Racers turn the corner during the 2016 Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race hosted by the Summerland Yacht Club. This year’s event is Saturday at Powell Beach in Trout Creek.                                Mark Brett/Western News

Racers turn the corner during the 2016 Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race hosted by the Summerland Yacht Club. This year’s event is Saturday at Powell Beach in Trout Creek. Mark Brett/Western News

Tubbers set to roll

The third annual Great Ogopogo Bathtub race runs Saturday

Tubbers, start your engines.

Nearly two dozen racers will be putting the pedal to the aquatic metal this weekend at Powell Beach in Trout Creek during the third annual Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race.

Hosted as always by the Summerland Yacht Club, organizers are hoping to exceed last year’s fundraising efforts of $25,000 for the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation’s campaign to provide medical equipment for the $312 million Penticton Regional Hospital Expansion.

There will be three classes in this year’s version of the race starting with Class B (home-built) bathtubs at 11 a.m.; Class A (performance craft) at 12:30 p.m.; and a Super-Modified class (high-powered entries from the famous Nanaimo race) at 1:30 p.m.

Organizer Jim Cavin said some changes have been made to this year’s event to make it even more spectator friendly.

“Every year we’re trying to fine tune it so that there is more for people to see and so this year we have a relatively short course, it’s about two miles long and it starts just off Powell beach like it did last year but they only go about a mile out,” said Cavin. “They’ll be doing eight to 10 laps which gives a course length of about 16 to 20 miles and that way the boats will be coming by a little more often.

“The ending will be the same, once you finish all your laps, head to the beach and start crawling. We’re going to make them crawl further this year, it was too close last year, we’re going to draw out the torture a bit.”

He added the race is growing in popularity with tubbers with a number of new entries this year, including an all-aluminum tub.

“I’ve seen pictures of it and it’s quite a piece of fabricating art,” said Cavin.

The event this year will be even more family-oriented with more children’s activities along with a sand sculpting competition, music and more.

The day will kick off with a pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. with events wrapping up about 3 p.m. An awards ceremony and dinner will be held at the yacht club in the evening.

In the three years the race has been going a total of $44,000 has been raised for the hospital project.