South Okanagan tub racers ready to make a splash

Competition in this year’s second annual, new and much-improved Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race is expected to be fast and furious.

Jim Cavin of the Summerland Yacht Club is expecting a big turnout for Saturday's second annual Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race at Powell Beach park in Trout Creek. Gates open at 11:30 p.m.

Jim Cavin of the Summerland Yacht Club is expecting a big turnout for Saturday's second annual Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race at Powell Beach park in Trout Creek. Gates open at 11:30 p.m.

Tubbers, start your engines.

Competition in this year’s second annual, new and much-improved Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race is expected to be fast, furious and a whole lot of fun.

With the new venue at Powell Beach in Trout Creek and revised route for tubbers providing better race viewing for spectators, organizers are predicting a great time will be had by all.

“We’re just working on a few last minute things to make sure everything is going to be where it should be at the right time,” said Jim Cavin, of the Summerland Yacht Club which took on the task of staging the event last year. “We’ll have about 20 tubs in the two different races, it’s certainly enough to provide plenty for people to see. I think it’s going to be a lot more exciting for people because the boats will pass in front of the beach at least three times.”

Things kick off with the entrants and volunteer breakfast at the park from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (ticket required) followed by the general opening at 11:30 a.m.

Fun on the water begins at noon with what’s being billed at the Putt-Putt or Paddle Fundrace for watercraft either with or without motors. Those using engines will have to do two circuits of the mile-long course.

The winner may not necessarily be the fastest. Judging will also include the most inventive and the biggest fundraiser.

Again this year money raised will go to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation to help equip the Penticton Regional Hospital tower project currently under construction. Last year $15,000 was raised and an unidentified patron has stepped up to match the amount raised Saturday up to $15,000.

This is the second of a five-year commitment to the medical foundation by the yacht club.

The real competition gets underway at 12:15 when the A and B divisions take to the water for the 24-mile course from Powell Beach to Naramata north to Summerland and returning to the start line. Racers will do the route three times.

An added treat this year is the exhibition Nanaimo tubbers race who will compete on the same course with much faster tubs.

“These things are hopped up and souped up and super modified, they’ll be going 40 miles an hour. I wouldn’t be going that fast in a boat that weighs nothing,” said Cavin with a laugh.

That event is scheduled for 2 p.m.

The parents and kids bathtub paddle race starts at 2:15 p.m.

There will be plenty of on-shore activities for families during the day including the Ogopogo sand sculpting contest, floating target archery, fish pond, bouncy castles and face painting.

As well, there will be a beach-side beverage gardens, barbecue smokies and live music by Michael O’Grady.

Results will be announced at 3:30 p.m. with the ReMax awards dinner and dance (tickets required) taking place at the yacht club starting at 5:45 p.m.

More information can be found at ogopogobathtubrace.com or on Facebook.