With the dust just barely settling from last year’s Sea Otter event in October, the excitement was high for the High Five Athletes competing in this year’s races. The format was the same as last year. All adaptive riders got the opportunity to compete in both the Downhill and Dual Slalom races.
The first afternoon of practice went great. All of the Athletes were able to meet while waiting in line to test out the course and tackle their first scouting laps together. They were bouncing ideas and lines off each other while suggesting tips and pointers. With the wet season having just ended, the course was in much better shape than last October. The bottom of the course had been rebuilt to contain more rollers and jumps, which would present a fun challenge to all riders.
After the first day on the course, all Athletes headed back to the Air BnB, where they were treated to a fantastic place for everyone to hang out, bond, cook, and work on bikes together. If the camaraderie had begun being built on the racecourse, staying together certainly solidified it.
After more practice time on the Downhill course, the crew was really starting to find good speed throughout all sections of the course. They also got to spend some time on the Dual Slalom course which they would be competing on after the Downhill final.
Friday presented another excellent day of practice on the Downhill course and the Dual Slalom. All Athletes were finding their lines and speed. You could feel the friendly competition beginning to build. Everyone wanted all riders to have a good run down the course, but they also wanted to do just a little bit better.
Saturday’s Downhill finals went off great. All of the riders were able to put down their fastest runs and come away from the event uninjured and more stoked to ride the Dual Slalom the following day.
The Dual Slalom is a great event for the adaptive bike. With the whole course visible from multiple angles, it was cool to watch what lines all the other able-bodied and adaptive riders were taking and what gaps they were hitting or rolling. Qualifiers started Saturday night and let all the athletes see how they stacked up against the others.
Come Sunday morning, everyone packed up their things and headed back to the raceway. The finals for the Dual Slalom were in a bracket-style format. For each run, the athletes went head to head on each side of the track. The times were then added together and the winner moved on to the next round. This made for a long day of racing, but the athletes battled the wind and powered through to finish it all off.
With another successful Sea Otter Classic in the books, we are already marking the calendar for next year!