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Miss Supertest will once again make waves in Prince Edward County

Miss Supertest owner Jim Thompson, left, and John Lyons, founder of the 'Miss Supertest' 50th Anniversary Commemorative Stamp Project flank a poster, at the London, Ontario Boat Show Feb. 26, promoting the 'Miss Supertest' Stamp Celebration Weekend planned for the issuance of the Commemorative Stamp by Canada Post in Prince Edward County Aug. 6-7-8, 2011.

This August, 50 years since her last visit here, Canada’s most famous raceboat, ‘Miss Supertest III’ will once again make waves in Prince Edward County.

Canada Post is marking the 50th Anniversary of her racing victories on Monday, August 8th,2011 with the release of a Commemorative Stamp, to be issued in Prince Edward County. The ‘Long Reach’ section of the Bay of Quinte, now ‘Hayward/Long Reach’ was the site of three of the legendary Unlimited Hydroplane’s greastest victories in 1957, 1960 and 1961.

The launch of the Commemorative Stamp is  part of a weekend of events celebrating these great Canadian sports achievements; the members of the Thompson family, who designed, built, raced and still own ‘Miss Supertest III’, and the late Bob Hayward, the boat’s popular driver, who died tragically 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. Following his death, the ‘Supertest’ race boats were retired and the ‘Long Reach’ was renamed ‘Hayward/Long Reach’ in his honour.

The last of the boats faded from public view after leaving a display at the Ontario Science Centre with only occasional public appearances. This will be a chance for a whole new generation of Canadians to discover the ‘Miss Supertest’ saga, a true Canadian icon and legend.

In November of 1957, driver Art Asbury piloted ‘Miss Supertest’ to a new World Water Speed Record of 184.494 mph on the waters of Picton Bay and 54 years later, this still stands as the Canadian Water Speed Record.

In August of 1959, 1960, and 1961, ‘Miss Supertest III’ thrilled many dignitaries and tens of thousands of enthusiastic spectators as she raced to victory against her American competitors for the ‘British International/ Harmsworth Trophy’. She was powered by a 2000 H.P. V-12 Rolls-Royce Griffon engine originally built for Britain’s legenday ‘Spifire’ fighter planes of the Second World War. ‘Miss Supertest’ was built for speed and to break the American domination of the sport of Unlimited Hydroplane Racing.

Her first World Championship victory was on the Detroit River in 1959. That year, the Canadian Entry shockingly ended a string of American racing sucesses that stretched back unbroken over 39 straight years.

‘Miss Supertest III’ will be the centrepiece display of a weekend of events (Aug. 6, 7, 8/2011) celebrating this great Canadian sports achievement. An Antique and Classic race boat show is planned, together with a recognition of driver Bob Hayward at the Annual Mariner’s Memorial Service at the South Bay United Church, right next door the the Mariners Park Museum. A new documentary film about the ‘Miss Supertest’ saga is also being planned.

‘Roostertail; The ‘Miss Supertest Story’ Author John Joseph Kelly will also be on hand to autograph his book.
For more details, visit the  website.

Racing icon Miss Supertest at Toronto Boat Show

Racing Icon Miss Supertest III will be on display in the Industry Building at the 2011 Toronto Boat Show Jan. 8-16. In 2011, Canada Post is issuing a commemorative stamp in honour of the 50th anniversary of the world dominance of Miss Supertest.

Piloted by a mild-mannered chicken farmer from Embro, Ont., Miss Supertest III – the fastest hydroplane powerboat in the world, known to reach speeds of 290 km/hr – became a Canadian icon in 1959 when she claimed victory over American champion Maverick in the challenge for the Harmsworth Trophy on the Detroit River. As it was the first time in 39 years a Canadian entry prevailed over the Americans, the victory marked the end of the American dynasty and the beginning of Canadian dominance in the sport.

As tradition dictates, the challenge for the Harmsworth Trophy takes place in the country of the Harmsworth holder, and so tens of thousands of spectators from both sides of the border flocked to Picton, Ont., in 1960. Among those cheering from the shore were Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, Ontario Premier Leslie Frost and Toronto Mayor Nathan Phillips.

Victorious once again, national heroes Miss Supertest III and driver Bob Hayward were later honoured with a ticker tape parade up Bay Street in Toronto.

Hayward went on to win the Harmsworth once more in 1961; the only three-peat in its history.

Filed Under: Local NewsSports & Recreation


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  1. Carolyn says:

    I remember having a house full of friends and relatives come from Toronto for the race and 2 of my friends and I got to meet Bobby, Ron and Dennis Hull. It was truly a wonderful weekend and we were all in the pits watching the race.

  2. dennis clements says:

    As a pre teen this race on the labour day weekend
    made all the friends family very proud to be CANADIAN
    are about !

  3. Paul says:

    As a child I can remember Main Street being cordoned off and it being lined with Hydroplane’s it was quite an exciting event.

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