Taking a dive downward in Dual Stunt
At the start of Sea Otter's infamous cross-country race
Number 1 looked so nice, here it is twice
MONTEREY, Calif. (April 30, 2008) Recognized as the unofficial North American cycling season opener, the Sea Otter Classic offers lots to people out shopping for experiences. For those participants from the northern climates, like Jessica Yeaton, 17, of Anchorage, Alaska, who rode outside for only the fifth time this year and won the junior women's road race, just being able to ride in only shorts and a jersey is a luxury. Shawn Lester, who requested a race number to signify the day his young daughter passed away five years ago, caused a few tears to be shed with a short email to express his gratitude, not only for being granted number 814, but also for a race leadout honoring his daughter, Alaina. SRAM, CLIF, Fox and Pedro's all had big news to share at Sea Otter. The weather cooperated too, for the most part, and despite Saturday's gusting winds, one-day festival passes sold out. The rain stayed away for the first time in a long time, which removed risks for some and eliminated the thrill of survival for others.
"Credit is due to both the loyalists and adventurers who come to Sea Otter for various reasons," said Frank Yohannan, president and CEO of the Sea Otter Classic. "Whether personal, social, recreational or professional, there's no generalizing Sea Otter participants, who have shown a depth and variety unparalleled at any other event in North America."
Sea Otter is a big hit with the over-30 crowd. More than a third of participants are between the ages of 31-40 for both athletes and fans. The second highest percentage of participants belongs to the 41-50-year-olds, some of whom appear to arrive with their kids in tow. Kids under 21 claim 20 percent of total fans and 11 percent of total athletes.
See it, try it, buy it
The Sea Otter Classic presents a rare opportunity for consumers to see, touch, and try new products in an ideal setting before plunking down their hard-earned dollars at their local bike shop. Visitors to Sea Otter's new demo area got a chance to scout out new offerings and then try them out in an environment matched to realistic riding conditions.
"I've been riding cross-country for five years and I am looking to buy a bike," said Kelly Yarasavage of Mountain View, Calif. "It is good be able to get a feel for different bikes. I am seriously looking for a bike so this is half the reason why we came up here today."
The demo area also gives the industry a rare chance to interact with the very people it seeks to serve.
"I taught four riders today and three yesterday how to be comfortable on the bike," said Paul Thomasberg, who works for Shimano in product testing and development. "How to get loose on the bike and work that on the pump track. I taught them how to look ahead on the skinny boardwalk and how to use the front vs. the rear brake. Most were intermediate riders. It was good!"
9,500+ cyclists turned up at Start lines to race in one or more of Sea Otter's multitude of events. Always a factor, weather seemed neither to inspire nor discourage competition and results showed a mix of old and new racers, as well as expected winners and stunning performances by first-timers.
A Sample of Top Finishers for the 2008 Sea Otter Classic
|Cross Country||Miguel Martinez
|Super D||Carl Decker||Lea Davison|
|NRC Circuit Race||Michael Grabinger Jr.||Tiffany Cromwell|
|Dual Slalom||Greg Minaar||Sabrina Jonnier|
|Downhill||Greg Minaar||Melissa Buhl|
For more news about Sea Otter, you needn't look far since 350 media members showed up this year to document the event in outlets from around the world. Data for the total number of participants is still pouring in.
Super D's: Decker and Davison Dominate
Llanes Guest Stars as Race Announcer
Trials Riders, Dirt Jumpers Go Head-to-head in Dual Stunt
Emmett, Martinez Survive Windy Conditions to Win the Sea Otter XC
Alaskan Shines on Sunny Day 1 of the Sea Otter Classic
Thule Adventure Challenge Proves to be just That: an Adventure
Recognized as the unofficial North American season opener, the Sea Otter Classic convenes cyclists from all around the globe each year for the largest cycling festival in the world. The end of the event sparks an enthusiasm for cycling that lays dormant in winter and, armed with excitement, vigor and likely a few new skills, products and maybe even bragging rights, Sea Otter participants go forth to indulge, inspire and invigorate their zeal for cycling. The 2009 Sea Otter Classic will take place April 16-19, 2009 be sure to drop by frequently at www.seaotterclassic.com for event information.
Thanks and have a great summer!
About Sea Otter Classic, Inc.
The 19th Annual Sea Otter Classic will be held April 16-19, 2009 at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area, Monterey, California, USA. The four-day "Celebration of Sport" is considered the world's largest cycling festival, hosting nearly 10,000 professional and amateur athletes and 50,000 fans. The Sea Otter Classic benefits the Davis Phinney Foundation, which supports Parkinson's disease research and wellness, and IMBA California, which organizes advocacy and trailbuilding efforts statewide and strengthens California mountain bike clubs. More information can be found at www.seaotterclassic.com or by calling 800-218-8411.
Donna Brown (local media)
Chris Worden (Web-related)