Motorcycling Western Australia's JET Camp Graduate, Nathan Howe, has spent the 2017 Enduro Season travelling across Australia and competing, highly successfully I might add, in the Australian Off Road Championships. As part of a follow up to what he learnt during his time at the MWA's JET Camp, Nathan compiled regular race reports and ongoing updates of his experiences on his Facebook competitors page.
At the end of the championships Nathan summarised his 2017 AORC experience and shared it with Motorcycling Western Australian to encourage others competitors to follow suit but to also acknowledge and thank his major sponsor Bunbury KTM Suzuki.
Rider Profile-Nathan Howe
My name is Nathan Howe, I am 15 years old and racing Enduro. This is my story of competing in the 2017 Australian Off Road Championship. My dad and I travelled over 5000km to Rawson Victoria for the 1st and 2nd rounds. It was great to experience the different terrains with many hills and slippery clay. It was very challenging to race against Australia’s best under 16 Enduro riders.
I felt things needed to be worked on from this event, one big thing was my fitness and endurance, however I was really happy with a podium 3rd place.
Dad and I then travelled up to Miva Queensland for the 3rd and 4th rounds of the Championship. It was very humid and adjusting to the heat was more of a challenge to compete in. The tracks were hugely different to the terrain at home with really soft dirt and many rocks. I felt better at this event from the 1st and 2nd rounds as I had met many of the riders in the championship, this made me feel more comfortable.
The 4th and 5th rounds of the AORC season were in South Australia. This was probably one of the dustiest races I have ever done, you couldn’t even see two metres in front of you. Riding these national events gave me an idea on what it’s really like to compete at this level. It was cool to race on a Motocross track and Enduro track in one race. I felt better on the bike because I had been working on my fitness and bike speed over the break to get myself ready for these races.
Next up was the 6th and 7th rounds in Kyogle New South Wales. It was a completely different terrain, many huge hills, with mud and grass tracks. This was definitely my favorite event of the AORC season. The 2 day Enduro race made it very new to me with 6am starts, cooler temperatures and riding over 1.5 hour loops with 2 tests on the same loop. The terrain and views were absolutely awesome, this would be my favorite place to come back to and race. I was really stoked to do well and have another podium 3rd place finish.
The 9th and 10th rounds of the championship finished up with us travelling to Omeo Victoria. We headed up the hill to Omeo, situated in the Victorian snow fields, this was another cold location, with temperatures one to five degrees all day, which made it harder to adapt. There were a few creeks, along with muddy sections, but mostly grass track and the dirt was very loamy which made it great to ride. My endurance level had improved, along with my skill levels, which led to a podium 3rd place.
We attended the AORC Championship Presentation Night at the end of the weekend. It was a great night being able to celebrate and chat to new friends and meet new people. I was happy finishing 4th overall in the Juniors in my first Australian Championship.
Deciding to compete in this Championship I have improved my fitness, bike speed and riding skills. I had to adapt to travelling interstate by air and road, sometimes taking over 40 hours, along with the time zone changes and extreme weather conditions. Riding many new terrains and racing against National riders, has given me exposure to what it is expected to compete at an elite level. Dad and I had a great time racing, experiencing these events and travelling around the country side.
It was a massive effort competing from WA and it would be great to see more local riders/clubs representing our state. A big thanks to Sander Taber and Adam from Bunbury KTM Suzuki and all there associated sponsors in making me look good at these huge events. I really appreciate all my followers and family for supporting me throughout the season. I can’t thank my parents enough for their insane support for covering all the costs to take me across Australia to race.
This experience has given me even more of the desire to further push my skill level and fitness in a hope of some day being selected to represent Australia in the ISDE Junior team.
You can follow me on my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/nathanhoweracing/