The only problem with this year’s
Sea Otter Classic was the timing. A
downhill World Cup was being held
the same weekend in South Africa,
11,000 miles away. As a result of that
scheduling conflict, many of the top
gravity racers were absent from the
Otter. On the upside, it provided a
great opportunity to see some up-and-comers make a good showing.
A few top riders stayed in the States
to compete, but World Cup stars
Jared Graves, Gee Atherton, Danny
Hart, Sam Hill, Aaron Gwin and Greg
Minnaar were all missing. Two years
ago, Red Bull Rampage champion Kyle
Strait shocked the other racers by out-powering everybody else on his way to
the win. Last year, Jared Graves was
THIS YEAR’S SURPRISES
Even without the top World Cup
stars, there was no shortage of Pro
Men talent. The 100-plus morning
qualifiers were knocked down to the
top 32 for the big show.
The Women’s Pro class was a different and disappointing story. Only
three competitors showed up to race in
the Pro Women’s contest. Yes, three.
It was an embarrassment, as finishing
Fast company: The Sea Otter dual slalom pits young
riders against the sport’s oldest stars. Youngster Logan
Binggeli (left) made it all the way to the top four, where
Brian Lopes met Logan in the consolation match.
Perfect setting: Dual slalom racing was pushed off the
world stage by 4-Cross racing (which is now gone). Dual-slalom racing would be huge if every course were as well
made as the Sea Otter course.