The course may have changed, but the champion remained the same.
Nathan Barlow won the Great International World Championship Bathtub Race on Sunday in Nanaimo harbour. It was the fourth time Barlow has won the great race, but the first time that he got to ring the bell at the new finish line at Maffeo Sutton Park.
“It’s nice to be the first one to do it,” he said. “It’s something new.”
Barlow finished the course in his super-modified tub No. 240 in one hour, 15 minutes, 24 seconds, a little over a minute ahead of the second- and third-place finishers. Justin Lofstrom was third to the beach but was second to ring to the bell, just barely edging out Shawn Lamoureux.
Lamoureux led until about halfway through the race, when Barlow passed him for good.
“I couldn’t keep up with him on the way there, but he couldn’t keep up with me on the way back,” Barlow said.
The race course was choppiest from Entrance Island to Maude Island.
“Nothing ridiculous,” Barlow said. “Rough enough that you can beat yourself up real good, but not rough enough to slow down.”
The altered course required a little closer attention for the veteran tubbers.
“You kind of know in general where you’re aiming for, but you want to make sure,” said Barlow. “[At] Maude Island, Shawn was a little bit in front of me. So you didn’t have to think too much, you jet let him do the navigating.”
Deisy Garcia was the first female to finish and said she was stoked about the achievement. It was the first time the 14-year-old had entered the great race, and she joked that if those were calm seas, she wondered what rough seas must be like.
“I got hit by a few waves sideways, [but] my boat was great. I didn’t feel that much,” she said.
David McHardy of Surrey won the modified division and John Booker of New Zealand was the stock winner. Nanaimo tubber Jaime Garcia provided a boat for Booker, and the New Zealander gave it its first sea trial a day before the great race.
“Conditions were really nice for racing,” Booker said. “It was really smooth, it was a really sweet run.”
He won the trip to Nanaimo by winning a bathtub race back home.
“I’ve had an absolutely amazing time. Everyone’s really looked after me…” Booker said. “It’s an awesome place. You guys have got a really special place out here on the Island.”
Dan Faux won the sportsmanship award, Jamie Skipper was the Last Place Finisher and Jamie Westphal took the Silver Plunger award for being the first tub to sink.
|2||1:16:45||340||SM||Justin Lofstrom||Walker’s Saw Shop|
|3||1:16:46||333||SM||Shawn Lamoureux||Violet Hair Lounge|
|5||1:28:03||080||SM||Cody Drzewiecki||Central Drugs|
|7||1:33:05||005||S||John Booker||Pacific Coast Marine|
|9||1:34:49||017||SM||Rob Saywell||Saywell Developments|
|10||1:36:07||419||S||Deisy Garcia||Paradise Design|