Brandon Leigh

Tubber set to defend title in annual Bathtub race

NANAIMO – Brandon Leigh is bracing to defend his title in the Great International World Championship Bathtub Race.

Brandon Leigh is bracing to defend his title at the Great International World Championship Bathtub Race on Sunday (July 27).

Leigh won last year’s race in both the super-modified class and overall with a time of 1:30:42 and it wasn’t an easy ride.

“Basically, it’s an endurance race, it’s trying to keep the tub up, out of the water and that’s all it was the whole way, was pin the throttle and try and not get sucked under,” Leigh said.

Fatigue is a factor and Leigh said amongst sore body parts sustained during the race were his back, hip and knees.

“It’s a huge mental race. You get  an hour and 45 minutes in, you’re kind of, ‘Why am I out here?’ and you have to remind yourself, because it’s fun,” said Leigh. “It’s a fun race and there are times when you feel a little lonely out there, you’re in a [2.7-metre] boat in the middle of the strait.”

The annual Bathtub race is part of Nanaimo Marine Festival, which runs today through Sunday (July 24-27) and features entertainment and activities in addition to the Great Race.

Bill McGuire, Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society commodore, said the organization is hoping for 35-40 tubs. Registration occurs between Thursday and Saturday, with a mandatory safety meeting for tubbers and escort boat drivers at the Coast Bastion Hotel Sunday at 8:30 a.m.

McGuire said the race starts at 11 a.m. at Nanaimo’s harbour and will follow a route around Entrance Island (off Gabriola Island) and north and around the Winchelsea Islands.

Participants then head back toward Nanaimo, coming into Departure Bay Beach. The tubber must come ashore, run up to the finish line at Kin Park and ring a bell.

“Every so often, this happens to be one of those years, the tide is way out, so all of a sudden, if there are two tubs close together, it becomes not only a tub race but also a foot race,” McGuire said.

Related festivities will take place, including the Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association’s Bathtub Days Street Fair on Commercial Street. Leigh has seen a decrease in tubbers and wants to see more people out there and it’s first place or bust.

“Everybody wants to win and you put a lot of work into it leading up and it’s a good feeling so third would be hard to accept,” he said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo Redmen become Nanaimo Seahawks

Football Nanaimo says new moniker reflects West Coast heritage

Nanaimo woman to compete in new season of ‘Big Brother Canada’

Carol Rosher, a cancer survivor, is one of 16 houseguests appearing on reality TV show

Nanaimo Buccaneers win in overtime in playoff opener

Bucs goalie Austin Dendl makes 46 saves to lead his team to 2-1 win over Campbell River Storm

Banned Nanaimo investment advisor accused of lying under oath to investigators

B.C. Securities Commission to schedule hearing in March

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Opal frustrations creating danger

Traffic-calming on Opal Road has increased driving speeds on Rock City Road, says letter writer

VIDEO: Reconciliation is dead: Wet’suwet’en supporters vow to keep protesting at B.C. legislature

Supporters say they will continue ongoing action to hold government accountable

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

Blockade reroutes traffic on Pat Bay Highway

About 80 people from four major Peninsula First Nations blocking major highway

Trucking company fined $175K for Kootenay creek fuel spill

Decision handed down last Friday in Nelson court

Commute in Nanaimo slowed as SUV goes up onto highway barrier, gets stuck

Accident happened at 5 p.m. on old Island Highway and Highland Boulevard

Most Read