NANAIMO — A man who was once the youngest tubber to finish the Great Race claimed his first ever win in the 52nd running of the Great International World Championship Bathtub Race.
Lifetime Nanaimo resident Trevor Short, 26, was the first wobbly-legged racer to scamper up the beach and ring the bell in Maffeo Sutton Park on Sunday with a time of 1:30:24.
"Feels good right now. I need a cold beer, but I feel good," Short said moments after weighing in and receiving some medical attention following the grueling endurance test.
The majority of the racers at the finish line described conditions as steady and manageable, a far cry from the nasty winds and waves that saw the 2017 winner take more than two-hours to ring the bell.
For Short the win marked a personal best result, improving on a previous best of sixth. He said he's been running in the race on and off since 2010. Short was the youngest tubber to finish in 2013.
Short said he took a slow-and-steady approach to the first leg of the race to manage the two-to-three foot chop. From there, it was "full-tilt" all the way in.
"When Trevor passed me, he was flying. You couldn't stop him. I couldn't even catch him, there's nothing I could do," Brandon Skipper said.
Skipper finished second, ringing the bell about three-minutes behind Short. The finish was also a personal best for the tubber who has been racing on and off since 2001.
Skipper said typically there are one or two tubs out in the front for the majority of the race, however this year it was a larger pack battling for much of the race. He found himself in the lead near the Nanoose Bay checkpoint, but that's where Short made his eventual race-winning move to pass.
The personal best result can be chalked up to his supportive team, Skipper said.
"It's really helpful to have a really great team behind you because you can get burnt out to the point it becomes more of a chore than fun. When you have a good group it's nice."
Skipper was also racing with a significant injury. His knee was held together with many stitches after he cut his leg on the prop during a training run.
Bathtub race fixture and former champion Nathan Barlow finished third with a time of 1:34:37.
All of the top finishers were racing super-modified tubs.
Thirty-seven tubs started the race, five more than the total number of competitors in 2017, according to race officials.
Five women took part, while the oldest competitors, a man and woman, were 62. The youngest was a 16-year-old out of Grande Prairie, Alberta.
Mark Farnworth, racing for the first time ever, was the final competitor to cross the line, ringing in at 3:18 as volunteers packed up the finish line around him.
Tyler Reiber was the first stock tub to finish, placing fourth overall. Marian Stewart was the first lady and first modified tub to place, coming in seventh.
Top 10 finishers (unofficial):
1. Trevor Short, SM, 1:30:24
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
On Twitter: @domabassi
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