One-on-one interview with hydroplane champion Chip Hanauer -

One-on-one interview with hydroplane champion Chip Hanauer

KING 5 Seattle
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Chip Hanauer is arguably the most well-known name in hydroplane racing. He talks with Paul Silvi ahead of the big Seafair race.


  1. Even from Melbourne Australia.Chip is a great champion of hydroplane racing and famous here as well

  2. The Only way to revive the sport is to get rid of the vacuum cleaner engines and bring back the thunder, very few people like silent boat racing, just my opinion, I like when the noise makes the hair stand up.

  3. I paused this video and searched for the 1982 Detroit Gold Cup race I found and watched it here on YT…That Chip Hanauer win was very impressive indeed, that era was the pinncle of Hydroplane racing IMO when the hydros still had piston power but had advanced the boat design to handle better at higher speeds. Chip Hanauer was the Champions Champ and peoples Champ. He had the guts to push his boats to the very limit and beyond. WATCH THAT RACE & you'll see what I'm talkin about. Unlimited Hydroplane Racing is much like Reno Unlimited Air Racing as far as dying off it's just taking much longer with hydros. I don't follow them anymore, haven't for years but when I was young late fifties tru 1980's oh yeah I'd be Lakeside in August.

  4. After listening to this I think Chip should run H1 because he has great ideas to fix the sport

  5. My family used to go see Pay N Pak all the time. Yellow Donzi. Bill Fantozzi (R.I.P. Easter 2023); I think we used to race Dad's yellow against Jay's red one and a blue one with a red stripe. Just trying to drive like Mr. Chip Hanauer. Amaziemente'!!.. Godspeed Chip 🙂

  6. I was fortunate enough to be on one of the Unlimited Teams in 1988 when I was 19 years old and Chip Hanauer, Jim Cropfield, and Tommy D'eath were like Rockstars for me. I made it a point to find ways or opportunities to have brief conversations with them and all of those guys were class acts and while I doubt any of them other than Tommy remember me I've always thought about them over the years whenever I'd go to races or see videos. Coming from a family that was in the sport for decades I can say as many of you fans know already, the sport has been losing ground for some time both in audience and economic viability and the current state is the death rattle if they dont do something, I remember the program Chip was discussing and I agree that standardizing the boats and having a fleet that were closely matched in performance would go a long way towards reviving Unlimited Racing even out the field so that it's not one or two big money teams that win all the races. We don't need boat parades, close competition is what fans want to see and what draws the crowds.

  7. Chip nailed 100% on the state of the sport. I myself had many conversations with people who think this same way. Unfortunately the people that run the sport want to keep things the way they are. For some reason no wants change.

  8. Id like to hear what the 4 remaining boat owners plan for the sport's survival is. (Cue the cricket sound)

  9. What a grest interview!!!. Those drivers Chip replaced were my 1950s heros . Chip came along and kept that hero mystique going. Today, I cant name one driver let alone one team. That's the sad state of unlimited hydros.

  10. One of the best, glad he’s on top of life !!

  11. As someone from the mid-west who dreams of living in Seattle I find his passion and enthusiasm truly inspiring.

  12. Chip has always been such a class act.

  13. Chip is 💯 right about the state of hydroplane racing.
    It's not even an afterthought in motorsports.
    His plan would IMO would work very well and get a lot more people involved which the sport desperately needs.

  14. I grew up in Seattle and what Chip says is true. I lived for those Hydros as a kid. Ive been to Stan Sayers pits several time. It was fun to go and watch time trials. I was a huge Chip Hanauer fan and I still am. I would love to meet him one day but I dont expect that will ever come about. I dont live there now but my sister does. Chip Hanauer is a class act and as far as I am concerned the greatest hydroplane driver that has ever lived.

  15. Chip. I guess my question is what can I do to help the sport.

  16. Watching one of the greatest sports slowly die is one of the hardest things for any true hydro racing fan. I was at the presidents cup on the potomac on black sunday and saw how dangerous and cruel the sport can be. But chocked down to 4 races a year is like watching the sport kill itself. Good to see chip is doing good ,he was always my favorite driver. Until Jimmy Shane came along LOL

  17. I was there in Detroit in 1982 when Chip won the Gold Cup.. it was magical.. the crowd went crazy to see Chip in the Atlas Van Lines beat the big money fueled Miss Budweiser

  18. Seattle loves you Chip! I grew up watching you race.

  19. nice interview. Brings back the memories.

  20. A true Northwest LEGEND.
    So sad that the TV coverage is not like it used to be!

  21. Great interview. Certainly right about young and dumb. They say your brain doesn't mature until around 25. Which is why young people are so easy to brainwash into walking into bullets. Not taking anything away from the sacrifices they made, but as Chip said now he is older, No.

  22. A fantastic interview, his outlook about the sport, his experiences, and down to earth driver insight is priceless….. Wonderful video of a great legend!

  23. I'm interested in reading or hearing about whatever "plan" Chip starts talking about at 3:08 that he and Bruce McCaw and Scott Atherton had for re-vitalizing the sport. I'll guess no plan would be satisfactory to everyone however, with Chip's credentials, I'd like to know what they had in mind. Anyone out there able to shed some light on this for me? Thank you very much!

  24. Good to hear from Chip. He's one of my favorites. Thanks for the interview.
    The fan base has to deal with frequent boat name changes to suit the local sponsors and different drivers to suit the race location. That makes it harder to develop loyalties like with Formula 1 and Indy Car.

  25. What destroyed the significance of Seafair in the Puget Sound area, was twofold. First; Was making the heats and finals a two day event with a bunch of crap filler that no-one cared about….. Causing a lot of hard core viewers to stop paying attention to (viewing) the race
    Second; A few years later, Canceling Live coverage of the race with virtually Zero notice of the fact, and ignoring all the viewers that cried foul… Effectively throwing away hundreds of thousands of Seafair fans……….

  26. Chip was a great driver, miss the Budweiser ! It was good for the sport having a target to try to beat…

  27. I grew up adoring the Seattle Rainiers, the Seattle Totems, and the hydroplanes. Chip was my hero who loved his hometown, and dedicated his life to hydroplane racing and promoting the sport.
    Like Chip, I loathe the short-sightedness of the leadership of the USPBA for killing the sport. It's tragic, but like Chip said, Seattle is different, and with so many Seattle natives fleeing the cesspool that Seattle has become and all the outsiders (who treat my hometown like a baby treats his diapers) moving in could give a rip about the rich tradition of this sport and don't appreciate it nor do they support it.
    I'm sad. . .

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