THULE Adventure Race Proves to Be a True Adventure
By JACKSON WEBER
Adventure racing gets underway on Monterey Bay
photo: Chris Milliman
MONTEREY, Calif. (April 13, 2007) Friday morning ended up being the perfect day for the inaugural THULE Adventure Race. After 30-knot winds the day before scared racers and directors alike, Friday morning brought relatively calm seas that provided the opening battle ground for the tumultuous race that followed.
"The name itself, there's a real adventure aspect," said Michael Tobin of Team Nike. "Every race is totally different. You don't know what to expect. You don't even know the course until you show up to the starting line. So it's a thinking sport as well as, obviously, an endurance sport."
In the three-person team main event, team Dart-Nuun #1, comprised of Glenn Rogers, Aaron Rinn and Jen Segger-Gigg quickly out-distanced its three closest competitors in the scenic paddle out on Monterey Bay.
"It was really beautiful - it was glassy but the further out you got, the swells were huge," said Tobin of his chasing team Nike.
After the paddle, Dart -Nuun #1 lead disappeared as Team Nike, plotting map coordinates as they rode, caught up with the leaders. At this point the clarity of the race fogged mildly as teams chose different routes to get to the various checkpoints. However by the second transition - from bike to foot - Team Nike found themselves with a tenuous 9-minute lead, closely followed by Dart-Nuun #1.
In the ensuing hike, Team Nike's plotting ruled the day. Dart-Nuun #1 missed a checkpoint and was assessed a 30-minute penalty, leaving Nike the victors of the hard fought race.
LUNA's Stellar Job in the MTB Time Trial: Nash, Gould Finish First and Second
Kabush Claims Top Honors in the Men's Race
By WENDY BOOHER
LUNA's Katerina Nash and Georgia Gould Knock Down First and Second Place with a 1-2 Punch
images courtesy of Paul McKenzie
"Stutter bumps," off-camber turns, and a white-knuckle course conspired against speed racing in today's Sea Otter MTB Time Trial. "Tricky" buzzed from racers' lips and while there were no reported crashes, no one wins the time trial through being cautious. Katerina Nash and Georgia Gould (LUNA) headed up the rank-and-file order of the women's results, which included Willow Koerber (Subaru/Gary Fisher), Sue Haywood (Trek/VW), Wendy Simms (Kona), and Alison Sydor (Rocky Mountain/Haywood).
"I kind of blew through the second corner on the downhill and didn't go down," said Nash. "I felt good although it's very short and feels over before it starts."
Pan Am champ, Georgia Gould, followed up Nash's win with a second place finish. Noticeably absent from the top ten was Shonny Vanlandingham (LUNA), who has been struggling with illness for the past few weeks.
The men's results either showed who got friendly with their brakes on the fast, dry course or who is saving up for tomorrow's Short Track and Sunday's Cross-Country. First place finisher, Geoff Kabush (Maxxis), smoothed over any missteps in line choices through sheer power (no surprise there) while last year's Super XC winner, Jean Christophe Peraud (Orbea), settled for fourth place after a confusion over whether he jumpstarted caused him to slide from an unofficial first place.
Geoff Kabush Takes Control of the Time Trial
image courtesy of Paul McKenzie
"It went pretty smooth, there's not much room for mistakes on the course," explained Kabush. "I lost one or two seconds because I missed a few lines. You definitely have to be right mentally to be able to ride that course but it's a good little opener for the rest of the weekend."
Top 3 Women
1. Katerina Nash (LUNA Women's MTB Team)
2. Georgia Gould (LUNA Women's MTB Team)
3. Willow Koerber (Subaru/Gary Fisher)
Top 3 Men
1. Geoff Kabush (Maxxis)
2. Max Plaxton (Rocky Mountain/Haywood)
3. Seamus McGrath (Rocky Mountain/Haywood)
Perhaps in preparation for Saturday's Dual Slalom event, Kathy Pruitt (Jamis) was spotted doing "doughnuts" in the parking lot as a warm-up on Friday afternoon. How this worked out for Pruitt we'll never know since she got finger-wagged by Sea Otter's Director of Guest Services - also her older sister, Jeannie Pruitt.
Pros Ready for Saturday's NRC Circuit Race with a Warm-up Road Race on Friday
In advance of Saturday's NRC Circuit Race, the pros lined up to stretch their legs with a road race through the scenic Fort Ord and Monterey Bay region. A few varied climbs helped speed the burn and helped open up the legs in preparation for tomorrow's "all-or-nothing" circuit race.
Top 3 Men
1. Andrew Bajadali (Jelly Belly)
2. Mark Walters (Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada)
3. Jesse Moore (unattached)
Top 3 Women
1. Jane Despas (Klein Real Estate)
2. Maria Monica (Touchstone Climbing)
3. Jen Halladay (Tamarack Resort)
Get ready for a full day of racing on Saturday starting with the debut of BMX at 9 am and continuing on to include the pro/elite NRC Circuit Race, Short Track, and Dual Slalom. Check www.seaotterclassic.com for a complete racing schedule.
Clif Bar Staff "Peddles" Renewable Energy
By ANDREW KIHN
The people over at Berkeley-based Clif Bar not only talk the talk but they ride bikes too, all the way to the Sea Otter Classic. In an effort to raise awareness for the environmental and health benefits of bike riding, Clif Bar employees made this year's trek to Laguna Seca Recreational Area by using renewable muscle power. They are also riding to and from their hotel each day to show how useful the bike can be for transportation.
"By riding down here and to and from our hotel daily, we've avoided driving about 3,000 miles this weekend," says Peter Berridge, Northern California field marketing manager. With the average car trip only about three miles, the bike is a powerful tool in many respects. A little more riding could reduce harmful emissions in the fight to stem global warming and lead to healthier communities across the nation.
Clif Bar and the Sea Otter Classic are two of many organizations to develop environmental policies for reducing the ecological impacts of business practices. In partnership to protect the environment, Clif Bar and the Sea Otter Classic have committed to work toward purchasing enough clean wind credits to offset the carbon emissions created by this year's event.
Clif Bar is a food company that makes naturally organic foods for people in outdoor activities. Its partnership with the Sea Otter Classic emphasizes its mission to protect the places where people like to play.
Day 2 Video On Demand Featuring Adventure Racing, Kids' Bike Rodeo, Soundbites, Interviews, and Highlights
Video News Release
Sea Otter Classic
Friday April 13, 2007
Broadcast quality QuickTime video available for ftp download direct to your non-linear editing system for broadcast. Simply download and import. Video has also been supered with Sea Otter Classic. Shot sheets and super information including names are provided as well. Simply follow the instructions at:
VNR ONE - B-ROLL - Fun For Kids, Bike Rodeo, Dual Slalom & SOTS
VNR TWO - B-ROLL - Adventure Racing & SOTS
VNR ONE - Fun For Kids/Bike Rodeo Background:
The 17th annual Sea Otter Classic is off and rolling at the Laguna Seca Recreation area in Monterey, California. The yearly festival is the largest of its kind in North America and attracts visitors and competitors from around the world.
Today (Friday) featured both serious competition and fun for the kids, like the bicycle rodeo.
Competition in events like dual slalom and road racing will continue through Sunday.
Establishing shot Sea Otter Classic
Sea Otter mascot
Kids' bike rodeo
Amateur road race
Kathy Pruitt, racer - Jamis Bicycles
"Sea Otter is the epitome of cycling events. You can come here and see every single type of riding possible. And all the top athletes all congregate every year."
Jack Welles, First time visitor
"I really wanted to just come here - maybe do the downhill. I don't really have a downhill bike, but just to check it out. It's really cool. I'm definitely coming back."
Christine Silva, recreational cyclist
"It means freedom to me. It's just a lot of fun. I have about 4 bikes. I have an electric cruiser that I ride to work and, I don't know, it's just fun. It's good exercise. It's good for the environment. It works on a lot of levels."
VNR TWO - Adventure Race Background:
There's always something new at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California.
Today (Friday) featured the debut of a new event at the Sea Otter, the Thule Adventure Race.
Adventure racing puts two-person teams to the test in four areas: trail running, mountain biking, ocean kayaking and a special element described as a "navigational skills test."
This is the 17th consecutive year for the Sea Otter Classic, the largest festival of its kind in North America. Each year, it attracts nearly 10,000 professional and amateur athletes; and nearly 50,000 spectators.
The Sea Otter Classic continues through Sunday at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area in Monterey, CA.
Starting line for Adventure Race
Competitors prep for the race
Transition zone to running leg
Todd Jackson. Adventure Race coordinator
"Here at the Sea Otter, we have kayaking on the Monterey Bay, so we had a seven-mile kayak. Then we had about 30 miles of mountain biking. Within that, there were 18 checkpoints that they had to locate based on coordinates. They had to figure out to make true bearings, magnetic bearings, declination, triangulation, U.T.M. plotting so you plot on a map, so quite a bit of figuring out where the check points are."
Michael Tobin, Adventure Race winner
"The name itself, there's a real adventure aspect. Every race is totally different. You don't know what to expect. You don't even know the course until you show up to the starting line. So it's a thinking sport as well as, obviously, an endurance sport."
About Sea Otter Classic, Inc.
The 17th Annual Sea Otter Classic will be held April 12 - 15, 2007 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 Cypress Youth Fund is the Sea Otter Classic's philanthropic arm. The Fund provides funding to organizations that benefit their communities in the areas of youth, sport, education, and environment. More information can be found at www.seaotterclassic.com or by calling 800-218-8411.
Online version of this release can be viewed here: www.boohermedia.com/SOC/2007/07SOC_Day2.htm