If all plans and aspirations come to fruition, there could be as many as 20 Super Stock-class teams in the mix by the time the 2022 American Power Boat Association/Union Internationale Motonautique Offshore World Championships for the catamaran classes return to Key West, Fla., in November. That’s the word from class representative Ryan Beckley, and among those teams will be the completely revamped Phase 5 raceboat, a 32-foot Doug Wright cat owned and driven by Connecticut’s Albert Penta and throttled by Jay Muller of New Jersey.
When the Super Stock-class Phase 5 raceboat hits the racecourse this season, it will have a completely new look and—if all goes to plan—sponsor livery. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Penta, who will be entering his third Super Stock season when the eight-race APBA Offshore National Championship Series kicks off May 19-22 in Cocoa Beach, Fla., and competed intermittently last season, has two primary goals for the renovation. He wants to lighten the 2018 model-year 32-footer to help balance out the weight increase—estimated by Performance Boat Center’s Myrick Coil at 220 pounds—that will come his new Mercury Racing 300R outboard engines and “create a more-sustainable sports marketing business model.”
“With all the rising costs associated with the new rule changes coming in 2022, and with the new 300R program, it was time to make some big-boy decisions and go after a major sponsor rather than over self-funding year to year,” he said. “It won’t be easy. I know a bit about marketing, and especially the sports marketing sector, and again it’s not easy. I was working hard on sponsors such as Red Bull, but then the pandemic hit and changed all those plans. So I’m back to the list of other potential sponsors.
Layers of paint are being stripped from the 32-footer.
“Self-funding is not a viable long-term business plan,” he added.
To give those sponsors a clean canvas, Penta is having the 32-footer completely stripped of its graphics. That means sanding off not one but two layers of paint. Under original owner Jim Denooyer, the Doug Harrell-painted cat ran as Killer Bee. When Penta purchased the boat from Denooyer in 2019, he rebranded it Phase 5 with additional painted graphics while keeping key elements of the cat’s original paintjob. Some of those elements, said Penta, will remain in the new cat’s new graphics designed by Harrell.
Doug Harrell has created a new blank canvas for the cat.
“I like the engineering challenges of taking an older carbon-fiber Doug Wright and making it competitive against newer ones—he keeps updating their hulls,” Penta said, then laughed. “I told Doug, ‘I’m not building a new boat. I’m leaving that to younger bloods willing to go through money. I’ll get this thing to run.’
“Doug laughed and said, ‘Yes, I know you and Jay will,’” he added.
Speedonthewater.com will follow this project as it develops.
Phase 5 began its offshore racing life as Killer Bee.