Sea Otter Australia Officially Launched

A new cycling festival experience – Sea Otter Australia – is set to debut at Canberra’s Stromlo Forest Park on 2nd to 5th October 2020 following an official launch at the venue on Wednesday 18th December.

Sea Otter Australia will offer spectators and riders a contemporary cycling adventure like no other, nestled in Stromlo Forest Park, Australia’s premier ‘whole of cycling experience centre’. The event will include all things cycling: a consumer expo featuring all the latest product releases, mountain bike and BMX riding, road and gravel riding, urban riding, demo bikes and much more for all ages and for all levels of riders. Sea Otter internationally is famous for its family friendly programs.

Attendees will also have the chance to experience the ROMP! Bike Festival: a curated experience featuring music, food, brews of all sorts, cycle chic fashion parades and a film festival.

The festival follows the popular North American original “Sea Otter Classic”, which celebrates its 30th year in 2020 and is known as the World’s Premiere Cycling Festival. Held in Monterey, California annually in April, the event has come to represent the ‘season opener’ to the North American bicycle industry and the place to be for product launches, festival fun, races and unique events.

Frank Yohannan, CEO and founder of the Sea Otter Classic, states of the festival “We have always been about providing quality riding and racing in a family festival environment. It is the only celebration of cycling that incorporates all riding disciplines and all cycling product categories wrapped up in a four-day experience. It is hard to see and do it all. And now, for October 2020, we are very excited to have partnered with BikeSA to host Sea Otter Australia for the first time in the southern hemisphere”

Ian Ross CEO of Pedal Power ACT, Matt Battye President of the Canberra Offroad Cyclists (CORC), Neil Skipper Executive Director of Cycling ACT, Caroline Buchanan Sea Otter Australia Ambassador, Christian Haag, Event Director Sea Otter Australia and Emily Stacey Sports Development Manager, Triathlon ACT.

So successful is the Sea Otter experience, it is now presented in Europe (Girona, Spain) and Canada (Blue Mountain).

BikeSA Chief Executive Officer, Christian Haag said, “We are honoured to be bringing this festival to Australia. It’s time that bicycle riders across the Australasian region have the opportunity to experience a totally new cycling festival experience. One that celebrates the breadth of our multi-faceted cycling culture – on-road and off-road, for fun, health, recreation, competition and transport. And of course, the latest bikes and bling, fashion, music and brews in our Expo village.”

Canberra-based eight-time BMX and Mountain Biking World Champion and two-time Olympian, Caroline Buchanan, is an event Ambassador.

Caroline says of the event, “Just over a decade since winning my first ever World Championship Title on home soil in Canberra at Stromlo Forest Park, it’s an honour to be back racing a globally iconic two wheel cycling event in Canberra in 2020. The Sea Otter Classic has established its mark as not only a premier cycling event but the staple two wheel trade show in America. As a proud Canberra girl and advocate for riding anything two wheels I am excited to align as an ambassador for the Canberra Sea Otter Classic in 2020”.

Industry response to Sea Otter Australia has been very strong with the likes of Bikecorp, Pushy’s, Trek, Bosch, Dawson Sports Group, Bike Box and FE Sports already committed to supporting this great festival, with more set to come as we release further information in coming weeks.

Major sponsor Shane Wolki of Pushys (Gold Sponsor and major exhibitor), Christian Haag and Caroline Buchanan.

Gold level sponsor, Shane Wolki of Pushy’s says “Pushys is delighted that Sea Otter is coming to Canberra and we’re looking forward to supporting this great event. We’ve attended the Sea Otter Classic in the USA and know this format will be very popular down under. Australia is in need of an event like Sea Otter and Stromlo is the ideal venue with great facilities and easily accessible.”

John Dunnachie, representing Michelin as a major event sponsor, speaks very highly of the international festival, stating: “Sea Otter has a fantastic reputation in the industry for putting on a world class event for both industry and the public; so when the opportunity to be part of Sea Otter Australia was presented it was an easy choice. As one of Australia’s leading wholesalers it will give us a great platform to present both our international and house brands to the public in a fantastic location. We have already had a number of key brands including Michelin, Super B, Tannus, Orange Seal, Quadlock and Krush wanting to be involved once they were made aware of Sea Otter Australia”.

Event exhibitor, Bicycle Parts Wholesale owner, Andrew McEwin, is also very excited about the event, stating similarly that “We can’t wait to exhibit and also participate at Sea Otter Australia. Finally, a world class event in Australia showcasing everything that is great about Cycling!”

BikeSA is also working collaboratively with, and has the support of, local cycling groups and community organisations to coordinate a series of legacy programs for the ACT community, to encourage greater cycling participation beyond the festival itself.

Pedal Power ACT Executive Officer, Ian Ross, said it was very exciting that Canberra was chosen to host the Sea Otter Australia event.

“Pedal Power is very pleased that our legendary event – Fitz’s Challenge – will be the Gran Fondo event for Sea Otter Australia. We look forward to all our previous participants returning, and attracting large numbers of new participants who will be coming to Canberra to take part in the festival weekend”.

Sea Otter Australia will be a family friendly festival that celebrates cycling, with a strong emphasis on participation, spectating and an opportunity to see and test the latest industry products. There will also be a range of kids activities and lifestyle events.

A new website was launched simultaneously with the event launch. You can see it at

Declaration of interest: Phil Latz, publisher of The Latz Report, has been contracted as a consultant by Sea Otter Australia.

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