Tim Toole

Canadian Powerboat Racing Champion

Tim Toole always knew he wanted to race something. He loved to go fast. When he discovered powerboat racing, he was hooked. Tim was working as a marine mechanic in 1973 when he started helping Wayne Finch, who owned and raced a powerboat. He got a chance to race the next year in a three-cylinder 65-horsepower boat that he bought from Finch, and that was the beginning of a an amazingly successful career. However it didn’t start out all that promising. “I raced all year in that boat and was dead last in every race,” recalled Toole recently. “But Mercury supplied a new engine the next season, 1975, and everything-changed. We won the majority of our races that year.” That was the start of his success, as Toole went on to win the Canadian points championship in the SE class in 1975 and then claimed the title in the Mod 50 class in 1976-77 and 79. He tacked on a championship in the Mod U class in 1984. “Mod 50 meant that you could modify your engine as you liked as long as you used regular pump gas and stayed within the cc (engine size) limits,” explained Toole. “In Mod U, you could modify the engine as you liked and the size was unlimited up to 3000 cc.” The year of 1977 was a big one for Toole. Besides winning his second consecutive Canadian points championship, Toole also placed 11th at the World Powerboat Championships in St. Louis, Missouri. He placed 11th in two heats and 13th in another to end up 11th best in the world. It was an astounding feat for a racer who basically paid his own way along the racing circuit. In the mid-1980s, Toole set a Canadian speed record at Dunnville in the SST-140 class for stock Mercury 200 HP engines. He covered the five-mile competition race with a speed of 81.955 miles per hour. While he was one of the top racers in North America, Tim kept safety in mind as he raced. “I had my share of upside-down rides and bangs and crashes,” he said. “But I was less aggressive than some drivers. Safety was always a concern of mine. I had a family to come home to when the racing was over.” Tim was a weekend racer mostly, paying his own way along the circuit. He acknowledges the invaluable help of his sponsor, Mercury. One summer he used eight engines at a cost of about $12,000 each. Toole left the sport in 1989 when his family obligations and his job demanded more of his attention. He doesn’t regret the time he spent in the sport. “I got to see a lot of my country, Canada, and some of the United States, and I got to fulfill my desires to race. As well, I met lots of great people and enjoyed working with my crew They were great,” he said. “It took up all of my summers with the travel and working on my boat.” Toole now works as the manager of the Midland Waste Water Treatment Centre, where he’s been employed since 1972. He lives in Midland with his wife Linda and family.