WE HAVE A WINNER - 2013 Sea Otter Classic Photo Contest 5

Congratulations to Mike Albright (aka bikesales) for his photo of Steven Bafus doing a Nac Nac on a 29er during the Sea Otter Classic DH. He wins our Sea Otter Photo Contest, takes home $300 and some killer Vital MTB gear.

Why did he win? This photo wins the Vital MTB Sea Otter Photo Contest because it tells the story of our ever-changing sport. Ideally, we always look for creative angles and new ways to see Sea Otter through the lens, but the submissions this year didn't really fit that bill, so story-telling through imagery was at the top of our list when deciding a winner.

Wheel size was certainly the most talked about topic at Sea Otter this year, whether in the pits or on the downhill course and this photo speaks to that. Yep, Aaron Gwin won the Pro DH race on a 29er, but this photo says a lot of things about 2013 that a photo of Gwin probably couldn't. While it's not the most technically sound photo of the competition, the elements of this photo are pretty mind-blowing when they're broken down. The rider (Steven Bafus) is on his every-day trail bike (with dropper post lowered), but it's during a downhill race. Though on a 29er, he's running a full face, goggles, jeans and flat pedals. And the action is solid, he's blasting a massive nac-nac (higher than most riders doing straight airs over the same jump) with a gaping crowd below. To have all of these *conflicting* elements in a single photo still seems really strange, but in 2013 wheel sizes, clothing styles and riding disciplines are fully blended...all in the name of FUN. That, right there, is the story that makes our sport of mountain biking, and this photo, a winner.

Honorable Mentions

The following two photo submissions earned their shooter a Vital MTB gift pack.

Vital Member, tipeng94 had a lot of good entries, but we liked the creativity and angle with this shot from Dual Slalom. The crowd is a huge part of the Dual Slalom event and he captured the spirit by getting underneath the American flags. Well done.

Vital member, svmayor, submitted a TON of Sea Otter pics to our photo comp, but this one stood out. When browsing through hundreds of head-on, long lens race shots, it's nice to see a contrasty speed-blur grab your eye. We appreciate speed blur photos because they're risky. Chances of maintaining sharpness go way down, but this one turned out crisp and abstract. Kudos!


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