© Copyright 2011  Julianne Dodds Speedboat and hydroplane Championships 1921 - 1925 The Griffith Cup revived Speed boat enthusiasts were keen to hold the Australasian Championship race again for the Griffith Cup. The decision was made to hold the event in Adelaide on 25th February 1922. Three boats competed - the Rymill brothers won the race in Tortoise, Major Darcy Donkin representing New South Wales ran second with Greyhound and another South Australian boat owned by Mr. G. McFarlane, Millawa, was placed third. Thus South Australia retained the Griffith Cup. The sinking of Miss Brisbane After his success in Brisbane with Awaya, Mac set his sights on winning the next Australasian Championship race in 1923. His first move was to have Reg Holmes in Sydney build him a craft capable of carrying a 250 h.p. 12 cylinder Sunbeam aero petrol engine that he had bought. Miss Brisbane was an 18-foot wooden speedboat with single screw propulsion, round stem and a flush deck. Mac was in Sydney when she was launched in October 1922, four months before the big race. But it was not all ‘plain sailing’ for Miss Brisbane. One morning Mac entrusted the new hydroplane to his mechanics for a few practice trials on Sydney Harbour while he spent the day in the city socialising with two other yachting mates. Mac was planning to race his new girl the following Saturday for the Speed Pennant of the Motor Yacht Club of New South Wales. On board Miss Brisbane that fateful morning were Reg Holmes and Mac’s mechanic, Les White. Racing along with the engine flat out, Miss Brisbane struck a piece of floating timber, swerved on the impact and capsized. Reg and Les disappeared. Miss Brisbane disappeared. Reg and Les surfaced and had a long swim before they were picked up and taken back to the Holmes boatshed. Meanwhile, in the city, Mac was unaware of the report circulating in the media that he had been drowned in the mishap. The news heading in the afternoon papers reported that ‘J. Mc G. Williams and his mechanic drowned as a result of a speedboat accident on the Harbour’. When Mac left his friends and returned to his hotel, he was met by his distraught wife who had thought him dead. Miss Brisbane lay in the mud at the bottom of the bay. Completely ruined. In the breakfast room at Mac’s hotel the following morning, Reg Holmes caused quite a few heads to rise at his loud announcement to Mac - “Hey Boss! Miss Brisbane’s bottom was very dirty this morning!” There was no point in staying in Sydney so after the hydroplane was hauled out of the water and into Holmes’ shed, Mac returned to Brisbane. He no longer had a racing boat as he had sold Awaya to George Whatmore.