With an uncle who still holds the title of the fastest Canadian man on water, Doug Cunnington wanted to write a biography on a man who humbly excelled as a hydroplane boat racer.
“Uncle Art had accomplished a lot during his racing career, but very little about him was known by many,” said Cunnington. “Uncle Art was a well known and respected hydroplane racer, he was also a quiet, unassuming family man who was born in Dwight. Although he enjoyed his racing successes, he was not one to brag about them. He was always one who was willing to support and attend community events and talk racing to anyone interested.”
Art Asbury set the world unlimited hydroplane class record on Nov. 1, 1957 in Picton, one of his 12 championships.
“Although the world record was broken soon after, it still stands as the fastest Canadian speed record on water 63 years later,” said Cunnington. “He raced all across North America, but primarily in Picton, Ontario, Valleyfield, Quebec, as well as in various other locations in Ontario, including Gravenhurst, at the CNE in Toronto, the Huntsville and Dwight areas in the Duke of York races and the William Braden Memorial Race.”
The biography of his uncle is an opportunity for those who read it to “fully appreciate the accomplishments of a local man who became an icon in the hydroplane racing world,” said Cunnington.
“I admired his sense of adventure, his willingness to try something different that most people would never have the opportunity to do,” added Cunnington. “One example was his offer to buy Princess Elizabeth a coke when she was to inspect his air force unit in Scotland during WWII, and when the Queen filled in, when the Princess was unable to attend, he still carried out his promise to his mates and offered her a coke, which she graciously accepted.”
The book can be purchased from the Lake of Bays Garden Centre in Dwight or from Cunnington by email at firstname.lastname@example.org (shipping is extra) or from his sister Joanne Cunnington at 705-635-1466.
“I would like to acknowledge the cooperation of Chuck Boothby in providing me with photos and documents from Uncle Art’s files to make this book as complete as possible,” said Cunnington.
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