World Championship Bathtub Race

The first Great International World Championship Bathtub Race took place in Nanaimo BC in 1967. The Great International World Championship Bathtub Race runs every July in Nanaimo BC.


Community: Nanaimo
Province: British Columbia
Festival Type: Music Sports

Splish, splash, speed! Get set for the fast-paced, action-packed International World Championship Bathtub Race in Nanaimo, B.C.  There’s good reason why this event has been happening since 1967.

It had attracted "tubbers” from around the world who bring their “bathtubs” – racing vessels of every stripe - to race to the finish line.

The race is just one of many fun events happening around town during the four-day festival. Enjoy island arts and crafts, good times in the beer garden, local food vendors, live music and entertainment for adults and kids alike. 

Featured Events

World Championship Bathtub Race 

Nanaimo harbour was the scene of a bathtub race extravaganza at the first race in 1967, which was Canada’s 100th Birthday. As the City of Nanaimo’s “Centennial Event” more than 200 tubbers in every type of watercraft imaginable entered the fun competition and amazingly, 47 completed the 36 mile course to Vancouver’s Fisherman’s Cove across the Straits of Georgia.

Now the “Great RACE” finishes at Departure Bay beach in Nanaimo, covering a very grueling course that starts in Nanaimo Harbour, goes around Entrance Island, north west to Winchelsea Islands, around a naval ship, past Schooner Cove and then back to Departure Bay beach in Nanaimo.

Concerts in the park

During the weekend of the bathtub races, there will be various vendors and live entertainment available for your enjoyment when you are not watching the "tubbers" race.

For up-to-date details on the "Concerts in the park", check out the official event page.

If You Go

Check out the bathtub races - then go sooth the soul with a waterfall hike, have a watch for what’s in store.

Grab a snack while checking out the Bathtub Races! Did you know Nanaimo is home to the Nanaimo Bar Trail? If you have room, take a tasty self-guided adventure through the city and sample some treats. 

Check out these places to stay while visiting. Ready to hop into a bathtub and get on the ocean?