Passionate competitor earned a legacy of achievement in Australian powerboat racing
Closing a career spent racing and selling the biggest and best engines on the water, Peter Massina, Mercury Racing Sales Manager in the Australia/New Zealand, has announced his retirement.
Massina has worked for Mercury Marine for the 15 years with Mercury, but his passion for speed and performance was fueled at an early age. As a young boy growing up in regional Victoria, Peter seemed destined to have a life in racing.
“My dad was passionate about all sorts of motorsport, on land or in the water, so we were always attending events or going fast ourselves,” he said. “I became fascinated with racing and engines and I still follow motorsports, particularly all forms of boat, car and motorbike racing. I just love it.”
He turned his passion into a profession, becoming an apprentice marine mechanic in 1973. It was a particular Mercury engine that sparked what would become a stellar career in racing – the 175hp 2.0-liter V-6 released in 1976 – which was a totally new concept for the brand and was the foundation for a new generation of Mercury Racing engines.
He began building his own race engines in 1980 and such were his skills that the Massina name soon became synonymous with success. From building engines to running teams, he’s had a career that has earned him multiple national championships across all three of Australia’s ultra-competitive boat racing categories, including circuit, offshore and ski racing.
Speeds in the latter regularly exceed 100 mph, putting huge stress on the engine, the boat and the skiers.
“To win national titles across all three disciplines is something I’m pretty proud of. Winning at that level is never easy, but I’ve been lucky enough to work with some great boat owners, drivers and skiers,” he said. “The one constant throughout has been Mercury. The company’s commitment to racing has been exceptional, more so than any of the other outboard companies, going right back to the achievements of Carl Kiekhaefer.”
Over the decades, Massina says he’s seen a huge amount of change – from open boats with little in the way of technology to super-fast closed cockpit boats with data logging and enormous power.
“The advances in technology have been incredible. If someone had told us back then that they were going to build a 450hp outboard not much bigger or heavier than the contemporary engines, you would never have believed them,” he said.
And that’s to say nothing of the Mercury Racing 1350hp QC4V monster power plants Peter’s been selling to ski racers across Australia.
“The power is just amazing but improvements in reliability have also been phenomenal. It’s testament to the ongoing investment that Mercury has made across the years.”
While he’s stepping away from work, there’s no way Massina will leave the sport he loves.
“I’m still involved in technical roles with Offshore Superboats and in the Australian Formula Powerboat GP Series, so I will still get my fix,” he said. “I will, however, absolutely miss working at Mercury. Just a great group of people and a really rewarding place to work. I’ve enjoyed every single minute.”