Since Connecticut-based offshore racer Albert Penta moved from the Stock V class to the Super Stock class a few years ago, his uber-eye-catching 30-foot Activator Rage raceboat dubbed Phase 05 has been sitting dormant. That will change come Sunday, September 5, when 54-year-old driver/owner Peter Riveiro and 27-year-old throttleman Richard Garcia return the canopied 30-footer to Stock V-class action at the P1 Offshore St. Petersburg Grand Prix in Southwest Florida.
Thanks to new owner Peter Riveiro, this stunning 30-foot Activator raceboat will return to Stock V-class action this season. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Riveiro arrived in Connecticut today at 3:30 a.m. to pick up the boat, which he purchased from Penta, with Garcia and his 25-year-old brother and fellow teammate, Julian. They currently are hauling the 30-footer to Key Largo, Fla., where Riveiro lives and runs The Firm Realty Group. For now at least, the team will be called The Firm Racing Group—a title/naming sponsorship deal is in the works but not yet been finalized, according to Riveiro.
“We’re keeping that under wraps for now,” he said.
Longtime offshore racing fans may recall Riveiro’s name from his relatively short, three-year career in the late 1980s as an outboard-powered catamaran racer. Driving a 25-foot Motion catamaran, he took the Stock-class Suncoast Championship and went on to compete for a year on the Offshore Professional Tour spearheaded by actor Don Johnson, where he won three out of the five races he entered. But Riveiro’s working life eventually took precedent over his racing career and he exited the sport.
In the years that followed, Riveiro built The Firm Realty Group into a residential real estate powerhouse in the Upper Florida Keys. But high-performance powerboating, as well as offshore racing, were never far from his mind.
“I got the bug about two years ago and bought an MTI 340X with Mercury Racing 400R outboards, which Shaun Torrente repowered with 450Rs,” he said. “This year in Cocoa Beach (Fla.), we actually ended up renting a Reindl batboat, but we broke down before we could race.”
For the new team of (from left) Julian Garcia, Richard Garcia, Lisette Garcia and Peter Riveiro, Stock V-class offshore racing will be a family affair.
During the Cocoa Beach event, the Stock V class captured Riveiro’s imagination. He traveled north on Memorial Day weekend to visit Stock V-class national and world champion Brit Lilly at his Lilly Sport Boats shop in Arnold, Md., with the goal of buying Lilly’s former 30-foot Extreme raceboat. There he met longtime Lilly friend and current alternating Miss GEICO driver Pastrana, who throttled with Lilly driving in his new 30 Extreme raceboat to a Stock V-class victory at last Sunday’s Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix.
The sale didn’t work out, but Riveiro was unfazed. Through offshore racer Nick Imprescia, who works at the Shaun Torrente Racing shop in Cape Coral, Fla., he learned that Penta’s Stock V boat was for sale. He also reached out to Kevin Smith, Lilly’s longtime pal and throttleman, who recommend he take a serious look at the boat.
Riveiro and Penta came to terms, and now he and the Garcia brothers—the sons of Lisette Garcia, Riveiro’s significant other who will be the team’s manager—are on their way back to their Key Largo home-base.
Following the St. Pete event, the team plans to campaign the boat at the Race World Offshore contest, September 24-26 in Clearwater, Fla., the American Power Boat Association Offshore Championship Series season finale, October 7-9 in Fort Myers Beach, Fla., and the Race World Offshore/APBA Offshore World Championships, November 7-14, in Key West, Fla. Riveiro’s longer-term plans include buying a new Lilly-built 30-foot Extreme raceboat as well as—in a few years—turning over the cockpit of the boat to the Garcia brothers.
Currently on the road, the 30-footer will arrive at its new home in Key Largo, Fla., this week.
“Julian will jump in the boat when I can’t,” he said, then laughed. “I am 54 years old so I don’t plan on doing this forever. The plan is for me to eventually transition out of the boat and have them take over. I want to see them excel.
“When I first started racing, someone else was always paying,” he added. “Now, I am fortunate enough to be in the position to pay for it myself and help them get started in racing. I’m really excited to be back. And it’s going to be fun run against Brit and Travis in St. Pete.”