Saturday, November 18, 2017
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Bath tub racing in Bowentown

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One of the quirky things that makes Bowentown cool is their annual Bath Tub Regatta. Serious fun, the fast-moving bath tubs cause plenty of spectator excitement as they zip around the course at breakneck speed.

There will be five races this Sunday, with 8hp and 15hp bath tubs competing. Assembling at 9am at Bowentown Boating and Sport Fishing Club, the bath tubs undergo technical inspection by race scrutineers. A few practice laps follow with races starting 12.30pm.

Co-organiser and competitor Evan Walker bought his boat from a boat builder in Auckland. He and others have been practising ahead of the regatta, but there may still be spills and capsizes along the way.

“I raced it for the first time last year. Didn’t win,” says Evan. “This year we have 12-17 competitors, coming from Tauranga, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Paihia, Auckland and Whitianga.”

Bowentown has been holding the event for about 15 years, originally helping raise funds for breast cancer research. This year, some of the funds raised will go to the Coastguard NZ, which will also be on hand in case boats crash into each other or competitors capsize.

Bath tub racing rules require the bath to be built into the boat. It can be made of any material as long as it is recognised to be a genuine bath readily available from a New Zealand plumbing outlet. The complete tub must be intact, with the rim exposed except at the stern.

The final design can be stabilised with any material provided the tub is an integral part it, so old water craft such as surfboards and jet skis may be used.

The minimum age of the ‘tubbers’ is 16 years with helmets and lifejackets required.

Bathtub racing started in Nanaimo, British Columbia in 1967 with the mayor of the time, Frank Ney avidly participating dressed as a pirate. Bowentown held the first NZ bath tub races, and they have since been held in Paihia, the upper Waitemata and Whitianga.

Comments on SunLive

I wonder....

Posted on 28-03-2017 01:06 | By GreertonBoy

If any of the competitors threw in the towel? I guess the winner will have made it a ’clean’ sweep... as the others (losers) went down the gurgler lol
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