1961 Harmsworth Trophy

Canadian Speed Boat Beats U.S. in Harmsworth Trophy Opener

Picton, Ont., Aug. 5 [1961] (AP) Canada's defender, Miss Supertest III, gunned away at the starting pole and took a tremendous lead it never surrendered in winning the first Harmsworth Trophy power-boat race today from the United States challenger, Miss Detroit.

It was an easy victory for Jim Thompson's unbeaten Canadian craft, which won the opener of the two-of-three event by nearly a lap — three miles. Miss Supertest is bidding to become the first boat to win the trophy three times.

After Miss Supertest had crossed the finish line, Miss Detroit's engine failed. The boat was unable to complete the forty-five-mile heat.

Bob Hayward kept Miss Supertest right behind the challenger as the boats roared down the stretch to the starting point. Just before the gun was fired, Hayward opened the throttle and Miss Supertest shot past Miss Detroit at the starting line.

The Canadian boat had the advantage and refused to let up over the entire forty-five miles. Hayward increased his lead around the first turn and settle the race on the first backstretch.

He sped down the placid Bay of Quinte, opening water over Chuck Thompson in Miss Detroit. By the end of the first three-mile lap, Hayward held a 500-yard lead.

This advantage was doubled on the second lap. The remaining thirteen laps were a solo flight for the 33-year-old Hayward.

His victory was every bit as convincing as his Harmsworth triumph here last year, when Miss Supertest scored its second victory. In the 1960 races, Hayward defeated a United States three-boat team in the Harmsworth record average speed of 116.464 miles an hour.

His clocking today was approximately sixteen m.p.h. slower as a result of the course having been shortened from five to three miles. But the shorter course, which figured to help Miss Detroit, was no bother to the Canadian boat.

The second race will be held Monday with the third, if needed, on Tuesday.

(From the Associated Press)