Steve David in the modern day turbine powered Oh Boy! Oberto
A commitment to build a new boat was made in October 2006. It was a frantic race against time to be ready for the start of the 2007 campaign in June.
The new OH BOY! OBERTO weighed 600 pounds less than its predecessor and featured a state-of-the-art hull design. She was the first new hydroplane in the Unlimited Class in five years. The boat arrived at the first race of 2007 (in Evansville) untested, having never been put in the water.
As the season progressed, the OH BOY! OBERTO crew, led by crew chief and co-designer Mike Hanson, fine-tuned the new craft, which began to make its presence felt out on the race course. The team scored back-to-back victories in the Chevrolet Cup at Seattle and the Bill Muncey Cup at San Diego and placed second in National High Points.
Seldom has a brand new Unlimited hydroplane made such a positive impression in its very first year of competition.
According to owner representative Bob Hughes of Madison, “None of this would have been possible without the support of our sponsor, the Oberto family of Seattle. If we had done nothing else in 2007, we wanted to win in Seattle. They have won other races. But this was their first hometown victory.”
Hughes continued, “The fact that our Chevrolet Cup win coincided with Art Oberto’s 80th birthday made our victory extra special. I know it meant a great deal to Art.
“Judging by the numerous congratulations the team received in Seattle, it would appear the OH BOY! OBERTO is as popular in the Pacific Northwest as it is in Madison, Indiana. Seattleites consider us to be a Seattle boat, while Madisonians consider us to be a Madison boat. And that’s just fine with us.”
In 2008, the Obertos hit Big Casino. They won their first National High Point Team Championship. This entitled the OH BOY! OBERTO/MISS MADISON (U-6) to carry the coveted U-1 designation during the 2009 racing season.
Driver Steve David achieved 100 percent reliability in 2008 by finishing every heat that he entered. The U-6 also qualified fastest at four of the six events.
Three subsequent Team Championships were achieved in 2009, 2010, and 2012.
Since building the new boat, the OH BOY! OBERTO team has won eleven races. These include four victories at Seattle, three at the Tri-Cities, two at Madison, and two at San Diego.
Over the years, some of racing’s greatest teams have achieved the distinction of National High Point Champion. These include the MISS BUDWEISER, the ATLAS VAN LINES, the PAY ‘n PAK, the MISS THRIFTWAY, and the MISS BARDAHL. OH BOY! OBERTO/MISS MADISON is certainly in distinguished company!