The first sanctioned race was held in 1979 after a request from the Kelowna regatta to expand their water activities. The tubbers who had participated in the great race were invited to attend. The Daily News World Cup trophy was created with points being earned for each race. The first place finisher receives 50 points, then decreasing by 2 points and 10 points for not finishing. Tubbers are allowed to drop points from one race so that they are not penalized if unable to attend.
The purpose of the program is to introduce and promote Nanaimo and the sport of Bathtub racing to other communities and to encourage the tubbers to compete in more than just one race a year.
Currently races are held at various locations throughout British Columbia and Washington State. The Oak Bay Tea Party race in Victoria has traditionally been the first race of the season. The last races of the season are in Bremerton, Washington on the Labour Day weekend. Most of these races are circuit races which are good for spectators as they can see the entire race.