Sea Otter First Time Experience

Apr 23, 2009 at 18:25
by Josh kern  
Sea Otter is an event like none other. I got my firsthand experience at it this year, after begging my parents for 3 years to be able to attend. I was fortunate enough to receive a media pass for me and my father to take pictures. It was a great help and made seeing everything I wanted to see easy as well as being treated like a king when you're there.Day 1: I rolled into Sea Otter Friday around 2 o'clock. I was unable to attend Thursday or be their Friday morning since I wasn't able to miss all the school. When I got their we checked into the media center. Their we were welcomed to free food a gift bag and our passes to get anywhere we needed. We even got a room air conditioned with free WI-Fi the air conditioning was a big help! Once we got through the media center. We went to the expo. With no major events going on we decided to take friday easy and check out the expo. As well as get our tickets to the 2 major premiers that were taking place, The Tipping Point a film by Clay Porter following the 2008 DH race season, and Barred for life, we were particularly interested in seeing this movie since Andrew taylor has a section in our riding spot he even flips the road gap their. Everyone knew it had been done but we never had seen it with our own eyes. Wwe roll into the expo and we are immediately impressed with how many people are there. We stopped by the Santa Cruz booth to see the whole set of syndicate bikes and Minaar and Bryceland trying out their V10's. We checked out the new Driver 8 and it was a sweet bike to see with our own eyes. We kept walking around and found at the Sram tent. Brandon Semenuk hanging out, we were able to spend a few minutes with him and get some pictures of us with him, a high moment for us since he is someone that we have looked up to. Finally to wrap off the day at the expo we met Nathan Rennie and Mitch Delfs without realizing for the first few minutes at the 510 booth. They signed some posters and gave a photo op. Then we headed home for the Tipping Point Premier. The Tipping Point Premier was an amazing movie. I was amazed at how Clay Porter can make so many amazing movies in such a way that each movie is something completely new. The movie was narrated completely from the riders interviews and it gave you insight to what the pros do for training and what its like during their race weekend. It was also a great chance to meet many of the pros and get some signatures. I was able to get a full Tipping Point poster autographed but in the process my seat was taken and let me tell you. That theatre was booked, we spent 15 minutes trying to find another set of 2 seats. We finally were forced to sit down in the front row. My friend sat on the ground and next to me was Gee Atherton. The movie was a huge success and a great finish to the first night of Sea Otter. Now onto editing pictures and not sleeping for Day 2!

Day 2: Day 2 was a big day. I was hired to work with a clothing company to shoot some of their riders in DH practice. Little did I know that this collided with Pro Dual Slalom practice and qualifying. I made it out for a good 3 hours for the DH practice, went to the media room and dumped my memory cards, then headed to the Pro Dual Slalom practice. I was able to grab a shuttle from the media room to the top of the Dual Slalom course for the last 30 minutes of dual slalom. Then qualifying started. Luckily I was still able to make it and find a few good angles to shoot for qualifying. Qualifying went by smoothly with few exceptions. Kyle Strait was back this year and on a mission. In his first qualifying run he came down against Gee Atherton and put a smoking time up and beat Gee by a good second or 2. Watch out for Kyle Strait. After qualifying it went by smoothly erasing cards for memory and spending more time looking through the expo till finals. In the expo their was much more then the day before. I came in with the mission of getting handlebars and many places werent selling. Luckily I was by the sram booth just in time for Brandon Semenuk to be selling his bars. Custom painted Truvativ Holzfellzer World Cup bars, they look amazing. Anyways. Back to the Dual Slalom finals. It was apparent that having all of dual slalom take place in one day was taking a toll on the riders. Many riders went down in their race runs do to the lack or moisture on the course causing the berms to be super dry and making wash outs happen easy. It took many people out. Greg Minaar went out first round after washing out in both his runs. Cody Warren washed out on the berm up top in finals against Sam Hill. Of course Slalom finals was where the money shot for me came from.

here are some more from Dual Slalom.



All in all after Dual Slalom ended. Sam Hill came out with the win. With many new stand outs like Cody Warren taking 2nd and Mike Haderer I think I spelled it right making a name for himself in the finals. Day 2 had come to an end. Next was the Barred For life premier and secretly known Days Of Dirt was shown also. A great way to end day 2 with a bang.

Day 3: Day 3 was a quick and easy day for us. We decided to hit home after the DH finals for pros. With practice running late due to a crash that held practice off for 30 minutes we were forced to stay later with the DH delayed. Of course Sea Otter DH isnt a big event to many of the top riders like Hill and Minaar who just like to have fun in practice then in finals lay it out of course Minaar says in the Tipping Point premier "I only win the stupid races like Sea Otter" so we were sure that in practice we could get some cool shots.

With the DH being the big event that takes place on sunday I was excited to watch the riders come down and see who was fast. The biggest stand outs were Mick Hannah coming on .1 of a second ahead of Minaar for the win. It was also a surprise to see Gee Atherton get passed by Neethling on the road. Apparently Gee had a big crash at the top and decided to coast his run the rest of the way down.

With all the excitement jam packed into one weekend I was stoked to have been able to take a part in all of it and I cant wait for next year. It is definately a great experience and I would suggest that anyone that has a chance to go to Sea Otter take that chance and go it will be the most fun you will have had in a while!

just make sure you dont run into this sight when your their

title shot is from somemountainbiker

1 Comment

  • + 2
 sweet, i gotta get up there one year

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