Jim Thompson

Inducted 2005

Jim Thompson, a graduate Naval Officer of Royal Roads who studied engineering at U of T and business at Western, had an avid interest in unlimited hydroplane racing. As co-founder and president of the Supertest Petroleum Co., he combined the two and established probably the most dynamic marketing and promotional program of the late Fifties and early Sixties: Miss Supertest. When fellow CMHF inductee Harold Wilson retired, Thompson bought Wilson’s Miss Canada IV and renamed her Miss Supertest I. Thus began the journey that would ultimately establish a world’s speed record and capture the Harmsworth Trophy – emblematic of world supremacy in powerboat racing – three years in succession. Initially, in the Supertest program, all the development driving and testing was done by Mr. Thompson. The result was Miss Supertest II, a Rolls Royce Griffon powered hydroplane and holder of the Canadian and British Empire speed record for propeller-driven craft. Driven by Art Asbury, Miss Supertest II shattered the existing world record with a speed of 184.54 in 1957. Supertest III soon followed and, driven by Bob Hayward, won the Harmsworth in 1959, ’60 and ’61. Miss Supertest III was never beaten in a race. She was retired following a tragic accident later in 1961 that took the life of Hayward, the driver who thought of her as human.

Photo by Bruce Urquhart via Woodstock Sentinal Review

Bob Hayward

Inducted 2000

For four years in the late 1950s-early 1960s, Bob Hayward was Canada’s best-known international athlete. He raced unlimited hydroplanes, the fastest and most powerful racing boats known to man. Hayward and his boat, Miss Supertest, dominated the sport. By domination, it means that if Hayward and Miss Supertest entered a race, they usually won it. A racer who tinkered with the design of his boats, as well as building the motors, Hayward won the famed Harmsworth Trophy all three years he tried for it, defeating such famous hydroplane drivers as Bill Muncey in Century 21 and Miss U.S. 1 driven by Don Williams. Hayward died on Sept. 10, 1961 at the Silver Cup Regatta on the Detroit River when he lost control rounding a curve. In his honour, the Canadian government renamed a bay in Lake Ontario near Picton, the scene of many of his hydroplane triumphs. It is called Hayward Long Reach. Although his career was short, it was totally spectacular.