The first sanctioned race was held in 1979 after a request from the Kelowna regatta to expand their water activities. The tubbers who had participated in the great race were invited to attend. The Daily News World Cup trophy was created with points being earned for each race. The first place finisher receives 50 points, then decreasing by 2 points and 10 points for not finishing. At present tubbers are allowed to drop points from one race so that they are not penalized if unable to attend. The mandate of the loyal Nanaimo Bathtub society is to publicize the sport of bathtub racing so as to encourage more participants. Races are held at various locations throughout British Columbia and Washington State and there have been races as far away as Sylvan Lake in Alberta. Oak Bay Tea Party Race in Victoria has traditionally been our first race of the season and will celebrated their 40th race this year. We always finish the season in Bremerton, Washington on the Labour Day weekend. Most of these races are circuit races which are good for spectators as they can see the entire race. Port Moody, which was one of our longest running races, was a distance race which went up Indian Arm and was a warm up for the “big” race. Last year we added our first race in Campbell River. At present there are 8 races but in past years there have been as many as 13 races. You can refer to the Website for information as to when and where the races are held.
Sanctioned racing can be a family affair, with parents’ helping their children and other members of the family working as pit crew or helping to organize the race. It’s an opportunity to learn to repair motors and fiberglass tubs. It’s also a time for families and teams to socialize with each other and share experiences and knowledge.
At the end of the season the “plug puller” party is held when the tubbers pull the plug on the end of the racing season. An annual meeting is held in the afternoon when the season is analized and any rule changes are suggested, followed by a barbecue and the trophies presentations.