August 2, 2019 in Uncategorized
Final Showing in Muskoka
The most famous race boat in Canada returns to Port Sandfield
on Civic Holiday weekend
PORT SANDFIELD, Muskoka — When Miss Supertest III was shown in Port Sandfield in early July, it was supposed to be the last time this amazing boat was on display in Muskoka this summer. Instead, the boat’s owner has decided to add one more viewing, in response to public request.
“We had so many people ask us where they could get a glimpse of this amazing boat this summer that we just had to agree to show her one more time,” says Murray Walker.
A showing like this is no small undertaking. Miss Supertest is 30 feet long and more than 12 feet wide. She is mounted on her side on a custom-made trailer, so the highest point of the boat is nearly 15 feet from the ground. The boat and motor alone weight more than three tons. “Moving this boat is a bit more complex than driving your typical boat and trailer,” says Walker with a chuckle.
But Miss Supertest is no ordinary boat. At one time she was the most famous boat in Canada, featured on the cover of Macleans and major daily newspapers after winning the Harmsworth Cup, an international challenge race that pits nation against nation.
In fact, she won the Harmsworth three times, the only boat before or since to achieve that feat. She was paraded down Yonge Street, shown at the CNE, and eventually spent many years on exhibit at the Ontario Science Centre.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of that first Harmsworth win, when Miss Supertest III defeated Maverick, considered the best boat in the United States.
To commemorate that win, the Miss Supertest team is showing the boat twice more this summer – on August 2 to 5 at Port Sandfield Marina in Muskoka, and on August 17-18 at the Vintage Boat Regatta in Rideau Ferry in Eastern Ontario.
That historic race win is also being marked with a remarkable twitter feed. On the anniversary of the Harmsworth race, August 24-27, @MSRaces1959 will feature a “live” feed of the three-heat race, capturing the drama and excitement of the event as if it were happening today.
While public showings are a lot of work, Walker says they’re also a lot of fun for him and the team. “Every time we show Miss Supertest, we have people come up and share their stories and their memories,” he says. People have sent photos, 8 mm films, and even the hand-written music for a fiddle tune that was written to commemorate that historic race victory.
“Miss Supertest wasn’t just a winning race boat. She was a point of Canadian pride, a reminder that we could build and run the finest boat in the world and beat any challenger,” says Walker. “We’re working to keep those memories alive.”
Twitter: @MSRaces1959 ‘Live’ twitter feed of the 1959 Harmsworth race will take place August 24-27.