World Championship Race Course Rules

These rules supersede all published rules and are effective as of July 20th, 2018. For a downloadable/printable PDF file of the rules listed below click here: 2018 Rules for Tubs and Escorts.pdf

You may want to also check out LNBS Official Rules for technical boat and engine regulations.

RULES FOR THE TUBS 

All tubs must be in milling area just north of the start line at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the race. Tubs must mill in an anti-clockwise direction around the Big Tub until the White Flag is raised. 

The start line will be marked by Red and Yellow barrels and the chute will be marked by Yellow barrels only. 

There will be several Bathtub Race Official Safety Vessels (properly identified) in the start area, including RCMP, RCM-SAR 27 and Nanaimo Port Authority vessels acting as Safety vessels. All these vessels will have full authority over starting procedures and will advise BATHTUB CONTROL or Safety. 

Flags Signals: Red 5-minute warning
  White 1-minute warning
  Green Race Start
  Black Race Delayed/Closed – No tub or Escort vessel is permitted to pass a Black Flag 


Start Signals: Watch the Start/Pace Boat & the Big Tub in the milling area.
 

10:30am Sound shells and smoke flares. Escorts should be out of harbour.
10:45am Sound shells and smoke flares.
10:50am Sound shells and smoke flares.
10:55am Sound shells and smoke flares. Red flag will be held up on the Start/Pace Boat and on the Big Tub in the milling area.
10:59am White flag will be held up on the Start Boat and the Big Tub in the milling area. The Start Boat will be sitting on the West-side of the start line near the Fishing Pier.
11:00am Start of Great Race - Start Boat and Big Tub will fly a green flag. Firing of cannons and fireworks. The Start Boat will head to Gallows Pt. 


Tubs must cross the start line BEHIND the Start Boat which will be the Official Starter of the Race. The Start Boat will begin its run when the traditional starting gun is fired, but the Start Boat is the Official Starter as far as the Tubs are concerned. Breach of this Rule will result in disqualification, unless the infringing Tub returns and re-cross the start line.
 

Start schedules, if delayed start

A black flag will be held up in the Start Boat & the Big Tub if the Race is delayed. Start time is 11:00am, however if the start is delayed due to weather conditions, the next start time will be 1115.

11:10am Sound shells and smoke flares. Red flag will be held up on the Start Boat and on the Big Tub in the milling area.
11:14am White flag will be held up on the Start Boat and the Big Tub in the milling area. Start Boat will be sitting on the West-side of the start line near the Fishing Pier.
11:15am Start of Great Race - Start Boat and Big Tub will fly a green flag. Firing of cannons and fireworks. The Start Boat will head to Gallows Pt. 


The last harbor start time will be 1130
 

11:25am Sound shells and smoke flares. Red flag will be held up on the Start Boat and on the Big Tub in the milling area.
11:29am White flag will be held up on the Start Boat and the Big Tub in the milling area. Start Boat will be sitting on the West-side of the start line near the Fishing Pier.
11:30am Start of Great Race - Start Boat and Big Tub will fly a green flag. Firing of cannons and fireworks. The Start Boat will head to Gallows Pt.

If the race is further delayed to 1200, the Start Line will be moved to Gallows Point. The Milling Area will be set-up by the Safety vessels. 

BATHTUB CONTROL will advise all vessels on VHF 73/09 if the race is cancelled by the Safety committee. 

Tubs must stay between the lines of buoys which indicate the race lane from the start line to Gallows Point. All Tubs must pass the P-4 Gallows Point Spar Buoy on their Port-side (Left). 

Tubs must pass Gallows Point by 11:45am. 

Pick-up Area: Any tub which sinks or breaks-down between the Milling Area and Gallows Point, will be towed to the Fishing Pier or a Safety vessel will stand-by until the Escort vessel arrives. 

All Tubs must pass Entrance Island with-in 60 minutes and must have passed Five Fingers Island 90 minutes after the start of the race. If not, tubs will be considered DNF, must advise BATHTUB CONTROL and return to harbour. 

Tubs must not follow behind or in the wake of their Escort Boat or any other tub or vessel.

Any deliberate attempt to do so could result in disqualification. 

Tubs must meet their escort boats between Gallows Point and Entrance Island. A team of race spotters will record all Tubs and Escort boats at each check-point. 

Tubs must stay within sight of their Escort Boat after Entrance Island. An Escort Boat that is unable to continue must contact BATHTUB CONTROL. If another vessel agrees to be the tubs Escort Boat, they MUST contact BATHTUB CONTROL for approval. Approval will be subject to ALL safety requirements being confirmed. 

It is MANDATORY that tubs race on the official race route.

CHECK-POINT ONE is Entrance Island and must be passed on the tubs Port-side (Left) in an counter-clockwise direction. The Race Spotters are on OLIBAR POINT on Gabriola Island. 

The race route then heads to Five Fingers Island, again leaving the Five Fingers Island and the CHECK-POINT TWO to the tubs Port-side (Left). The Navy vessel Stikine is the CHECK-POINT TWO at 49° 13' 55”N and 123° 54' 23”W 

Tubs must have reached CHECK-POINT TWO within 90 minutes from Race Start, or they will be considered DNF and must advise BATHTUB CONTROL and return to the harbour. 

The Race Route heads to Maude Island, keeping Maude Island on the Tubs Port-side (Left). CHECK-POINT THREE is a vessel moored near the buoy just East of Imperieuse Rock 49° 15' 40” N, 124° 7' 14” at the entrance to Nanoose Bay. Keep the vessel, CHECK-POINT THREE to the Tubs Port-side (Left) as you pass. 

CHECK-POINT FOUR is the Navy vessel Stikine used for CHECK-POINT TWO moored just northeast of Five fingers Island at 49° 13' 55” N and 123° 54' 23” W. Pass the Check-Point Vessel on the Tubs Starboard-side (Right). 

CHECK-POINT FIVE is the Yellow vessel Nimar II and will be just off of Gallows Point. Tubs must keep the Nimar II on their Starboard-side (Right) as they round Gallows Point. Escort vessels are not permitted to follow the tubs thru the harbour. Tubs will pass the Yellow buoys on the tubs Port-side (Left) as you head north to a line (Start-Line) directly east of Sway-a-Lana Lagoon and follow the red buoys keeping them on the tubs Port-side (Left) and then proceed directly into the beach at Maffeo-Sutton Park beach. 

All finishing Tubbers must (under their own power and without help) proceed up the beach and ring the Finish Line Bell. Tubs MUST come to rest with at least part of the tub and the skeg in contact with the water. 

If you do not finish the race you must report to BATHTUB CONTROL on Marine VHF 73

or cellular 250-668-3421 that you have left the race and are safely returning to shore. Failure to do so may result in launching an unnecessary & expensive search and rescue operation. 

BATHTUB CONTROL must be notify if the tub and escort re-enter the race. 

Tubs must have passed Gallows Point by 1145

Tubs must have passed Entrance Island within 60 minutes of the Start

Tubs must have passed Checkpoint Two on the vessel Stikine within 90 minutes of the Start

Tubs must have passed Checkpoint Three at Nanoose Bay within 2 ½ hours of the Start. 

At 1500 (3pm) the Race Secretary will advise BATHTUB CONTROL that the race is OVER.

Safety vessels will fly the BLACK flag advising that the Race is cancelled/closed.

The Nanaimo Harbour will be open to all traffic and the Finish shoot is closed. 

All tubs on the water at this time must advise BATHTUB CONTROL of their location and

proceed directly to the harbour or their final destination. All tubs MUST check out of BATHTUB CONTROL when they reach their final destination.

RULES FOR ESCORT VESSELS

Each escort boat must display the Official Numbers which will be issued at Bathtub

Headquarters at the time of your Tub Registration. These numbers shall be displayed on either side of the Escort Boat and MUST be visible to the spotters of each check-point.

Official Escort Boats must be at least 16 ft. in length and carry an observer capable of assisting the Tubber in an emergency.

All escort vessels must be equipped with a marine band VHF radio and carry the Cell phone that was provided during registration. VHF Channel 73 and channel 16 are to be monitored at all times. Escorts must notify Bathtub Control of their DSC MMSI number (if available).

All escort boats should be between Gallows Point and Entrance Island by 10:30am. Escort boats are reminded that the speed limit in the Newcastle Island Passage is 5 KNOTS, (between Pimbery Point and Bate Point near the South-end of the channel at the Nanaimo Yacht Club) any vessel exceeding the speed limit in that area is subject to prosecution.

Escort vessels should travel to the area near Gallows Point by going North from Brechin Pt. Boat launch, circling around Newcastle Island and the East-side of Protection Island to meet up with their tubs when they pass Gallows Point.

There will be several Bathtub Race Official Safety Vessels (properly identified) in the start area, including RCMP, RCM-SAR 27 and Nanaimo Port Authority vessels acting as Safety vessels. All Safety vessels will have full authority over starting procedures and will advise BATHTUB CONTROL.

Flags Signals: Red 5-minute warning
  White 1-minute warning
  Green Race Start
  Black Race Delayed/Closed – No tub or Escort vessel is permitted to pass a Black Flag 


Start Signals: Watch the Start/Pace Boat & the Big Tub in the milling area.
 

10:30am Sound shells and smoke flares. Escorts should be out of harbour.
10:45am Sound shells and smoke flares.
10:50am Sound shells and smoke flares.
10:55am Sound shells and smoke flares. Red flag will be held up on the Start/Pace Boat and on the Big Tub in the milling area.
10:59am White flag will be held up on the Start Boat and the Big Tub in the milling area. The Start Boat will be sitting on the West-side of the start line near the Fishing Pier.
11:00am Start of Great Race - Start Boat and Big Tub will fly a green flag. Firing of cannons and fireworks. The Start Boat will head to Gallows Pt. 


The Start/Pace Boat will wait at the Start Line for the race to begin. Tubs must cross the start line BEHIND the Start/Pace Boat which will be the Official Starter of the Race. The Start/Pace Boat will begin its run when the traditional starting gun is fired, but the Start/Pace Boat is the Official Starter as far as the Tubs are concerned. Breach of this Rule will result in disqualification, unless the infringing Tub returns and re-cross the start line.

Start schedules, if delayed start

A black flag will be held up in the Start Boat & the Big Tub if the Race is delayed. Start time is 11:00am, however if the start is delayed due to weather conditions, the next start time will be 1115.

11:10am Sound shells and smoke flares. Red flag will be held up on the Start Boat and on the Big Tub in the milling area.
11:14am White flag will be held up on the Start Boat and the Big Tub in the milling area. Start Boat will be sitting on the West-side of the start line near the Fishing Pier.
11:15am Start of Great Race - Start Boat and Big Tub will fly a green flag. Firing of cannons and fireworks. The Start Boat will head to Gallows Pt. 


The last harbor start time will be 1130
 

11:25am Sound shells and smoke flares. Red flag will be held up on the Start Boat and on the Big Tub in the milling area.
11:29am White flag will be held up on the Start Boat and the Big Tub in the milling area. Start Boat will be sitting on the West-side of the start line near the Fishing Pier.
11:30am Start of Great Race - Start Boat and Big Tub will fly a green flag. Firing of cannons and fireworks. The Start Boat will head to Gallows Pt.

If the race is further delayed to 1200, the Start Line will be moved to Gallows Point. 

The Milling Area will be set-up by the Safety vessels. 

BATHTUB CONTROL will advise all vessels on VHF 73/09 if the race is cancelled by the Safety committee. 

Tubs must stay between the lines of buoys which indicate the race lane from the start line to Gallows Point. All Tubs must pass the P-4 Gallows Point Spar Buoy on their Port-side (Left). 

Tubs must pass Gallows Point by 1145

Pick-up Area: Any tub which sinks or breaks-down between the Milling Area and Gallows Point will be towed to the Fishing Pier or the Safety vessel will stand-by until the Escort vessel arrives. The Escort vessel MUST contact BATHTUB CONTROL for permission to enter Nanaimo Harbour to assist their tub.

Escort boats must meet their Tubs between Gallows Point and Entrance Island. A team of race spotters will record all Tubs and Escort vessels as they pass each check-point. If a tub cannot find it’s Escort Boat (or vice versa) by Entrance Island, the Tub can NOT continue. Any Tub beyond this point without its Official Escort boat will be automatically disqualified. Tubs must be in sight of their escort boats at all times after Entrance Island. Any Escort Boat making a deliberate attempt to run in front of its Tub or any other Tub shall disqualify the Tub that it is registered to. It is MANDATORY that tubs race on the official race route.

If an Escort Boat is unable to continue, BATHTUB CONTROL must contact. If another vessel agrees to be the tubs Escort Boat, they MUST contact BATHTUB CONTROL for approval. Approval will be subject to ALL safety requirements being confirmed.

The CHECK-POINTONE is Entrance Island and must be passed on the tubs Port-side (Left) in a counter-clockwise direction. The Race Spotters are located at OLIBAR POINT on Gabriola Island.

The race route then heads to Five Fingers Island, again leaving the Five Fingers Island and the CHECK-POINT TWO to the tubs Port-side (Left). The Navy vessel Stikine is CHECK-POINT TWO at 49° 13' 55” N and 123° 54' 23” W.

Tubs must have reached CHECK-POINT TWO within 90 minutes from Race Start, or they will be considered DNF and must advise BATHTUB CONTROL and return to the harbour. 

The Race Route now heads to Maude Island, keeping Maude Island on the Tubs Port-side (Left). CHECK-POINT THREE is a vessel moored near a buoy just east of Imperieuse Rock 49° 15' 40” N, 124° 7' 14” at the entrance to Nanoose Bay. Keep the vessel, CHECK-POINT THREE to the Tubs Port-side (Left) as you pass.

CHECK-POINT FOUR is the Navy vessel Stikine used for CHECK-POINT TWO moored just northeast of Five fingers Island at 49° 13' 55” N and 123° 54' 23” W. Pass the Check-Point Vessel on the Tubs Starboard-side (Right).

CHECK-POINT FIVE

The Nimar II will be CHECK-POINT FIVE and will be stationed just off Gallows Point. Tubs and Escorts must keep the NIMAR II on their Starboard-side (right) as they round Gallows Point. The tubs will then follow the buoys north to a line directly east of Sway-a-Lana Lagoon and then proceed directly into the beach at Maffeo Sutton Park. The Escort vessels are NOT required to escort tubs passed Gallows Pt and must reduce speed to enter the harbour. If the tub needs assistance in the harbour a safety vessel will assist.

All escorts Must exercise extreme caution when transiting the harbour. BATHTUB CONTROL may require the escort to alter course or reduce speed as needed. The harbour will be open to all traffic at this time.

No vessels traffic is to enter the AIRCRAFT ACCESS ONLY area south of the Fishing Pier and all escort boats are to stay well clear of Seaplane traffic.

If you do not finish the race you must report to BATHTUB CONTROL on Marine VHF 73/09 or cellular 250-668-3421 that you have left the race and are safely returning to shore. Failure to do so may result in launching an unnecessary & expensive search and rescue operation.

Also, if you re-enter the race you must notify BATHTUB CONTROL.

Tubs must have passed Gallows Point by 1145

Tubs must have passed Entrance Island within 60 minutes of the Start

Tubs must have passed Checkpoint Two on the vessel Stikine within 90 minutes of the Start

Tubs must have passed Checkpoint Three at Nanoose Bay within 2 ½ hours of the Start

At 1500 (3pm) the Race Secretary will advise BATHTUB CONTROL that the race is OVER.

A Safety vessel will fly the BLACK flag at Gallows Point advising that the Finish shoot is closed.

All tubs/escorts on the water at this time must advise BATHTUB CONTROL of their location and proceed directly to the harbour or their final destination. All tubs/escorts MUST check out of BATHTUB CONTROL when they reach their final destination.

In the event of an emergency where lives are at risk, immediately contact “Victoria Coast Guard Radio” on VHF Channel 16 and report your vessel name, position and nature of emergency. This information will be forwarded to the Joint Rescue Coordination Center and all vessel traffic via marine broadcast to all vessels on VHF Ch 16.

All non-life threatening race communications should be conducted on the working frequencies, (VHF Channels 73/9), for example, race buoys out of position, vessels or spectators in inappropriate locations, race withdrawals, etc.

Positive control of marine VHF CH 73/9 will remain at all times with BATHTUB CONTROL. Before race start, SAFETY will act as start observer & communicate with BATHTUB CONTROL, Safety vessels, and helo (if available). On race start, race related communications will be made by all safety, military vessels/helo and Escort boats on marine CH 73/9. Emergency Communications to Victoria Coast Guard Radio will be conducted on Marine VHF Channel 16. Marine VHF Channel 16 will be monitored at BATHTUB CONTROL for information purposes only.

Distress / Emergency Communications. A distress signal indicates that a person or group of people, ship, aircraft, or other vessel is threatened by grave and imminent danger and requests immediate assistance. A tub out of fuel is not in distress. A tub sinking with no sign of the tubber is. All distress / emergencies should be reported on VHF (CH 16) to Victoria Coast Guard Radio. If you are unable to make contact with Victoria CG RADIO on the VHF call *16 on your cell for assistance.

Here is an example of how to make a MAYDAY call.

1. VHF CH 16

MAYDAY. MAYDAY. MAYDAY.

THIS IS ESCORT VESSEL #___. WE ARE A (DISCRIBE YOU VESSEL) 24 FOOT POWER BOAT, WHITE WITH BLUE HULL. OUR POSITION IS 1 MILE EAST OF SNAKE ISLAND. OUR TUB #___ WITH 1 PERSON ABOARD HAS SUNK AND THERE IS NO SIGN OF OUR TUBBER. WE REQUIRE IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE TO LOCATE OUR TUBBER.

2. All stations hearing the MAYDAY call will hold all traffic on VHF Ch 16 and listen unless Victoria Coast Guard Radio requires relay. Race VHF primary channel (73/09) should be used for reporting if VHF CH 16 and/or *16 is unworkable for any reason. Request BATHTUB CONTROL relay the distress call to Victoria CG Radio on your behalf.

If you re-enter the race you must notify Bathtub control.