50 Years of Bathtub Racing: A Souvenir Handbook

By Kevin Saunders, Author & LNBS Director

The Nanaimo Marine Festival and World Championship Bathtub Race has always been the one big event I look forward to every summer. I fondly remember this time of year from my youth. Going downtown to the festivities, the fireworks show over the harbour and then going out on my family's boat to watch the race. I always wanted to take part in the race from a young age, and when I turned fourteen I did.

I've been racing since 2006, achieving the award for Youngest Tubber to Finish three years in a row. In 2009 I won the World Cup Championship in Modified class for the sanctioned racing season, and in 2013 I won the Frank Ney Memorial Trophy for first place in Modified class in the Great Race. I had always been interested in the history of the bathtub races and how the event started out in 1967 and became what it is today. Apart from a few old books and some write ups in the annual Marine Festival program, there wasn't a lot of recent history written on the race. This lack of recorded history gave me the idea to write my own book.

The book started out in high school for a writing project, and grew from there. I had started collecting information and pictures from the Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society and began to piece together a timeline of the races history from back before the first race in 1967 and how the idea for the race even came about. Once I had completed all of my writing I used an online publisher to put the book together and put all of the pictures in place.

The first edition of my book came out in 2010, and provided an up to date historical timeline of bathtub racing. With the celebration of the 50th Annual Great Race last year, I'm releasing a commemorative “50 Years of Bathtub Racing” book. This book is available now at the LNBS office in downton Nanaimo and features the full 50 years of history, as well as many stories and pictures from past and present.