Ashley Martin (front) and Robbie Kelm leave the starting gate at Saturday’s Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race at Powell Beach Park. In five years the event has rasied over $120,000 for the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation. (Mark Brett - Black Press)

Ashley Martin (front) and Robbie Kelm leave the starting gate at Saturday’s Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race at Powell Beach Park. In five years the event has rasied over $120,000 for the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation. (Mark Brett - Black Press)

Summerland Ogopogo Bathtub Race cancelled

COVID-19 restrictions lead to decision to pull plug on summer fundraiser

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s Summerland Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been cancelled.

The announcement was made on May 21.

“It is unfortunate to have to cancel the event however it is essential that the restrictions be in place to ensure the successes made to battle COVID-19 are not lost,” said Jim Cavin of the Summerland Yacht Club.

The event had been scheduled for Aug. 22 and was going to be the first sanctioned race and be part of the world championship circuit.

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Many out-of-out area participants were booked to attend to compete for points toward the coveted title.

The 2020 Summerland Ogopogo Bathtub Race was a project of the Summerland Yacht Club, Rotary Club of Summerland and the Summerland Chamber of Commerce.

“This year was to be the sixth year of the race which started as a five year fundraising project of the Yacht Club to purchase medical equipment for the new tower at the regional hospital,” said Roger Gallant of the Summerland Yacht Club. “With the goals met the club was going to let the races go until the Rotary Club and Chamber approached us to partner up and to make the races the preeminent summer event in Summerland”

In addition to the expanded sanctioned races, the plans included a full family fun event with live music, a kids’ fun zone, hospitality area, sand castle contests, celebrity races and much more.

“We were going to bring the community, and in fact the valley, together for a great day in Summerland,” said Mirjana Komljenovic, of the Rotary Club of Summerland. “We were going preserve the altruistic component of the event with net proceeds going to local Rotary projects, Critteraid, and the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation to purchase additional equipment.”

The 2021 Summerland Ogopogo Bathtub Race is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021.

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