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Mayor proclaims Nov. 1 ‘Miss Supertest Day’ in honour of Canada’s most famous race boat

‘Miss Supertest II’ motoring out of Picton Harbour, and into the history books, with driver Art Asbury.

Mayor Robert Quaiff has declared Nov. 1 ‘Miss Supertest Day’ in honour of the Canadian Unlimited Class Hydroplane “Miss Supertest II” achieving the official world water speed record in Prince Edward County on Nov. 1, 1957.

‘Miss Supertest II’ making her World Water Speed Record-breaking run of 184.494 MPH/294 km/h

The record of 184.4 mph along the Hayward Long Reach in Prince Edward County still stands today – 61 years later as the official Canadian Water Speed Record. The event was recognized locally and internationally in newspaper headlines, on radio and television.

“While it did not stand for that long before being bettered by an American boat, it still stands as the Canadian Water Speed Record,” said Picton’s John Lyons. “An unimaginable feat all on it’s own.”

The proclamation was sought by Lyons whose family was instrumental in the annual Gold Cup hydroplane races held at the Reach and has a long association with power boat racing in the County and beyond.

Lyons also instigated the banner hanging across downtown Picton marking driver Art Ashbury’s accomplishment.

Last year’s diamond anniversary of the feat was special for Lyons who over the years has spearheaded a number of campaigns to honour Canada’s most famous race boat. In 2011, he was proud to see fruition of a two-year campaign to have Canada Post release a commemorative stamp collection honouring ‘Miss Supertest’.

He was also a major force that year in the drive to re-dedicate Hayward Long Reach. Lyons learned the name change was never officially completed in 1962 and worked with the Ontario Geographic Names Board and Minister of Natural Resources to tie up 50 years of loose ends.

Lyons and a special commemorative committee, saw a special weekend of events honouring Miss Supertest’s legendary racing in Prince Edward County attended by the Thompson family who designed, built, raced and still own Miss Supertest III. It honoured the late Bob Hayward, the boat’s popular driver, who died during a race on the Detroit River in 1961, in Miss Supertest II, just weeks after his third straight Harmsworth Trophy Races World Championship Unlimited Hydroplane victory.

The ‘Long Reach’ section of the Bay of Quinte, now ‘Hayward Long Reach’ was the site of three legendary Unlimited Hydroplanes’ greatest victories – in 1957, 1960 and 1961. Following Hayward’s death, the ‘Supertest’ race boats were retired and the ‘Long Reach’ was renamed.

Miss Supertest is one of the few non-human inductees in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.

‘Miss Supertest II’ being lowered into Picton Harbour, by McFarland’s crane, being operated by Don Armstrong.

Filed Under: Featured ArticlesSports & Recreation

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  1. John Lyons says:

    Sue; Thanks so much for the coverage of the ‘Miss Supetest Day’ Mayor’s Proclamation. I was not expecting it to be today’s lead feature, so thanks even more. I have been sharing the hell out of it on facebook. +1700 responses just in the first hour of posting!

  2. Mike Rodgers says:

    I remember the Thunder on the Reach, what a weekend for the county

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