HYDROPLANES: Oh Boy! Oberto, Hanson win Columbia Cup, Seafair next

The Oh Boy! Oberto won the Columbia Cup in Tri-Cities last weekend. Federal Way High School graduate Mike Hanson is the team
The Oh Boy! Oberto won the Columbia Cup in Tri-Cities last weekend. Federal Way High School graduate Mike Hanson is the team's crew chief.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Defending national champion Steve David in the U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto beat the field to the coveted inside lane and zipped to victory in the Lamb-Weston Columbia Cup in the Tri-Cities on Sunday.

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.

The Oh Boy! Oberto went on to turn back the defending Columbia Cup champion, the U-5 Graham Trucking boat, for the victory. The Graham Trucking boat stayed on David's hip the entire five laps, but David built a two-second lead by the end of the third lap and kept that advantage to the checkered flag.

On the importance of being inside, David added, "It really is. Jimmy is the future of the sport and he is really fast. That team gives him a great boat and he is going to be out front for a long time."

The U-95 Spirit of Qatar arrived at the score up buoy too early and was penalized back to seventh place. Jon Zimmerman in the U-9 Fox Plumbing presents Team RedDOT finished third.

The Oh Boy! Oberto and the unlimited hydroplane field now turn its attention to this weekend's Albert Lee Appliance Cup at Seafair. Racing starts Friday on Lake Washington, continues Saturday and culminates with the 4:45 p.m. final Sunday. For a schedule, visit

David is a four-time winner at Seattle and the defending Seafair champion.

At Kennewick, Sunday racing started out routinely with no one challenging David for the inside at the start of Heat 2A and cruising to a victory over Zimmerman who finished second.

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