Poucher finished fifth in the Pro Moto Unlimited class at the legendary SCORE Baja 1000. Victories at the Dakar Challenge and Sonora Rally that year presented him with a chance to race the Dakar Rally in 2019, where he crashed out. His performances improved over the next two years as he was the highest-finishing privateer in 2020 (ninth) followed by fifth in 2021.

After his 2021 Dakar outing, he became a factory rider for Husqvarna. Despite another retirement five stages into the 2022 Rally, he rebounded in the next two World Rally-Raid Championship events. After finishing tenth at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, he won the Rallye du Maroc.

While making a name for himself overseas, he still returns to America to race, finishing runner-up in class at BITD’s Vegas to Reno in August and winning the Sonora Rally ahead of its début on the 2023 W2RC calendar.

“This is something I never really expected,” Howes commented at the city council meeting. “I’ve always had goals and dreams, but this something really, really cool. Extremely fortunate to have grown up in a beautiful area that has led me on the career path that I’m at now and to have some success in some international racing events and live my dreams. Super, super cool. It’s hard for me to find the words.”

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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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