2015 Marks 25th Anniversary of the Sea Otter Classic

Wednesday, September 10, 2014
MONTEREY, Calif. (September 10, 2014) – The Subaru Sea Otter Classic will turn 25 next year and the celebrations will take place April 16-19, 2015. The 25th anniversary will feature a roster of time-tested events and activities as well as all the innovative new products that participants go in search of in Sea Otter’s expo. Legacy events such as road and off-road racing in at least 11 different disciplines will commingle with activities like test riding bikes in one of three ride zones, taking in an exhibition show in the Sea Otter Village, sampling something tasty inside the international food court, letting the kids run free inside the Sea Otter Carnival, or riding in the increasingly popular Gran Fondo.
Veterans have been trained to expect something new each year, and in keeping with that tradition, organizers are already working on exciting new developments for 2015 – so stay tuned!

Registration with complete event details opens at 9 a.m. PST on November 3, 2014. Go to www.seaotterclassic.com.

Sea Otter will be at Interbike! Visit us in the lobby at booth number L38.

About Sea Otter Classic  
A four-day “Celebration of Cycling,” Sea Otter Classic is regarded as the world’s largest cycling festival, hosting nearly 10,000 professional and amateur athletes and 65,000 fans. The 25th Annual Sea Otter Classic takes place April 16-19, 2015 at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area, Monterey, California. For more information, visitwww.seaotterclassic.com or call (800) 218-8411.

25 Years of the Sea Otter Classic: A Harper’s Index

25 Years of the Sea Otter Classic: A Harper’s Index*

MONTEREY, Calif. – 25 years ago the Laguna Seca Challenge zipped the first of thousands of zipties and hung its first foot of coursetape. This later became branded snowfencing extending six miles (2.7 times around the Laguna Seca Raceway) for the 2014 event. The inaugural event, renamed the “Sea Otter Classic” in 1993, had 150 percent more spectators than racers. From 1991 to 2014, Sea Otter racing participants increased by 2,743 percent. That first event pre-dated the web browser, Playstation (and consequently its Mountain Bike Adrenaline game), YouTube, tubeless tires, carbon fiber mountain bikes, disk brakes, aerial drones, and widespread mobile phone use with GPS navigation (which some people still shun).  It’s no surprise that “I am driving to Sea Otter right now. How do I get there?” is still one of the top Sea Otter Classic hotline questions of all time.

This year’s Sea Otter Classic takes place April 16-19 and the momentum is already building. If participation is pending, now’s the time to commit since an event like this only comes around once every 25 years.

Racing has always been central to the Sea Otter Classic. In order to stay competitive, innovative organizers created new events to sustain veterans, attract newcomers, and inspire curiosity. A pro mountain biker competing at Sea Otter in 2006 could race both the shortest (>4 min.) and longest (2.5+ hours) races of his/her entire season, while a self-defined road racer could try out downhill in the morning and still make it to the start of the road race in the afternoon.

The evolution of bicycle equipment and technology has found a home at Sea Otter.  Companies like SRAM have used the event to debut new products by taking advantage of Sea Otter’s timing, setting, and international crowds to reach a large audience in one place. Sea Otter attendees in prior years have seen previews of innovative SRAM products such as the X-Ray grip shifters (1993), ESP derailleur system (1995), and the sensational XX groupset (2009).

2015 marks Sea Otter’s 25th anniversary and to punctuate just how long that is in bike years, we’ve put together a list of relevant facts designed to show you just how far Sea Otter has come.

*The Harper’s Index was introduced by Harper’s Magazine in 1984 as “statistics arranged for thoughtful effect.” – Harper’s Magazine, in Wikipedia, retrieved January 21, 2015, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harper%27s_Magazine

Geoff Kabush raced his shortest and longest mountain bike races at Sea Otter in 2006.
(photo Gibsonpictures.com)

Sea Otter Classic, A Harper’s Index

Sports events like the Sea Otter Classic are the only initiatives to “do battle” at Fort Ord, which counted 15,000 resident soldiers when it was shut down in 1994.

Number of racers who descended upon Fort Ord to face their rivals in 1991: 350…in 2014: 9,600

Number of years multi-national mountain bike champion, Marla Streb, has attended Sea Otter: 20

Number of times Marla has entered a pro racing event at Sea Otter: 16

Span of Marla’s pro racing career: 17 years

First online story published by mtbr.com about the Sea Otter Classic: “Sea Otter Classic Results” in 1998

One of the muddiest races of Olympic mountain bike racer, Adam Craig’s, career: the 2006 Sea Otter Classic Short Track, which he won ahead of Jean-Christophe Péraud, who finished second (again) in the 2014 Tour de France

Number of Sea Otter Classic race starts in six different categories for Adam, who competed in his first Sea Otter as a junior in 1999: 37

Total race results that one of the founders and influencers of mountain biking, Keith Bontrager, has posted at Sea Otter: 2

Number of times Keith has been to Sea Otter in the last 25 years: 24

Crafted with Bontrager’s crown design, amount of travel on the first batch of RockShox RS-1 in 1989: a whopping 50 mm of bump-eating bounce

Year that RockShox debuted its longest-travel fork (the BoXXer) at Sea Otter: 1998

Year in which longtime Sea Otter sponsor SRAM acquired RockShox: 2002

Same year in which multi-national Canadian champ and Olympian, Lyne Bessette (of the mighty Saturn team), dominated the Sea Otter Classic road stage race: 2002

SRAM’s longest-racing star racer (and Bessette’s husband): Tim Johnson

Team with which Johnson tested SRAM’s new Force groupset at Sea Otter in 2005: Jittery Joe’s Number of team jerseys Tim Johnson has worn at Sea Otter during his pro career: 5

Number of individual jersey designs available at Primalwear.com: 300+

Least popular cycling kit color: skin tone

Amount of dollars in cash and in-kind trade that was donated through Primal’s Give Back Program in 2014: $1.3 Million

People who donated their time to volunteer at Sea Otter in 2014: 2,000

How long an average day lasts – from “o’dark thirty” in the morning until the daily staff recap meeting – for the 130 people who descend on Monterey to produce Sea Otter each year: 16 hours

This isn’t all. We’ll be sharing additional Sea Otter facts via our social media channels so stay tuned to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Sea Otter Europe – A New Cycling Festival for 2017

By Kate Loweth

MONTEREY, Calif. (September 19, 2016) The Sea Otter Classic announced today it is supporting the Sea Otter Europe / Costa Brava – Girona Bike Show. GiOutdoor, a preeminent European sports promotion company, will host the festival in beautiful Girona, Spain on June 3-4, 2017.

Cyclists who attend Sea Otter Europe can expect to see many of the same events and activities that they have grown to love at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, CA. Mountain bike racing, dual slalom, pump track, children’s activities and the expansive product exposition will be just some of the highlights of this European bicycle festival.

GiOutdoor organizes the Transpyr Coast to Coast, considered by National Geographic Adventure as one of the ten best Mountain Bike events in the world. They are also the creators of events such as The Pirinexus 360 Challenge and the Sealight-Camí de Llum. ForSea Otter Europe / Costa Brava – Girona Bike Show, GiOutdoor will collaborate with Ocisport Outdoor Experiences, organizers of UCI World Championships and World Cups, Volcat, BUFF Epic Trail, and many other events.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with GiOutdoor to introduce our celebration of cycling to the European market,” said Frank Yohannan, president and CEO of the Sea Otter Classic. “Reaching more cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts has been the long-standing goal of Sea Otter. Girona and the Costa Brava region is the perfect location for us to be able to expand our reach to the European cycling community.”

Further details about Sea Otter Europe will be shared when they become available.

About Sea Otter Classic

Regarded as the world’s largest cycling festival, this four-day “Celebration of Cycling” hosts nearly 10,000 professional and amateur athletes and 70,000 fans. The 27th Annual Subaru Sea Otter Classic Powered by SRAM takes place April 20-23, 2017 at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area, Monterey, California. For more information, visit www.seaotterclassic.comor call (800) 218-8411.

About Sea Otter Europe / Costa Brava – Girona Bike Show

The cycling festival will be hosted in Girona and the Costa Brava, a region that has become an ideal destination for cycling. Every year, this area is chosen by numerous professional teams and athletes, enticed by the charm of the surrounding territory ranging from the Pyrenees mountains to the renowned beaches, the quality of the sports infrastructure, and the range of available tourist services. Outdoor enthusiasts and all levels of cyclists, from the recreational rider to professional athletes, will enjoy the offerings of Sea Otter Europe / Costa Brava – Girona Bike Show.

Sea Otter Classic Announces Renewal of Multi-year Partnership with Subaru

By Kate Loweth

MONTEREY, Calif. (August 23, 2016) The Sea Otter Classic announced today that Subaru of America, Inc. has renewed its partnership agreement for another multi-year term for the annual springtime event. This continued collaboration supports Subaru’s and Sea Otter’s commitment to partnering with organizations that reflect an active lifestyle and love of the outdoors.

“Our partnership with the Sea Otter Classic allows us to connect directly with the cycling community, many of whom already choose Subaru as the perfect vehicle to keep up with their active lifestyle,” said Bridget Hanrahan, Promotions and Sponsorship Manager, Subaru of America Inc. “Being active and enjoying the great outdoors are very important for Subaru and our owners, and we will continue to work alongside organizations like the Sea Otter Classic who share these passions.”

Subaru’s long history with the cycling community makes it a natural partner with the Sea Otter Classic and the brand has become synonymous with the active lifestyle and promoting and protecting the outdoors. Standard all-wheel-drive (AWD) in Subaru vehicles are ideal for cyclists and mountain bikers who take their journey off the beaten path, while the brand has become a leader in celebrating the outdoors.
“Racers and spectators at the Sea Otter Classic are cycling enthusiasts, but above all they are outdoor enthusiasts,” said Frank Yohannan, president and CEO of the Sea Otter Classic. “Subaru’s continued support of our Celebration of Cycling provides an opportunity for us to combine our mutual efforts to positively impact the people we serve – those who make outdoor adventure a way of life.”

For the 2017 Sea Otter Classic, Subaru will host just about every kind of cycling contest, including cross country, downhill, and dual slalom for mountain bikers. Roadies will be able to compete in a circuit race, criterium, cyclocross and road race. Recreational events include a gran fondo, mountain bike tour, and gravel grinder. All cycling enthusiasts will enjoy the world’s largest consumer bike expo with over 900 exhibiting brands, and a variety of Festival Fun events for the kids.

About Sea Otter Classic
Regarded as the world’s largest cycling festival, this four-day “Celebration of Cycling” hosts nearly 10,000 professional and amateur athletes and 70,000 fans. The 27th Annual Subaru Sea Otter Classic Powered by SRAM takes place April 20-23, 2017 at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area, Monterey, California. For more information, visit www.seaotterclassic.comor call (800) 218-8411.

About Subaru of America, Inc.

Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered at a zero-landfill office in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 620 retailers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. For additional information visit media.subaru.com.