Brian Stoochnow (left) and Chris Glenn finished the race arm-in-arm, tied for first place, at the Tsawwassen Bathtub Race and Festival on Aug. 18, 2018. (Ryan McLeod photo)

Thrills abound at first annual Tsawwassen Bathtub Race

The Rotary Club of Tsawwassen hopes to make the event a summer tradition in Delta

By Ryan-Alexander McLeod for North Delta Reporter

Taking a dip in the tub is supposed to be a relaxing event, one with a rubber ducky and maybe even some suds, but who’d have even thought you’d see one shooting across the salty waters off Centennial Beach?

Saturday, Aug. 18 marked the beginning of what the Rotary Club of Tsawwassen hopes will be an annual event in Boundary Bay.

“This is what we, the community here and the Rotary Club, have been wanting to have for a long time,” said James Latheron, event coordinator for the Tsawwassen Bathtub Race and Festival.

“It’s a celebration of where we live, the beauty and the wonderful people who make up this community,” he said.

The idea was two years in the making, Latheron said, and not without it’s hurdles, but it’s great to have the support of so many coming together to make the event possible.

“Somehow we made it to today without any major issues and I couldn’t be more proud of the work everyone put into this,” he said.

The bathtub racers spend much of the two hours between noon and 2 p.m. racing laps around Boundary Bay before making the final dash for the finish line. Hundreds watched as the racers leaped from their soaker tubs and sprinted up the beach to ring the Rotary bell.

The racers were cold, wet, tired and at least one, Matt Leonew, was just happy to make it to shore.

“It was awesome out there, especially since I didn’t go for a swim this time,” he laughed.

Saturday’s event marked only the second time Leonew had ever raced a bathtub, and his first attempt ended with him taking a cold dip in the ocean. This time around he made it the end, collapsing after ringing the bell and laughing in the sand, having given everything he had to finish the race. Finishing, he said, was more than enough for him to call the day a success.

Not all the participants were so new to the sport. Two bathtub racing veterans, Brian Stoochnow and Chris Glenn, brought a combined 77 years of experice with them, having faced off against each other many times over the years.

Both racers bore full steam ahead into the shoreline for the finish, and as they hit the shore it was Glenn who was first to leap from his boat, taking a spill face-first into the water.

But Stoochnow stopped and gave his competitor a hand up, and they finished the race arm-in-arm, happy to tie for first.

The fun, friendly finish reflected the spirit of the entire event.

The Rotary Club of Tsawwassen hopes to turn this year’s success into an annual event bringing music, good food and fun to the Lower Mainland for years to come.

“So stay tuned,” Latheron said.



editor@northdeltareporter.com

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Brian Stoochnow (left) and Chris Glenn race towards shore at the Tsawwassen Bathtub Race and Festival on Aug. 18, 2018. (Ryan McLeod photo)

Brian Stoochnow (left) and Chris Glenn race towards shore at the Tsawwassen Bathtub Race and Festival on Aug. 18, 2018. (Ryan McLeod photo)

As the two racers hit the shore, Chris Glenn was first to leap from the boat but fell. Brian Stoochnow stopped and helped him up, and they finished race arm-in-arm at the Tsawwassen Bathtub Race and Festival on Aug. 18, 2018. (Ryan McLeod photo)

As the two racers hit the shore, Chris Glenn was first to leap from the boat but fell. Brian Stoochnow stopped and helped him up, and they finished race arm-in-arm at the Tsawwassen Bathtub Race and Festival on Aug. 18, 2018. (Ryan McLeod photo)

Bathtubs sped across Boundary Bay on Aug. 18, 2018 as racers competed in a battle of the wills for the chance to ring the Rotary Club bell in front of hundreds of fans at the Tsawwassen Bathtub Race and Festival. (Ryan McLeod photo)

Fans watch as competitors ring the bell at the Tsawwassen Bathtub Race and Festival on Aug. 18, 2018. (Ryan McLeod photo)

Matt Leonew rings the bell at the Tsawwassen Bathtub Race and Festival on Aug. 18, 2018. The event was only Leonew’s second race, and his first time finishing. (Ryan McLeod photo)

Matt Leonew collapses after rings the bell at the Tsawwassen Bathtub Race and Festival on Aug. 18, 2018. The event was only Leonew’s second race, and his first time finishing. (Ryan McLeod photo)

Bathtubs sped towards the finish line at Centennial Beach during the Tsawwassen Bathtub Race and Festival on Aug. 18, 2018. (Ryan McLeod photo)

Bathtubs racers had to jump from their tubs and dash for the finish line on Centennial Beach during the Tsawwassen Bathtub Race and Festival on Aug. 18, 2018. (Ryan McLeod photo)

Bathtubs parked at Centennial Beach during the Tsawwassen Bathtub Race and Festival on Aug. 18, 2018. (Ryan McLeod photo)

Brian Stoochnow (left) and Chris Glenn finished the race arm-in-arm, tied for first place, at the Tsawwassen Bathtub Race and Festival on Aug. 18, 2018. (Ryan McLeod photo)

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