Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Claw Foot Bathtub Racing for Fun and (Little) Profit!

Some “City Folks” assume that claw foot bathtubs are just for bathing. Not so, city slickers! The claw foot bathtub has more uses than a hyperactive boy scout with a Swiss army knife. For instance, claw foot bathtubs can be used to water farm animals (in fact, the original “modern” claw foot bathtub was most likely designed by John Kohler in the 1880’s as an improved water trough that “could also be used for bathing”). Some of the more industrious residents in our area bury the faucet end of the tub into the ground to create a grotto for the Virgin Mary (I will add an image later because I know you don’t believe me). Although there are literally hundreds of uses for the ubiquitous claw foot bathtub, perhaps the most dangerous / exciting / strange application involves placing the tub into a small, streamlined hull and adding a large outboard motor. The result (aside from an almost guaranteed trip to the hospital / dentist / plastic surgeon) is your very own bathtub racer!

How tub racing first got started is shrouded in mystery and intrigue. No, not really – I just said that to have a cool intro to the second paragraph. Sorry. Anyway, according to The Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society this form of competition started in 1967 with 200 “tubers” racing on a 36 mile course near Vancouver, Canada. Fast forward to July of 2005 and you have the city of Nanaimo hosting the 39th annual World Championship Bathtub Race. This year the race theme – get ready for this – is a salute to ever-popular “40th anniversary of the JOINT USE of the TEST RANGES at CFMETR, Nanoose by the UNITED STATES AND CANDADIAN NAVIES". So, kids, if you’re just happen to be near Nanaimo from the 21st to 24th of July check out the race, raise a glass to the test range, and get ready for sights like these:





I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.