Taking part in a World Championship is normally only available for the top athletes of the world, training day-in day-out, thriving for perfection. When I found out I had a chance of entering one I couldn’t say no! October the 9th 2011 rolled round and I headed up through Wales to Llanwrtyd Wells for the World Bathtubbing Championship!
I had previously had a go at Bathtubbing, but still had no real clue how to control such a craft, so it was going to be an interesting day, especially if I was to become World Champion!
On arrival I signed in and kitted up with wetsuit and safety gear, which gave me time to eye up the competition. The most speedy looking character was “Wolverine” from Australia, but I still fancied my chances!
I was the very first person to take on the course so had the task of setting the bench mark. I got in to my tub and settle in, then I crossed the line and my time was ticking. I had seen people tip over at the previous year’s event so I started as quickly as I could whilst trying to keep the craft steady, getting around the course without sinking was a top priority! It’s like being in an over-excited kayak, where the slightest lean to one side becomes a full on tilt, with water gushing in if you take it too far. Zigzagging around the posts in the water, I started to get the feel for the rocking of the tub with the stroke of the paddle, and spurred on by the crowd, I gave the final straight as much as I could. Coming in at just over 2mins 30 I felt pleased, although had no idea how this would fare so was keen to see how the next competitor did. I soon forgot my time as about three people later my time was beaten and then smashed by Wolverine!
Oh well, the World Champion’s medal and the glory had disappeared with in the first ten minutes, but the fun carried on all day with a few new sports to take part in, including one which was a strange amalgamation of wheelie bins and rubber rings! The organiser of the championships, Tony Bain, obviously has to much time on his hands! They actually work quite well and will be on the site soon I’m sure!
As juniors started setting times in the tubs of less than 2mins I soon thought that maybe I should have been out on the river with a bathtub getting some training in ahead of the event! The event also had a fancy dress element, and competitors ranged from cowboys to super heros and one of my favorites, a businessman who even had time to read his paper, just before his tub sank!
The mens winner was Ben Williams with a time of 1.35.32, the womens winner was Lyndsay Rae with 1.56.19, the winner of the juniors was Jason Crompton with 1.47.66 and the best fancy dress winner was Jacquie Wilce for her Jack Sparrow impersonation. I think I’m right in saying I finished about mid-table, but hey I got a cool medal and a funny story to tell!
The whole event was fun and full of people who were up for a laugh. OK so bathtubbing won’t make it to the Olympics in London 2012, but it will make it to the alternative Olympics in 2012! For more details check out the following links:
For more pictures of this championship click on the following link: