As racers took their laps around Boundary Bay for the second annual Tsawwassen Rotary Club Bathtub Races on Aug. 11, someone special was missing.
Last year’s co-winner, Chris Glenn, passed away on Jan. 11 of this year after a short battle with cancer. Glenn, who had many friends in the sport, was honoured on Sunday with organizers naming the championship trophy after him.
This year’s race around the bay, usually about bragging rights, was more a way to remember a friend and competitor: Glenn’s yellow racer sat silently at the finish line as racers rang the bell, while Glenn’s wife Sheri cheered them all on.
Melvin Mitchell made the long trip from Powell River with his family to pay tribute to his close friend and race in his honour.
“It was really lumpy out there,” Mitchell said, “but I raced for Chris, one of the nicest guys and tub racers you’d ever meet.”
Sheri Glenn said she was so happy and surprised to see their long-time friend at the race.
“I didn’t know [Mitchell] was coming all this way until I spotted him here,” she said. “If I’d have known, I would have jumped in his pit crew. Chris would have appreciated having Melvin here.”
Some readers might remember last year’s dramatic finish, with Glenn and fellow bathtubber Brian Stoochnow crossing the finish line on Centennial Beach hand-in-hand.
This year, Stoochnow took first place in the Super Modified category and first overall, finishing the race hand-in-hand with fellow racer Trevor Short. Nanaimo’s Chantel Nelson took first in the Stock category.
“We raced yesterday in Kitsilano and I could still hear Chris yelling, ‘Go Stooch! Let’s go buddy.’ We really miss him,” Stoochnow said.
“It was fun,” he added, “but it was definitely emotional.”