Brief animated scenes, featuring a toy figure in a diving costume open the film. Competing vessels are lowered into the water at the start of the Adur River Bramber to Shoreham Bathtub Race. The chaotic race begins, as participants paddle their bathtubs under a bridge. One has been built to look like a whale, with working blow hole and tail, named the 'Dopey Dick'. Others are decorated and painted bright colours, sporting their given name. Many are of simpler design; flotation devices have been attached to the base of a bathtub. Some sink, their owners tipping out the water with buckets or swimming to the river bank. Onlookers watch from the bridge and walk along the bank, following their progress.