The perennial crowd-pleaser of the Sea Otter Classic, the dual-slalom competition, once again delivered the thrills of head-to-head racing, with an eclectic field of athletes battling for top honors on the sun-parched course. There were several new names in both the men’s and women’s field, and while experience prevailed in the women’s contest, youth won the day among the men. The rowdy throngs of beer-swilling spectators were delighted to see talented teenage prodigies going toe-to-toe with accomplished veterans such as Jared Graves and Kyle Strait--and coming out on top. Here are some of the day’s highlights:
Utah youth: Young energy was a decisive force in this year’s dual-slalom races, with two of Utah’s youngest talents pushing some of the world’s most experienced gated racers to their limits. Here, 14-year-old Joey Foresta and 22-year-old Cody Kelley collect their focus before launching their assault on the Round of 32.
The number-one qualifier, veteran racer Bryn Atkinson, shows the steely focus that has made him such a successful racer. When all the dust had settled, Atkinson had to settle for ninth on the day.
The Sea Otter Classic’s annual dual-slalom races attract the biggest, most exuberant crowds of the festival--and this year was certainly no exception.
For many of today’s racers, it was their first time competing in the Sea Otter Classic dual-slalom spectacle. And for Utah-based Amanda Cordell, it was a chance to show her promise at the start of the racing season.
As is the case every year, an unruly crowd of flag-waving spectators was on hand, hell-bent on “making America great again.”
The 2014 Sea Otter Classic dual-slalom champion Cody Kelley (right), ground down talented riders such as Spain’s Iago Garay on his way to a sixth-place finish.
Colombian DH phenom Marcelo Gutierrez (near) demonstrated his versatility, knocking out Frenchman Fabien Cousinie on his way to a seventh-place finish.
Last year’s dual-slalom champ, Belgian Martin Maes, once again took the high line to a repeat victory.
If there was a crowd favorite today, it would have certainly been 14-year-old Joey Foresta, who gave the frothing fans a glimpse of a promising future with his impressive second-place showing.
It seemed clear throughout the women’s races that it would be Anneke Beerten and Jill Kintner in the finals….
And in the end, the ever-focused Jill Kintner emerged victorious.
Following so many grueling heats, the shuttle truck was a welcome sight for those who made it to the finals.
After a relatively rain-free Sea Otter, the dual-slalom course was fairly dusty and blown-out, adding to the challenges posed by so many youthful upstarts.
Is that a banana? Or is Wyn Masters just happy to interview fellow Kiwi Brook MacDonald?
Martin Maes definitely earned his victory champagne shower, but at age 19, he’s not legally entitled to actually drink any of it underneath the Stars and Stripes of the American flag.
And still in braces, high-school freshman Joey Foresta wouldn’t even be able to buy a cigar to celebrate his second-place finish.
Try as they might, the ever-zealous Sea Otter security guards couldn’t stave off the onslaught of the Zombie Apocalypse.