For almost 30 years, thousands have flocked to the Central Coast for the Sea Otter Classic. Thursday marks the first day of this year's event. For the early-arrivers, getting to the track was a breeze. "Usually theres a big line. Today was a little bit different, but in years past there's been about an hour-and-a-half wait on that road," said attendee, Trevor Roland.
"Last year, I remember waiting in a long line coming in. This year was nice," said attendee, Blake Randono.
Organizers are expecting bigger crowds on Saturday, the event's most popular day for fans. "Today's the first day of the 29th Sea Otter Classic. It kicks off on Thursday, goes all weekend long, and as the weekend progresses, this event gets busier and busier," said Sea Otter Classic Public Outreach Representative, Jeff Lenosky.
As more people arrive, traffic is expected to pick up along Highway 68, but Lenosky said, this year they've planned new ways to relieve congestion. "They're trying to get the traffic figured out as much as possible, and they route a lot of the traffic off of the 68 now. It's a little bit more of a pain for people coming into the Sea Otter Classic, but it relieves a lot of the traffic coming off the main highway," said Lenosky.
All general traffic will be routed to Highway 218, requiring fans to take a bit of a scenic route down South Boundary Road. For those who want to check out the event and avoid traffic altogether, Lenosky recommends getting in on the cycling action, yourself. "You see a lot of racers that stay in local hotels and ride their bikes in. Sometimes when there's a lot of events going on, you'll see the roads with almost as many bike riders as cars," said Lenosky.
Fans said the big crowds are all part of a fun weekend. "I think it's going to get crazy. I think there's going to be a ton of people here for this event. It's been around since 1991. It's worth the wait for sure," said attendee, Mike Kidner.