Nanaimo bathtub racer Kurt Henderson reaches the beach at Maffeo Sutton Park at the end of the Great International World Championship Bathtub Race last summer. NEWS BULLETIN file photo

Nanaimo bathtub racer has his motor stolen right off his tub

Kurt Henderson was expected to be a contender in the super-modified division

One of Nanaimo’s top bathtub racers could be out of the running to win the great race after his tub motor was stolen last night.

Kurt Henderson, who finished third at last year’s Great International World Championship Bathtub Race, discovered this morning that someone had taken his Suzuki motor right off his No. 716 bathtub on his property in Benson Meadows in the East Wellington area.

Henderson had been out on the tub a lot lately, participating in the 100th birthday celebration for Frank Ney last weekend and then escorting the Explorer of the Seas cruise ship out of Nanaimo harbour on Wednesday.

“[The tub] was all sitting together. Typically it would be apart,” Henderson said. “I was looking at it yesterday thinking there’s things I needed to do before the first race of the season.”

The first stop on the circuit is two weeks away, June 3 in Oak Bay. Henderson said he’s been looking forward to the season after he was fastest across the Strait of Georgia at a special run for Canada’s 150th last summer and then in the top three at last year’s great race. He said he’s one of the older competitors and nearing the end of his tubbing days.

“That super-modified motor took a decade of pulling wrenches and experimenting and I’m not an engineer by any means, but I finally was able to keep up with the fastest of the fast and now I’m beating them,” he said.

Henderson said he’ll race this season one way or another, even if it means competing in the stock division.

“I’m not going to let it end it for me, but it’s just disappointing,” he said.

Henderson, who reported the theft to police first thing Monday morning, said the stolen motor resembles a stock eight-horsepower Suzuki motor, with No. 716 prominent on the side. He said he’s offering a cash reward. Henderson is a director with the Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society, so anyone with information can reach him through the society at

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