Abbreviated as it was, the 2020 offshore powerboat racing season delivered highs and lows for several teams, none more so than the Super Stock-class Phase5 cockpit duo of veteran throttleman Jay Muller and owner/driver Albert Penta in their 32-foot Doug Wright raceboat. The Connecticut-based newcomer to the outboard engine-powered canopied catamaran class cut his offshore racing teeth in the Stock V class and hoped to run the 32-footer, which he purchased from its original owners in late 2019, for his rookie Super Stock season last year.
The Phase5 team of Albert Penta and Jay Muller delivered a strong performance at the inaugural Offshore At The Ozarks event in 2020. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
But with just three events in the pandemic-stricken 2020 season and Penta able to commit to just two of them, his original plans didn’t pan out. Still, it wasn’t all bad—far from it. Penta and Muller ran strong in both of their races and finished third overall in the early October Offshore At The Ozarks event in Central Missouri. They felt confident heading into the Offshore Powerboat Association World Championships in Morehead City, N.C., a couple of weeks later.
Penta and Muller finished second in the first race of the OPA Worlds and looked strong in the process. But the second race was less kind to the Phase5 cockpit duo, as they were involved in an incident with the Super Stock-class Wicked Racing raceboat and flipped. The wreck left bad blood between the two teams and the Phase5 catamaran with significant damage.
“So once again, we made big upgrades from how the boat was originally rigged,” he continued. “The carbon fiber repair work, re-rigging and electronics work were all done at our shop—with support from Doug Wright on the glass work. We had a spare set of engines, so we only had to rebuild one engine as a spare.”
“Our Doug Wright cat is coming along nicely and the paint, just a few doors down from Outerlimits in Bristol (R.I.) is finishing up,” said Penta. “We had more damage than we thought—you know how that goes—and I’m a pretty type-A when I get into projects.
According to Penta, he and Muller will begin testing the renovated raceboat next month. They plan compete at the Race World Offshore/American Powerboat Association-sanctioned race in Clearwater, Fla., August 24-26; the October 7-9 APBA Offshore National Champion Series finale in Fort Myers Beach, Fla., and the Race World Offshore/APBA Offshore World Championships, November 7-14, in Key West, Fla.
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