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Bathtub racing has new world champ

Trevor Short wins the Great International World Championship Bathtub Race in Nanaimo
Trevor Short makes it back to the beach first to win the Great International World Championship Bathtub Race in Nanaimo on Sunday. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

The sport of bathtubbing has a new world champion.

Trevor Short, in super modified tub No. 002, was first back to the beach Sunday at the Great International World Championship Bathtub Race in Nanaimo.

Short, a first-time winner, finished the course in an unofficial time of one hour, 30 minutes, 24 seconds, about three minutes ahead of runner-up Brandon Skipper. Multiple-time champion Nathan Barlow was third, about four minutes off Short’s pace.

“The boat ran fantastic, I couldn’t complain, and then the way home was full-tilt, ready to rock,” Short said.

He was running fifth during the first half of the course, he said, but a couple of tubs went down and just after the Maude Island checkpoint, Short was able to take over the lead.

“I was finally able to open up the fuel,” he said. “I was holding back slightly on the way up to Maude because I was dealing with pain and issues, but after that, I was able to go full-tilt. The boat was set up perfect.”

Short, who has raced since 2010, said he didn’t know for certain that he had the lead until almost the end of the course, and said it was “lovely” and “awesome” to score his first win at the great race.

Skipper said “conditions couldn’t have been better,” but added that it was a bit of a slog after getting past Entrance Island into open waters.

“You get a realization of what’s going to happen for the next half hour, 45 minutes, just pounding through the head-on waves,” he said. “But we held ’er together.”

Skipper broke his tiller handle and had to modify his driving, but stayed at the front of the pack until Short pulled away.

“There was nothing I could do,” Skipper said. “I watched him and he was so fast. Whatever he’s done, he’s doing something right. So he deserved it today.”

Skipper, who has been involved in the sport since 2001, said he was still “delighted” to achieve a personal best.

Tyler Reiber was the stock winner in 1:39:17 and finished fourth overall and Marian Stewart, in 1:46:37, won the modified division and was first woman to finish.

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Greg Peacock, commodore of the Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society, said Bathtub Weekend was “so much fun” for residents and tourists. The highlight for him, he said, was “the community and the spirit of this whole thing. Everywhere you go, people are smiling, giving you a hug. You’ve got to love where you live.”

Top 10 results from the great race, unofficially, include:

1. Trevor Short, SM, 1:20:24

2. Brandon Skipper, SM, 1:33:22

3. Nathan Barlow, SM, 1:34:33

4. Tyler Reiber, S, 1:39:17

5. Kurt Henderson, SM, 1:44:09

6. Drew McDonald, S, 1:45:55

7. Marian Stewart, M, 1:46:37

8. Jase Nychyporuk, S, 1:48:27

9. Jaime Garcia, SM, 1:53: 29

10. Cooper Rey, SM, 1:55:16

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About the Author: Greg Sakaki

I have been in the community newspaper business for two decades, all of those years with Black Press Media.
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