Press Releases & Newsletters

Press Releases

Sea Otter Classic Joins LIFETIME

Sea Otter Europe Gears Up for 2021 Expo

Sea Otter Play’s Digital Festival is now live!

Sea Otter Play Media Release

2020 Event Cancellation

2020 Event Rescheduled

Our Position Regarding Coronavirus

Sea Otter Australia Will Debut October 2020

Continental Becomes Presenting Partner of Sea Otter Classic

Sea Otter Classic Expands its Team

USA Cycling brings upcoming Sea Otter Classic Electric Mountain Bike Race under its wing

Sea Otter Classic Expo Sales Grow 30%

Sea Otter Classic Adds New Media Technology to Dramatically Increase the Output of Exhibitor Marketing Dollars

VeloNews and Bicycle Retailer & Industry News Expand Distribution of the Sea Otter Guide to Reach Millions of New Readers

Sea Otter Canada – A New Cycling Festival for 2019

BULLS Becomes Official E-Bike Show Sponsor and eMTB Race Sponsor

2019 Sea Otter Europe Dates Set for May 31 – June 2, 2019! 

2018 Sea Otter Expo Sold Out

Preview of the 2018 Sea Otter Classic

Design and win a custom Nukeproof MTB frame with Chain Reaction Cycles and Sea Otter Classic

Prologo Becomes Gold Level Sponsor of the Sea Otter Classic

Cannondale becomes Main Sponsor of Sea Otter Europe 

SOC Europe: Twice the commericial and expo space in the second edition of the Sea Otter Europe Costa Brava-Girona Bike Show 

SOC Gears Up for 2nd Annual eMTB Race April 21st

eMTB Racing Returns to Sea Otter Classic—epowered by Bosch

Natural Delights Official Fruit of Sea Otter Classic 

Outdoor Sportswire – Registration Open for 2017 Haibike eMTB Race epowered by Bosch at Sea Otter Classice,
Haibike Expands Event Presence

Momentum Mag – Sea Otter: A Celebration of Cycling

Subaru’s DRIVE Magazine – Festival of Bikes
The Subaru Sea Otter Classic celebrates cycling in beautiful Monterey, CA

Impact Canopies Becomes Official Branding Structure Sponsor of the Sea Otter Classic

Haibike Becomes First e-Bike Sponsor of the Sea Otter Classic

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

Sea Otter Europe – A New Cycling Festival for 2017


August 2021 Newsletter 

July 2021 Newsletter 

June 2021 Newsletter

May 2021 Newsletter

September 2020 Newsletter

August 2020 Newsletter

July 2020 Newsletter

May 2020 Newsletter

February 2020 Newsletter

January 2020 Newsletter

December 2019 Newsletter

November 2019 Newsletter

2019 Sea Otter Day 4 Recap

2019 Sea Otter Day 3 Recap

2019 Sea Otter Day 2 Recap

2019 Sea Otter Day 1 Recap

April 2019 Newsletter

March 2019 Newsletter

February 2019 Newsletter

January 2019 Newsletter

December 2018 Newsletter

November 2018 Newsletter

May 2018 Newsletter

2018 Sea Otter Day 4 Recap

2018 Sea Otter Day 3 Recap

2018 Sea Otter Day 2 Recap

2018 Sea Otter Day 1 Recap

April 2018 Newsletter

March 2018 Newsletter

February 2018 Newsletter

January 2018 Newsletter

December 2017 Newsletter

November 2017 Newsletter

April 2017 Newsletter

March 2017 Newsletter

Feb 2017 Newsletter

Jan 2017 Newsletter

December 2016

November 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

December 2015

Photography, Videography & Drone Info

Photography Rights

  • All rights to still photographs taken by professional photographers who are in the employ of Sea Otter Classic are the property of Sea Otter Classic, Inc. For example, if you attend Sea Otter as an athlete and one of Sea Otter’s professional photographers captures your image while at the venue, we retain the rights to the image.
  • Photographers are permitted to provide pictures for editorial or commercial use to publications, teams, or companies without any specific permission.
  • Members of the public may take pictures for personal, non-commercial use.

Television and Video Rights

  • All rights to video media taken by professional videographers who are in the employ of Sea Otter Classic are the property of Sea Otter Classic, Inc. For example, if you attend Sea Otter as an athlete and one of Sea Otter’s professional videographers captures you on video while at the venue, we retain the rights to the video.
  • All forms of television and commercial video production that exceed a total of three minutes duration are prohibited without written permission of Sea Otter Classic, Inc. This includes production for network broadcasts, cable distribution, webcasts, videotape, DVD, CD, and all other video media.
  • With the exception of videographers shooting for network, satellite, or cable television news, no reporting is permitted. This means only montage to create atmosphere is permitted. Any coverage that tells the story of the race is prohibited. No finish-line shots and no results are permitted.
  • Use of the name “Sea Otter Classic” or its logo in the title of any television, video, or online production is strictly prohibited without written permission of Sea Otter Classic, Inc.
  • All videographers working on-site at the Sea Otter Classic are requested to provide a letter, written on company letterhead, stating that the above is understood and that they agree to comply. Once we receive this letter, we will be pleased to offer you a media credential.

Drone Regulations – Aerial Imaging and Videography


Only legally-operated drones will be allowed at the Sea Otter Classic. To legally operate a drone, ALL of the following steps must be completed:

  1. Obtain a valid FAA 107 commercial license to operate a drone – no recreational flyers allowed.
  2. Register drone with the FAA and obtain proof of registration.
  3. Obtain a certificate of insurance including language required by the Sea Otter Classic and the County of Monterey. Click here to see Drone Insurance Requirements.
  4. Because of proximity to Monterey airport, the Sea Otter Classic is within restricted air space. Request and obtain the waiver of FAA Title 14 CFR part 107.41 from the FAA (include copy of plan of action submitted to the FAA along with a copy of the waiver OR receive FAA authorization to fly through the LAANC system and submit a copy of your authorization.
  5. Receive approval for media credentials for the event.

Submit all of the above to Holly Colson no later than September 1, 2021. Only drones that have received official Sea Otter Classic approval will be allowed to fly. THERE WILL BE NO ON-SITE APPROVALS OF DRONES, no exceptions.

Credential Requests

2021 Media Registration and Credential Requests

  • Accepted file types: jpg, gif, png, Max. file size: 10 MB.
    Your organization's logo, if provided in the proper format, will be added to the Sea Otter Classic Media page. Please upload images no wider than 300 pixels.
    If no, please submit a letter of engagement from your client/editor on their letterhead to [email protected] stating why you require a media pass for the Sea Otter Classic 2020.
  • FREELANCERS: Please list the name of the media outlet you are working for and include the name, email and phone number of your contact there.
  • A very limited number of media are provided with special credentials to allow them to take photographs/video within the safety fencing during the pro Dual Slalom. Only those who have been hired specifically for this task will be allowed. For safety reasons, not all requests will be granted. If you require the Dual Slalom credential, please submit a letter of engagement from your editor/client stating why you need the Dual Slalom credential to Holly at [email protected] with the subject line “Media – Dual Slalom credential.” Submission of this request does not guarantee that you will receive the Dual Slalom credential.

    By submitting your request for a media pass, you acknowledge that your media outlet will be displayed on the www.seaotterclassic.com website and your name and email address will be shared with exhibitors/sponsors of the Sea Otter Classic in order to provide you with the latest pertinent information from our supporting brands. If you wish to opt out of having your information shared with exhibitors/sponsors, please send an email to [email protected] with the subject line “Media opt-out.”

    You also verify that you have completely read and agree to abide by all policies regarding media coverage on our website, including the updated Drone Policy.

    Questions? Contact Holly at [email protected]

    If you are not awarded a media pass to Sea Otter Classic we still encourage you to come out and cover the event. You will need to cover entry and food and, if space is available, we can provide you with minimal resources in the media center.

Approved Credential Requests

  • If you were approved for credentials for the 2020 Sea Otter Classic, your credentials have been automatically rolled over to the 2021 event. More information will emailed in the coming weeks. Please contact [email protected] with any questions. 
  • Media credentials will be issued to journalists/photographers on assignment by recognized newspapers, news services, publications, television and radio networks, local television and radio stations, and other approved media outlets. The media organization’s chief editor or sports director must request the credential.
  • Internet sites will only be considered and/or approved if they cover cycling on a regular basis and are consistently updated with news and features. Personal blogs, Facebook fan pages, enthusiast and fan websites, or those that cover only one team or cyclist, will not be considered for a media credential. Websites must be free from gossip and offensive language.

Denied Credential Requests

  • The Sea Otter Classic does not issue credentials to freelance writers, race teams, or any person unable to provide affiliation with a credible media outlet. No one under eighteen will be accredited. Sea Otter Classic reserves the right to deny any media credential request.
  • Credential requests will not be considered from employees in marketing, advertising, promotions, sales, etc.
  • Please do not request media privileges for company executives, including management personnel and officers.
  • If you are associated with a team, you must obtain a credential through that team.


  • Publications and websites with 100,000+ circulation/visitors a week: up to 4 passes
  • Publications and websites with 20,000 to 100,000 circulation/visitors a week: up to 2 passes
  • Radio stations: up to 2 passes
  • Television companies: various criteria apply
  • Videographers: up to 2 passes per company
  • MBPA, AIJC, AIPS journalists and photographers: 1 pass each
  • Sea Otter Classic sponsors: 1, 2, or 3 media passes each, depending on level of sponsorship
  • All Others: depends on supply and is decided case by case

Credential Registration & Pick Up

Credential Pick Up

  • All media credentials will be available for pick-up beginning Wednesday, October 6, 2021 at noon.
  • Photo ID is required for media credential pick-up.
  • Media credentials may not be picked up for co-workers or friends.

Exhibitors Media Kits

Here is the spot where 2021 Exhibitors can upload all the news about their Sea Otter activities, product releases and more! Stay on the inside track.

Exhibitors Media Kits COMING SOON!

Media Contact & SOC Logos

Please Email Holly Colson for any media questions.

Click here for Sea Otter Classic Logos and Guidelines (Password protected – contact Holly Colson for password)

WEBSITE: www.seaotterclassic.com

EVENT NAME: Sea Otter Classic, “A Celebration of Cycling”

DATE: October 7-10, 2021
LOCATION: Laguna Seca Recreation Area, Monterey, California

OWNERSHIP: Sea Otter Classic, Inc., Frank Yohannan, President and CEO

The mission of the Sea Otter Classic is to make people’s lives better through participation in sport and recreation, and through celebration of an active outdoor lifestyle.

EVENT OVERVIEW: The 2021 Sea Otter Classic, “A Celebration of Cycling,” will be held October 7-10, 2021 at Laguna Seca Recreation Area, Monterey, California, USA. This four-day, action-packed cycling festival features a full schedule of amateur and professional events, as well as other activities for family members of all ages. The Sea Otter Classic also plays host to the world’s largest consumer bike exposition.

ACTIVITIES AND ATTRACTIONS: Racers make the annual pilgrimage to Sea Otter to participate in cycling’s best competitive and non-competitive events. Mountain bike races include an epic cross-country, dual slalom, downhill, and more. Road cyclists enjoy road racing and circuit racing on the world-famous Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway. And for those who want to bike in less-competitive fashion, Sea Otter offers two Gran Fondo routes, as well as a Mountain Bike Tour and a Gravel Grinder Tour on the surrounding fire roads and trails of the Fort Ord National Monument.

The Sea Otter Expo, the hub of the event, pulses with free bike demos, stunt shows, and live entertainment, plus special activities for kids 12 and under. Other Expo hotspots are an international food court, a beer and BBQ garden, and the Sea Otter exposition area. The Expo features hundreds of vendors who display new products, give out free samples, and offer terrific bargains. In the Sea Otter Expo, hundreds of professional road and mountain bike athletes are present to share their racing techniques with fans and to sign autographs.

FOR CHILDREN: Sea Otter Egg Hunt, Kids’ Carnival, Kids’ Bicycle Races, and Kids’ Zone

FOR RECREATIONAL BIKERS: Two scenic Gran Fondos, a mountain bike tour, and a gravel grinder tour

FOR AMATEUR RACERS: Nearly 200 classes of road and mountain bike racing for all ages and skill levels

FOR PRO/ELITE CYCLISTS: Pro/Elite Endurance Mountain Bike Races (Cross-Country) and Pro/Elite Gravity Mountain Bike Races (Downhill and Dual Slalom)

FOR MEDIA: Interviews with event organizers, local athletes, and world-class professionals can be set up through the Sea Otter press office.


Refer also to Demographics page.

1991 2019
Participants 350 9,000
Spectators 150 75,000
Exhibiting Brands 0 1,000
Journalists 0 400
Campers 0 8,500


FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.seaotterclassic.com or 800-218-8411 / 831-373-2331.

EVENT BACKGROUND: “You guys should put on a mountain bike race.” That simple statement from a Monterey bike shop owner in 1990 was the genesis for the Laguna Seca Challenge, later renamed the Sea Otter Classic.

Co-founders Frank Yohannan and Lou Rudolph hosted the inaugural Laguna Seca Challenge on April 6 and 7, 1991. The event had a total of 350 athletes and 150 spectators. In 1993, the Laguna Seca Challenge was renamed the Sea Otter Classic. By 2017, the Sea Otter Classic had become a four-day celebration of cycling welcoming more than 9,600 athletes and 72,500 fans.

The event is now regarded as the bicycle world’s premier festival and one of the world’s largest. The little mountain bike race has grown up.

RESPONSIBLE ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP: From the start, event organizers have been committed to good stewardship of the land that is home to the Sea Otter Classic. With every year, Sea Otter achieves more success in reducing the event’s ecological impact on our home—the Laguna Seca Recreation Area and the adjacent Bureau of Land Management (BLM) property, and other parts of our community.

Going for the Green: It can be easy to forget that such environmentally-conscious practices are not followed everywhere. For that reason, in our third decade we have partnered with Sierra Nevada to share Sea Otter’s “Responsible Environmental Stewardship” model more widely. We will use our leadership position to raise awareness of how simple it is for people everywhere to engage in basic environmental sustainability actions like recycling, carpooling and alternative transportation (including cycling), and other actions to reduce carbon emissions that contribute to global warming. Today’s environmental stakes are high, and Sea Otter is “going for the green” in a bigger, bolder way.

BOILERPLATE: About Sea Otter Classic, Inc. Regarded as the world’s largest cycling festival, this four-day “Celebration of Cycling” hosts nearly 10,000 professional and amateur athletes and 74,000 fans. The 29th Annual Sea Otter Classic Presented by Continental takes place May 20-23, 2021 at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area, Monterey, California. For more information, visit www.seaotterclassic.com or call (800) 218-8411.

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