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Pure skill, says Sheriff

Mike King

Pure skill, says  Sheriff

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SKILL, not luck.
 Roger “The Sheriff” Skeete?says his triumph at Sol Rally Barbados 2014 was no lucky No. 13 for him, but more about doing the right thing consistently.
Some observers are of the view that Skeete might not have won this year’s event had runaway leader Paul Bird not suffered a crash and forced to exit the rally.
Skeete, who was treated to a motorcade on Saturday by his sponsors Sol, told MIDWEEK?SPORT, that it required more than luck to win such a gruelling test of strategy and skill.
“I suppose people can look at it from any standpoint they wish.
I have been in a similar position before.
There have been 25 of these events and we have been in positions where we have been leading and things have happened, but those thoughts didn’t go through my head as far as the other competitor was concerned because I was the person who damaged the car and not the person who won.
“At the end of the day, you have to get the car to the end of the rally and win it, not destroy it.
It is the person who is responsible for destroying it that loses and it is all a part of rallying,” he said.
Bird, winner of the King Of The Hill event, that preceded the rally, set most of the pace on Saturday, the most defining day of the rally, but the English driver was forced to call it quits after severely damaging the left front wheel of his Rubis/Cockspur-sponsored Ford Focus after running off course in Sailor Gully, St Peter.
Skeete, 59, said he and co-driver Louis Venezia put in a lot of hard work and no credit should be taken from them.
“I don’t talk about luck. I don’t think that anyone with a true observation of the sport would sit down and speculate about being lucky. Obviously, you have to drive with that in mind.
“It is like George Foreman and Muhammad Ali. Foreman just did the wrong thing, Ali just waited for him to exhaust himself, and then took care of him, so there is  a strategy involved in everything that you do,”he said.
Skeete said that he would be wasting no time in preparation for his title defence.
“It is important the Sol Rally Barbados title remains in Barbados. We can’t allow the British to take the trophy back next year, so it is a case where we have to prepare from now.
“Rally Barbados is a tough event and I couldn’t do with my sponsors, Sol. An event like this could not happen unless the sponsors were coming to the table with a great plan and lots of resources to put into the sport.
“This event is now global. It’s quite amazing that Sol Rally Barbados is not going out to  Europe and that’s about 700 million people that are going to view it and that is incredible, and hats off to Sol for supporting it and being aware of the benefits to the island and themselves.
“This event really puts Barbados on the map,” he added.
Skeete said he was delighted that via the motorcade he got the chance to mingle with  his fans, one of whom was 26-year-old pro boxer, Miguel “Hands of Stone”?Antoine, who has a 17-1 record.
“The Sheriff is a top man. He is proven. It was nice to have a chat with a man, who knows the art of winning,” said a delighted Antoine, who shook hands with Skeete at Sol Banyans.