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SEAFAIR: Oh Boy! Oberto and Hanson win third-straight Albert Lee Cup Sunday
On a postcard perfect Sunday morning in the Pacific Northwest, the final day of racing at the 2012 Albert Lee Cup at Seafair got underway. When the waters of Lake Washington settled at the end of the day, Steve David in the Oh Boy! Oberto had won the fourth stop on the 2012 Air National Guard H1 Hydroplane tour and his third straight Seafair Race.
The crew chief of the Oh Boy! Oberto is Mike Hanson, a 1979 graduate of Federal Way High School. Hanson has been the crew chief of the unlimited hydroplane for several years after moving out of the cockpit.
Hanson is the only former unlimited hydroplane driver to take over as a boat’s crew chief. He oversees the hydroplane’s setup and race strategy, and communicates with David. Hanson stepped into the crew chief position with the Miss Oh Boy! Oberto following the 2003 season after 23 years piloting a hydroplane.
Hanson drove for the Miss Budweiser, Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, DeWalt, Jasper Engines and Jones Racing. In 2001, Hanson won the Gold Cup while driving the Tubby's Grilled Submarines, his most memorable hydroplane experience.
In the final race on Sunday, David and the Oh Boy! Oberto snagged the inside lane and cruised to victory in front of a huge crowd on Lake Washington.
“We tried four different starts today and saved that one for the final," David said. "I tried it once earlier but the engine stalled for a moment and I couldn’t make it work.”
It was also the fourth Seafair win for Oberto since 2007, when it won its first race on the team's home course. The boat sponsor is the 85-year-old Art Oberto.
The victory allowed the Oberto to surpass Dave Villwock and the Spirit of Qatar — which had a 190-point lead heading into the weekend — in the points standings. The Oberto leaves Seattle with 5,817 points to the Qatar's 5,620 with races remaining in San Diego in September and Doha, Qatar in January.