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Nanaimo Bathtub Races


Nanaimo Bathtub Races

Nanaimo Bathtub Race

Some Background and History

 of this Daring Event!

As published on the Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society website:

Nanaimo harbor was the scene of a bathtub race extravaganza at the first race in 1967. As the City of Nanaimo's "Centennial Event" that year, close to 200 tubbers (in every type of craft imaginable) entered the fun competition and amazingly, 47 completed the 36 mile course to Vancouver's Fisherman's Cove across the straits of Georgia.

Now the "Great RACE" finishes at Departure Bay in Nanaimo covering a very grueling course that leaves Nanaimo harbor circles Entrance Island and then up to and around Winchelsea Island and then back to Departure Bay in Nanaimo.

In the early days it was indeed a challenge to just get past the starting line in the choppy confusion caused by an extra 785 small and large observation and escort boat in Nanaimo harbor.

From the confusion of a first time bathtub race 40 years ago, the Nanaimo to Nanaimo "Great" INTERNATIONAL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BATHTUB RACE & 4 day Nanaimo Marine Festival has evolved. Where once a select band of tubers were the highlight they now share the spotlight with many other land and water events which are interesting and often spectacular to watch.


The Next Offical Great International Bathtub Race is scheduled for:

JULY 28th 2013 11AM SHARP

For more current coverage of Bathtub Race Events and the Marine Festival including parade times, fireworks times etc. you should visit our daily news website Nanaimo info-Blog.com

Some Pictures from the Bathtub Race of 2007


bath race 07 012 (Small) (2)_0.jpg A bronze statue pays tribute to the first Commodore of the Fleet, the flamboyant Frank Ney.

bath race 07 027 (Small)_0.jpg Crowds start to assemble at Swy-a-lana Lagoon Park for the offical start of the 2007 Nanaimo Bathtub Race.

bath race 07 004 (Small).jpg Crews make last minute checks of their tubs before launching at Brechin boat ramp. The Great Race is less than an hour away!

bath race 07 016.jpg World's Largest Bathtub patrols the harbour prior to the Great Nanaimo Bathtub Race start.

bath race 07 011.jpg

A steam powered Tug the Master is a part of the official start of the Bathtub Races. Her unique 'steam whistle' gets everyones attention!

bath race 07 031.jpg As start time approaches, tubs begin to gather around the World's Largest Bathtub.

bath race 07 017.jpg Tubs take some warm up laps prior to the race getting underway. Only minutes remain!

bath race 07 032 (Small).jpg

The Steam Tug sounds her whistle, as the Howitzer fires at precisely 11:00 AM and the Great Race begins!

bath race 07 040 (Small).jpg Aaaannnnd they're OFF...... The inner harbour is turned into a frothing mass of white foam as over 50 brave souls in bathtubs start the Great Nanaimo Bathtub Race of 2007.