The Greatest Race Boat Show In Canadian History – Gravenhurst, Ontario July 6, 2013


CA-3 Miss Supertest III – Photo Courtesy Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum

It’s now official, two of the most celebrated race boats in Canadian history, Miss Canada IV and Miss Supertest III, will be among the featured race boats at the 2013 Toronto Chapter ACBS Summer Boat Show in Gravenhurst, Ontario – “The Greatest Race Boat Show In Canadian History”

Miss Supertest III is a Canadian-designed and built hydroplane that won the 1959 Detroit Memorial Regatta and the 1959, 1960 and 1961 Harmsworth Cup races — the only four races it ever entered. It was the only three-time Harmsworth Cup winner and the first non-U.S. winner in 39 years.

Racing out of Sarnia, Ontario, Miss Supertest III was owned by J. Gordon Thompson, owner of Supertest Petroleum (later acquired by BP). The team was managed by his son, Jim Thompson, and the boat piloted by Bob Hayward. Miss Supertest III was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.

Supertest gas station – Photo City of Toronto Archive / Wikipedia

Its predecessor, Miss Supertest II was briefly the fastest propeller-driven motorboat in the world, setting a water speed record of 296.96 km/h (184.494 mph) on November 1, 1957, at Picton, Ontario with Art Asbury at the wheel. It broke a record that had stood for five years, but a new record was set only a few weeks later.

The first Miss Supertest was originally known as Miss Canada IV and competed in hydroplane races from 1949 to the mid-1950s. The Miss Supertest boats were retired following the death of driver Bob Hayward. He was killed while racing Miss Supertest II about a month after winning the 1961 Harmsworth Cup with Miss Supertest III.

Canada Post issued a commemorative stamp in 2011 honouring Miss Supertest III, her driver Bob Hayward and businessman Jim Thompson, who designed and built her. – (Courtesy Wikipedia)

Miss Supertest III Commemorative Stamp

Below is the recent Press Release we received from the nice folks at the Toronto Chapter ACBS / Classicboat Magazine to officially announce the 2013 Summer Boat Show in Gravenhurst, Ontario.


Gravenhurst, ONTARIO – The 33rd Annual Antique and Classic Boat Show will be returning to the Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst on Saturday, July 6, 2013 to celebrate “The Greatest Race Boat Show in Canadian History”. Never before has there been such a complete display of race boats spanning 100 years of racing. Many of the more than 150 boats have won Championship races all over North America and many others have been racing informally on the Muskoka Lakes since the early 1900s. The show will feature everything from beautiful antique wooden racers to Sea Fleas to famous unlimited hydroplanes, including Miss Supertest III and Miss Canadiana. Come hear the noise and feel the excitement of one of the most dangerous sports! The poster boat of the show is Miss Canada IV, newly restored, and a very storied boat driven by the legendary Harold Wilson. Don’t miss this amazing show!!

Boats in Motion, a favorite element of the show, will continue, as well as the Field of Dreams and Flea Market for those interested in a restoration project or purchasing one-of-a-kind items. The Antique Boat Museum from Clayton, Thousand Islands, New York will be returning to display several wooden racers.

Over 70 vendor booths, offering a wide variety of new products and services, will be present at the show. Ship’s Stores will provide a wide range of ACBS merchandise, as well as publications, posters and many other items. The ever popular cardboard boat building will continue, as well as a new program of Sea Flea construction for young boaters. Also offered will be a series of information seminars at the Muskoka Boat and Heritage Centre.

Show hours are 9am- 5pm. Admission is $10. The entrance ticket to the show also includes admission to Muskoka Boat and Heritage Centre Museum and a discount for a 1 hour Segwun Cruise the day of the show, a great added value to the day. For further information contact Rita Adams at or visit our website at

The ACBS Summer 2013 Boat Show promises to be extremely popular. Please be sure to make arrangements for accommodation as soon as possible, visit

Come and Enjoy the Greatest Race Boat Show in Canadian History!!!

2013 ACBS-Toronto Summer Boat Show Accommodation Information (Update from Toronto Chapter ACBS 12/12/12)

Thanks to everyone for the positive comments about the upcoming 2013 Gravenhurst Boat Show. It is great to see the excitement and enthusiasm that is building. We have a wonderful event in the planning.

Many people were interested in making accommodations in the area. Please be sure to book early since this will be a very popular destination. The following website links provide easy online reservations:

Muskoka Hotels & Resorts:

Muskoka Bed & Breakfasts:

Several of the other larger towns in the area where lodging is available are: Bracebridge, Huntsville, Port Carling, Rosseau, and Minett. In addition, there are several lodges and hotels on the three big lakes: Muskoka, Rosseau, and Joseph.

Looking forward to an exciting 2013 Gravenhurst Boat Show!!
Rita Adams

The story of Harold & Lorna Wilson and Miss Canada IV is now documented in a feature length movie – Now available on DVD for the holidays. You can see the story we ran on Woody Boater last week to announce that the DVD is now available to the right of this story. In case you missed it, the Harold & Lorna / Miss Canada IV team recently produced a great 2-minute movie trailer, which you can see below.

[youtube width=”440″ height=”344″][/youtube]

To learn more about the Harold & Lorna World Water Speed Champions and to order the DVD you can Click Here.

Thanks to Rita Adams & Kathy Rhodes at the Toronto Chapter ACBS for sharing this story with us, we are also looking forward to this unique one-of-a-kind event in July 2013.


14 replies
  1. Simon
    Simon says:

    After seeing that clip the 608 mile journey from Greenwich CT to Gavenhurst Ontario seems a whole lot shorter but July 6th seems so far away!!!

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      We always joke about how quickly the time passes when we are looking forward to the next boat show.

      But this could be one of the top shows of the 2013 season, and one thing we know for sure – the Toronto Chapter knows how to put on a premier boat show…

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      It really is shorter! Half of those miles are kilometers and they are only 60% as long as a real mile.

  2. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    We always do a family thing at the cottage for the July 4th weekend, but we will be celebrating the holiday with our Canadian friends in Gravenhurst next year.

  3. Dennis Mykols
    Dennis Mykols says:

    Ronnie and I are making trip plans now for this great event. I am looking for pet freiendly hotels in the area. We would like to spend the following week up their with our boat to cruise all those beautiful lakes and rivers…
    This trip is shaping up to be our “BIG EVENT trip of 2013, much like Table Rock was last year.

    • Dennis Mykols
      Dennis Mykols says:

      Any locals who can steer us in the right direction for a week long stay in a cottage/cabin on one of the chain of lakes, it would help. Looking at the websites, it is hard to tell which place is on a body of water, where we can put the boat in once for the week, dock it at the cottage, and just cruise daily all the main bodies of water in the area. Thanks in advance.

  4. Ken MacStephen
    Ken MacStephen says:

    Thnx for giving the Toronto Chapter the space that you do and have previously
    Ken MacStephen Past President

  5. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    Wow, I think I might have to make this my first Toronto Chapter boat show! Went to Muskoka for the 2009 International, but not made the summer show yet. This may be a perfect opportunity. Looks like a very special event. We will already be at the Lake Hopatcong show in NJ just two weeks prior to these dates so getting back for this show may be pushing it. Better try to find a way….Thanks for the write-up!

  6. Doug P
    Doug P says:

    Brigitte BARDOT’s brother,- Guylum, also owned and raced the TEMPO series of boats. His own private boat “Tempo” was later owned by Todd Warner…is that boat still around?

  7. Texx
    Texx says:

    Some folks may think announcing this event in December is too early, but for anyone who is considering making the trip to the Muskoka Lakes Region, these days some advance planning can be very beneficial.

    Maybe this is a good opportunity for the organizers to put together some additional information regarding accommodations, basic geographical information, lake access for visiting boaters, etc to better understand the area for first time visitors.

    Of course we would be happy to publish the information.

  8. Phillip Jones
    Phillip Jones says:

    Booked my reservations two week ago, right by the show. I can’t wait. I’ve been to Canada twice this fall, and have meet some great people, and my want list of all the boats stashed away up there would get me in deep do do. Sorry US but it’s someting about those Canadian boats that are just to cool.

  9. Wain Trotter
    Wain Trotter says:

    Great presentation! We’ll have all the vintage hydroplane race boats there for the show! “Macaroni” and
    “The Specialist” will be in such prestigious company-it will be an honor to be a participant. See you all there!!

  10. John Lyons
    John Lyons says:

    I was just informed today about this coming Summer’s big plans for the Muskoka Boat Show and I am thrilled for several different reasons. My first visit to Gravenhurst & the Muskokas was for last summer’s Premiere of the ‘Harold & Lorna’ movie at the incredible Gravenhurst Opera House. I have been doing the Picton – related research on this film for the last 1&1/2 years and it was great to finally see it up on the ‘big screen’. The black tie gala ‘Afterglow’ party at the Gravenhurst Heritage & Marine Museum was also a very memorable first for me. Wow! What a great Museum. The ‘workshop’ area took me back to my father’s garage, where he built many Prince Edward County outboard racing boats, back in the 1950’s & 60’s. Even the smell was exactly as I remember it! All of the antique boats are, of course, floating works of art! My father also had a couple of 1950’s 22 ft. ‘Shepherd’ launches, that I helped him restore, in that same garage, so I am familiar with ‘old woodies’ up close & personal! I also spent from 2009-2011 getting the Canada Post 50th Anniversary ‘Miss Supertest’ Commemorative Stamp Project started up and ‘across the finish line’, so your readers should know that the picture of the Stamp that appears in this article is the ‘International’ stamp, which features a colourized version of an old photo. The ‘Domestic’ stamp, which is not shown here, is an actual graphic design and done very well by Taylor-Sprules Co. designer Ivan Novotny. During this time, it was also my honour to finally meet ‘Miss Supertest’ owner Jim Thompson & his family and the late Bob Hayward’s family, as well. And my last, but not least reason for being so excited, to be planning to attend this coming Summer’s Muskoka Boat Show is that July 6/2013 just happens to be my Birthday and I couldn’t have asked for a better present or a way to spend my big day!

Comments are closed.