1961 Harmsworth Trophy
Bay of Quinte, Picton, Ontario, Canada, August 5 & 7, 1961
The Harmsworth Trophy
Hardly anybody expected the United States bid for the Harmsworth. Trophy to succeed against Canada's Miss Supertest III, so when it didn't hardly anybody was surprised. Miss Detroit failed to finish the first heat because of engine trouble and finished far behind in the second. Miss Detroit developed engine trouble again in the second heat starting with the fifth lap of fifteen, but by that time the race and the trophy were lost.
The Dominion's roostertailed wonder, again driven by Bob Hayward of Embro, Ontario, became the first boat to win the Harmsworth three times since the event began in Queenstown, Ireland, back in the days when twenty miles an hour was a struggle. England's Napier I won the first race in 1903 at 19.53 miles an hour. Last year Miss Supertest was timed at a record 115.967 in heating three hapless American challengers. Her fastest this time was 100.334 mph. in the first heat. She slowed to 96.102 for the second, which was quite fast enough. With dirt filtering into the water intake, Miss Detroit was timed in 86.367.
The result confirmed an opinion that our side has a hard row to hoe until the United States develops an engine comparable to Miss Supertest's Rolls Royce Griffon, which has more power than the Allisons of about 2,000 horsepower used by the American unlimited hydroplanes. Miss Detroit, owned and driven by Charles F. (Chuck) Thompson, 49-yearold president of the Thompson Electric Company, Detroit, was out of her depth almost throughout.
The event was on the Bay of Quinte at Picton, Ontario, scene also of Miss Supertest's first defense last year a her initial victory on the Detroit River two years ago. In the second 45-mile heat, as in the first, Miss Detroit never got into real contention. In the second heat Hayward shot his boat into command at the starting gun, opened up his big engine on the backstretch and had a 200 yard lead at the end of the first lap and at the end of the second the advantage was 500 yards. The distance between the two kept stretching like a rubber band thereafter until Miss Detroit was hopelessly outdistanced. The story was pretty much same on the opening day except that Miss Detroit's engine failed after her opponent had crossed the finish line while the American still had nearly
The laps were reduced from five miles to three, which led to slower times than last year because the straightaways on which all the speed is made became shorter.
In a companion international event, Dieter Konig of Hamburg, Germany, won the John Ward Trophy for Class C outboards for the second time in four years. He manufactures the motors he uses in races. His average speed for twelve miles was 67.27 mph. Homer Kincaid of Carbon Cliffs, Illinois, placed second, Ed Thompson of Winter Haven, Florida, third, and Dieter Schultz, Attnang-Puchein, Austria, fourth.
(Reprinted from The Rudder, October 1961)
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