Chris Glenn of Port Coquitlam gets some air in his tub at the Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race in Summerland, B.C. on Aug. 18, 2017. (Penticton Western News photo)

Inaugural bathtub race coming to Delta’s Centennial Beach

The race and festival will be taking place at the beach and Diefenbaker Park on Aug. 18

Bring out your tubs, Delta.

On Saturday, Aug. 18, the community’s first bathtub race will take place in Boundary Bay.

Put on by the Tsawwassen Rotary Club, the event will feature boaters in tubs (small speedboats with outboard motors, built around a bathtub) racing from Centennial Beach to the Point Roberts marker and back. So far, around 20 boaters have signed up to compete, although more could join as race day nears.

The event will be similar to the famous Great International World Championship Bathtub Race, put on by the Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society,where competitors race their tubs in a one-mile loop around the waters off Nanaimo.

(Historically, these races are difficult to complete. In 2010, only 13 our of 35 tubs completed the Nanaimo race and in 2016, it was three of 38.)

RELATED: New champion takes over bathtub race title

For 30 years, the Great International World Championship Bathtub Race went between Nanaimo and Vancouver’s Kitsilano beach. However, that changed in 1996 when the Vancouver Sea Fest was discontinued and the race became a circuit in Nanaimo waters.

This year marks the first Lower Mainland bathtub races in 22 years, with the Delta event on on Aug. 18 and another in Kitsilano on Aug. 11.

The goal, coordinator and Tsawwassen Rotary Club member Leslie Abramson said, is to help create a circuit of races for Vancouver and the Island. It already seems like the interest is there. On Sunday, July 22, Abramson was at the Ladner market with the Rotary’s boat to promote the event.

“I could not believe the number of people that would come up and say ‘I used to go from Nanaimo to Vancouver,’ or ‘I was the chase boat,’ or ‘I was hung-over from the party after,’” she said. “There was so many people that had either been involved with it or remember the good times from the bathtub race.”

Because of the popularity of the races on Vancouver Island, Abramson said the Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society has arranged to transport racer’s tubs from Nanaimo to the mainland if they wish to compete in the two Metro Vancouver races. A farmer has donated their field to store the boats between the Vancouver and the Delta races.

The Delta event will begin at noon on Aug. 18 at Centennial Beach — because parking is limited, a shuttle bus will be travelling every half hour from Southpointe Academy in Tsawwassen to Centennial Beach, starting at 11:30 a.m.

Beforehand, visitors will be able to view the boats and speak with the racers. Then at 1 p.m., the race will start.

According to Abramson, the tide will be low enough that people will be able to stand in the water and watch.

Although the race will be the focus of the event, Abramson has also been planning some big activities for the festival, which will take place during the early afternoon at Centennial Beach before moving over to Diefenbaker Park at 4 p.m.

“We’re trying to get lots of different things that aren’t normally here,” Abramson said.

Before and after the race, people will get a chance to try flyboarding (a type of water-propelled jet pack), and possibly see a simulated sea rescue by a Navy Sea King helicopter.

When the festivities moves to Diefenbaker Park, the plans are more elaborate. The party will feature a beer garden, face painting, food trucks, an elaborate obstacle course for kids and parents, human spheres, a gymnastics demo and a concert by the Beatles tribute band Fab Fourever.

Starting at 8:45 p.m., the rotary will also be showing Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales as part of its outdoor movie series. The festival will wrap up around 11 p.m.

Abramson has been planning the race and festival since January, and the entire Rotary has been working on the project since May. But she’s hoping for even bigger things for next year.

“Everybody is getting involved,” she said. “Hopefully the whole community is going to be behind this. It could be really big.

“We’re looking at maybe next year doing a rib fest in connection to this and maybe making it more than one day.”

“You gotta think big,” she continued. “And then if it comes off medium, you’re okay.”

For more information, visit rotarybathtubrace.ca. To register your boat in the race, contact James Latheron at 604-209-5347 and make sure your boat follows the official rules posted on the event page.



grace.kennedy@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Torched-SUV victim ‘had the purest heart,’ says sister

Family of teen found in burned SUV in Surrey appeals for justice

United Way to bring little libraries to Clayton

United Way is hoping to partner with residents to host the free gathering spaces for the community

Delta to give Deltassist $75,000 for seniors programs

The funding will replace a grant from United Way that’s set to expire next year

In split vote, Surrey council gives early nod to draft budget

Councillors Locke, Pettigrew, Hundial and Annis vote against capital program

White Rock sandcastle competition on the rocks

Backers of the proposal – the White Rock Events Society – plan to call it quits

MAP: Christmas light displays in Surrey, Langley and beyond

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

An 800-pound pig named Theodore needs a forever home, B.C. society says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

B.C. teen MMA fighter shows heart

Young Unity MMA competitors bring home Ws

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Another B.C. city votes to ban single-use plastic bags

First six months of proposed ban would focus on education, not enforcement

UK Prime Minister Theresa May wins party no-confidence vote, but troubles remain

May won the vote of 317 Conservative legislators with a 200-117 tally

Most Read