Crew Chief - Mike Hanson
In more than three decades of boat racing – Mike Hanson has done it all. He has been a very successful driver, builder and fixer of race boats as well as crew chief of one of the most successful teams of all time.
In 1984, he piloted Dick Neeson's MADAME BLUE to a National High Point Championship in the 2.5-Litre Modified Inboard Class.
Hanson qualified as an Unlimited driver at the 1986 Tri-Cities (Washington) Columbia Cup with Fred Leland's U-100, an unsponsored craft with the generic name "BOAT" painted on it.
For ten years, between 1988 and 1998, he drove the community-owned MISS MADISON from southern Indiana. In 1999, Mike began his association with the U-9 racing team of Mike and Lori Jones.
Hanson's victory in the 2001 APBA Gold Cup at Detroit with the U-9 was one of history's most popular Gold Cup outcomes. That was the year when the winning Jones Racing Team lost their skid fin and suffered major structural damage the week before at Madison, Indiana. So extensive was the damage to the U-9 hull that the team's appearance at the Gold Cup seemed unlikely.
In 2003, his final year of competition, Hanson guided the U-9 to second-place in National High Points. He finished second at Evansville with MISS WABX, third at Madison with MISS BELLO'S PIZZA, and third at Detroit with AL DEEBY DODGE.
A call from Mike's old friend Bob Hughes, President of Miss Madison, Inc., led to Mike's return to the U-6 camp in 2004 as crew chief. What followed was one of the most dominating runs in the sports history, as Hanson teamed with driver Steve David to score dozens of victories and a series of season championships.
In 2014, Erick Ellstrom gave Mike the opportunity to work closer to his home South of Seattle as crew chief of the new 96 Spirit of Qatar.