Tour and Recreation board seeks more participants for races

Some float. Some don’t Some flip over and take everyone inside with them. They are bath tub boats, built to survive and compete on the still waters of Cave Lake, and for the organizers and participants of the annual “Bathtub Races,” everyone’s looking for some extra competition.

“It’s always been about creativity for me,” yearly bathtub boat builder and racer Tim Rice said. Rice will enter multiple boats into this years race, including one in the motorized category that collects water from the lake and sprays it back out through shower heads mounted on either side of his slow-moving vessel.

“You have to get a license with the state when you enter the motorized category. To my knowledge, I was the first person in the state of Nevada to have a license to drive a bathtub on a body of water. I could take it down to Las Vegas and troll around Lake Mead if I wanted to,” he chuckled.

As a machinist by trade, Rice has had the knowledge and tools to put together some of the most memorable “boats” in recent years, including the fan favorite “Red Solo Cup” bathtub, featuring replica red, plastic cups on either end. But despite all of his creativity, he said that just about anyone can fashion a tub into a sea-faring vessel.

They just have to know they are bound to get wet in the process.

“It’s a lot of trial and error. You are going to think something will work, then hop in and watch yourself flip over,” Rice continued.

That hasn’t scared off the  hearty

The “Red Solo Cup” is one of several fan favorite bathtub “boats” expected to return to the “Great Bath Tub Races” on June 27. (Garrett Estrada photo)

The “Red Solo Cup” is one of several fan favorite bathtub “boats” expected to return to the “Great Bath Tub Races” on June 27.
(Garrett Estrada photo)

crew of the beauty salon “Untamed Optionz,” who regularly put together a boat to compete with.

“Our goal is usually just to stay afloat and to entertain people,” Breann Christensen said.

Their effort last year even had their penchant for trying, and sometimes failing, baked right into its name: The Untamed Mess. The solo operated boat was propelled forward by a driver sitting on a stationary  bicycle mounted at the center of the bathtub and peddling the bike to rotate a water wheel at the back. It was a concept that worked, part of the time.

“The biggest challenge is keeping it upright, and that is what a lot of people don’t think about when they are building their boat. Thankfully, failure makes it fun,” Jennifer Ashby of the Untamed team said.

The Parks and Recreation Board hosted event is set to begin with a bathtub boat show on June 26 a 6 p.m. in the parking lot of the Copper Queen Ramada. The boats and vendors will check into the even at 11 a.m. on June 27 out at Cave Lake and the races are set to officially kick off at 3 p.m.

According to Tour and Recreation Board Member Meg Rhoades, more boats are still encourage to be entered into this year’s race.

“We are expecting at least seven boats to return from last years race but would love to try and get four or five more in,” Rhoades said.

Entry forms can be picked up at the Bristlecone Convention Center.

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