Tubbers turn up the heat at Ogopogo races

Bathtub racers were the highlight of the day Saturday at the second annual Great Okanagan Bathtub Race.

  • Aug. 20, 2016 8:00 p.m.
Tubbers round the turn on Okanagan Lake during Saturday's Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race.

Tubbers round the turn on Okanagan Lake during Saturday's Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race.

Spectators were treated to some hot tub action at Saturday’s second annual Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race off the shores of Powell Beach in Trout Creek.

Clear skies and relatively calm waters made for some good times in both the regular event and the sanctioned exhibition competition for members of the Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society.

Standings aside, again this year the real winner is the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation which will receive the estimated $40,000 raised, going towards equipping the medical tower currently under construction at Penticton Regional Hospital.

Of that money, $15,000 was donated by an individual who wished to remain anonymous, but wanted to help out the cause announcing before the event an amount of up to $15,000 would be matched.

This was the second of a five-year commitment the club has made to the medical foundation.

“We’re very happy with the way things went and the amount of money we raised. We had some very active bidding at the dinner auction that night,” said event organizer Jim Cavin of the Summerland Yacht Club. “Everybody was really happy with the competition and I know the guys from Nanaimo really want to come back again, I got an email from them Sunday morning saying ‘we really would like to be included next year.’”

There was a special, exhibition, sanctioned race for those who compete in the Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society event using much more powerful, modified engines.

Cavin added the venue and course change for this year were positive. Instead of racing to Penticton and back. competitors did a three-lap, 40-kilometre triangle from Powell Beach north to Summerland and across to Naramata, then returning to the finish line.

“We got some good comments back on the route but again we’re going to look at that and possibly change it next year so it’s even more in the proximity of Powell Beach, perhaps a big square course out in front,” said Cavin who added due to the limited participation, the fun race, Putt Putt or Paddle event, would not be held in 2017.

Skipper Mike Stohler piloted the ReMax Rocket (ReMax Orchard Country took victory in the A division to earn his second win in a row, finishing just ahead of Jason Schafer of Oliver in the Great Estates Okanagan tub. Third place went to the Penticton Yacht Club (Inland Group).

“It was a tough course this year, a lot longer and I think the chop (on the water) is what I really think divided the race,” said Stohler afterwards. “The second place tub on my tail the whole time. There was a lot of slip streaming out there, I was literally lying down in the bathtub. It really is a lot of fun, and for a really good cause. I don’t know if I’ll be back next year or not, I might have to loose a little bit of weight, it’s getting pretty tight in there.”

In the B class it was X9 (Rayburn Marine) who finished first, followed by High Octane (Barry Beecroft Fuels) and Free Paint (Pat Wand).

In the super modified race, veteran tubber Brian Stoochnow was first, Chris Glenn was second and Jaime Garcia third. All three of those tubs finished within 16 seconds of each other.

Someone else very pleased with the day’s monetary results was John Moorhouse of the medical foundation.

“This event is so much fun and it has the potential for growth as a fundraiser and we’re delighted the Summerland Yacht Club has decided to help out our campaign,” he said. “This is a very high-profile event and it’s so visually exciting and so for us to be the recipient charity is great. It’s just a plus, plus, plus.”