1959 Detroit Memorial
Detroit River, Detroit, MI, July 4, 1959
Canadian Boat Wins Detroit Memorial
Interest in the U.S. defense of the Harmsworth Trophy starting Aug. 25 on the Detroit River, was given added zest when the Canadian challenger, J. Gordon Thompson's Miss Supertest, won the Detroit Memorial Race, July 4. Miss Supertest, a new boat this year, powered with a Rolls-Griffin and driven by Bob Hayward, 31, of Embro, Out., proved a smooth-running outfit in rough and smooth water. Thirteen entries were received, ten boats started and six were out for the final race.
Miss Supertest took heat 1-A in 99.392 m.p.h., leading Miss Thriftway, driven by Bill Muncey, all the way. The latter was clocked at 96.198 for the 15 miles. Chuck Thompson's Miss Detroit finished third. George Simon's Miss U.S.II blew a supercharger heading for the start, ripped a hole in her bottom and was beached just below the new Gar Wood judges' stand. Joe Schoenith's Gale VI cracked a wheel on the first lap and Jack Schafer's Such Crust III had an oil leak and never came out.
In a qualifying trial Saturday morning, Miss Buffalo, with Bob Schroeder driving, caught fire. Harbor police rescued Schroeder, who escaped injury, and squelched the fire but the Buffalo entry was through.
Ole Bardahl's red hot Miss Bardahl, with Jack Regas driving, breezed in to take Heat 1-B in 99.221. Bill Cantrell, with Joe Schoenith's Gale V, passed Bill Waggoner's Maverick on the third lap, to take second. Gale V's time, 98.150 m.p.h. Maverick was third, Sam Dupont's Nitrogen with Don Dunnington fourth, and Bob Gilliam's Fascination, fifth. Regas pushed Miss Bardahl up to 114.80 m.p.h. in the third lap for a new lap mark for the Detroit Memorial Race.
Miss Detroit was the winner of heat 2-A at 100.641 m.p.h. ahead of Maverick and Fascination. Gale VI again failed to finish.
In heat 2-B Miss Bardahl and Miss Supertest met for the first time. Regas put Bardahl in front at the first turn and stretched it to a ½-mile margin over Supertest to win the heat in 101.181 m.p.h., the fastest 15 miles of the day. Supertest made it at 96.948 m.p.h. Nitrogen was third, Miss Thriftway fourth and Gale VI fifth. Muncey withdrew Miss Thriftway after this heat with mechanical troubles. Muncey won this race a year ago with the old Thriftway.
Six boats came out for the final start and Miss Bardahl was ahead of Miss Supertest, 800 to 700 points. Regas' craft took a douser from Maverick heading for the line and was slowed down and last across. But Bardahl's five rivals were all over ahead of the gun and Supertest led the parade followed by Maverick, Miss Detroit, Fascination and. Nitrogen. They finished in that order and they all went six laps around the, three-mile course, 18 miles, to make it legal.
Regas gunned Bardahl in a try to make up lost water and was running third when her quill shaft let go in her supercharger and she went dead on the upper turn. Miss Bardahl actually was a lap ahead when she started behind the five gun-jumpers. Observers noted Regas might have coasted in to win easily if he had handled Miss Bardahl more gently, but that isn't the Regas way. Miss Supertest's time was 78.488 mph.
Hayward, the winning driver, drove the old Supertest and Nitrogen briefly at the end of last season. Including the three here, he has made only eight starts in unlimited racing. He's a former class F outboard driver.
Miss Supertest won with 1100 points. Miss Detroit was second with 850, Maverick had 825, Miss Bardahl 800; Nitrogen and Fascination 521; Miss Thriftway 489; Gale V 300; Gale VI 127. George E. Van
(Reprinted from Yachting, August 1959, pp.152-153)
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