I've Roamed The Sea Otter Classic

Apr 6, 2011 at 16:56
by Sterling Lorence  
The Sea Otter Classic arrives at a perfect time in the year. Winter is finally passing, and we're all tired of looking outside and seeing another soaker rainy day happen, especially up here in the pacific northwest. Time to get some sun, time to get to ever beautiful Monterey for some racing, and some photoshootings. I have shot at Sea Otter for nearing ten years and thought it was time to dig into the vaults and share some action. Most of the jobs I have ever had at Sea Otter revolved around specific athletes and the assignment of capturing the pure race action. Being a photographer at Sea Otter is not easy. Events overlap, long distances exist between car, race locations, and food....and at any moment it can rain harder than it does in Vancouver. Epic.

  Paul Basagoitia a few years back, and on one of those days when the winds weren't gail force. Providing a dirt home to the slopestyle crew at Sea Otter is not easy, given the unpredictable weather that rolls through. Going artificial surface was a good idea

  Mornings are when the downhillers get their race times and it tends to be nicer weather...but didn't I just see most of you at the Crown & Anchor just a few hours ago? Nathan Rennie in the Downhill.

  Guaranteed that there will be days where it is glorious sunshine minutes before start time, all the photo strobes are in place, and then a mighty sea-squall decides to keep the Norcal grass green. The veteran that knows Sea Otter will then bust out the 4 umbrellas, zip locks and rain wear and nail photos on lap one with clean atheletes, otherwise, everyone looks like Max Plaxton does here...

  Eric Carter employing new tactics to stay out front, keep the rain off the face, and keeping the right vibe alive at the Otter.

  Ahhhhhhh, yessss, this is why we like to be back in Norcal. The Sun will return, and if you ever get a chance to roll out on an XC bike and sample the Laguna Seca property, do. The singletrack loops are epic, and so are the views.

  Yep, the vibe is always better when the sun is out, and the crowd will certainly be thick as the dual slalom action heats up in the afternoons.

  Yes, good things happen when it's mild and sunny in Monterey. Willow Koerber stomping away on the competition, year after year.

  Cedric has certainly put in his time at the Otter, and is always battling for the win.

  Same goes for Brian Lopes. If you missed your shot in that round....don't worry he's always in the next round.

  The Otter brings out many of our sports legends. Don't be surprised to be standing right beside someone in our sport that has left their mark. Snowboard and Mountain Bike legend Shaun Palmer often can be found shredding out the deep Otter berms in classic Palmer style.

  Let the race season begin....everything will be primed and ready.

  The Girls are as good as the Boys. Gatto and Jonnier holding their own to Smith and Rennie.

  Some racers hate the fact that the downhill course has an uphill section that makes you feel like your racing in the short track cross country...

  ...but then you get this fully pinned decent. Long time Crown & Anchor patron, Steve Peat.

  As a photographer, you better have done some off-season training so that you're ready to do the overlapping-race-sprints... Quickly nail this 'air' by Geoff Kabush in the men's XC, and "I think I have about 36 minutes between XC laps" to run over to the 'not-delayed' air events to capture Cam McCaul from his early days, maybe back over to Kabush for lap two, he's still in the lead I hear, ....and then race over to the four cross track...

  Ok, if you ever wondered why the top athletes get paid so well, and how they stay at the top? Being pro isn't just about getting results. Being pro also means knowing that Sea Otter gets press, and that being out front at Sea Otter will get you good press and a longer career. The top pros don't just come to the Otter to be in the Crown & Anchor.

  Being the one that can record that press content can pay well too. The media scrum at the Otter is littered deep with icons of action sports photography. And, just as you are rushing back and forth like a mad chicken to your shooting locations...you will arrive to find one of these guys already there, standing in the spot you thought was yours...

  See you in the corner soon.


  • 10 0
 Soooooo pumped. Not to sound too cliche, but in the words of Biggie Smalls... I'm going going back back to Cali Cali
  • 1 0
 I always hear L.L.'s version in my head...
  • 8 0
 This will be my 6th Sea Otter, skipped in 2006. BUt its just the nostalgia and great atmosphere that bring everyone back to this incredible event. can you say Shwag!?
  • 2 0
 6th for me also, such a great event
  • 1 0
 3rd for me and I'm just getting started
  • 1 0
 2nd but the first time i was like 6
  • 2 0
 "Yes, good things happen when it's mild and sunny in Monterey. Willow Koerber stomping away on the competition, year after year."
Oh, at first I thought it said ".....Willow Koerber Stripping away on the Competition...." Well, we can wish.
  • 4 0
 So sick Sterl! This will be my 7th Otter and I am looking forward to it!
  • 4 0
 i love living in norcal.
  • 1 0
 im so bummed i cant go this year ): im alwayts so excited to go, and then something comes up and im not able to ): so freaking disappointed!!
  • 1 3
 Love seeing shots of Peat and Rennie in full attack, be so good to see Rennie back in that mode again!
Downhill should not have uphill sections!!

or overly groomed digger buffing!

Its Downhill not BMX on a slope duh! too much grooming not enough riding on real courses in USA. everyone else seems to understand that, Euro, Aussie's and Kiwi's.

Keep it real, and it will flourish like the land! Too much destruction dumbing down of courses and it will be the end of DH and MTB.
  • 2 0
 Nice photos!

Camping + Friends + Bikes + Beer = Win.
  • 2 0
  • 1 0
 sea otter is all about schwag. i think my 7th year. gonna hit up the firetruck slide
  • 1 0
 My 3rd sea otter and super stoked to go! SCHWAG!
  • 1 0
 Great, great photos!!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 There is nothing quite like the Otter
  • 1 0
 Does anyone need a campsite for sea otter this year.... Message me asap
  • 1 0
 looks sweet!
  • 1 1
 im pumped 2nd seaotter gonna be stezzy
  • 1 0
 boy i hope i can go!
  • 1 1
CA=(US+whether) (only talking about the west coasts)
  • 1 1
 spelled weather wrong
  • 1 0
 ^^ weather ^^
  • 6 8
 Some great snaps in there. Shame Sea Otter isnt in England!
  • 14 4
 no its not because then it wouldnt be fun
  • 3 2
 CA >> UK and CA >> US
CA > (UK + US)
  • 3 1
 @camdenthekid your an idiot.
  • 1 1
  • 2 1
 if you want to be pedantic you're*
  • 1 0
 arekieh, your maths is flawed. Might want to revise greater than and less than symbols.
  • 1 0
>> was to indicate the magnitude of the greaterness (someone should make that a word).

I was considering throwing in a >= for the last one but not quite sorry.
You can even revise it into this:
BC > (UK + US) (And im not even from BC)

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