by Ian Grant
Peter Cavill and son Alexander have chartered the champion ocean racing sloop Saltash ll to contest the 2012 308 nm QantasLink Brisbane to Gladstone race over the Easter weekend.
Fleet action from the 2011 Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race.
Saltash ll, a modified yachting world Diamond class day sailor, successfully co-skippered by the Wright brothers, Ian and Bill, to win The Courier Mail Cup on a record eight occasions, is listed among the top chances to win the prestigious 64 year old trophy again.
The rather cramped crew accommodation below deck will be unfamiliar to Alexander Cavill but not for Peter who has been the navigator when the baby ocean racer has proven her unmatched spinnaker sailing speed to claim a special place in Gladstone Race history.
There is no doubt that Peter Cavill will refer to his previous navigation notes while sharing the helming with the capable young skipper and former Australian Sabot champion Alexander.
The experienced navigator has previously explained that the winning formula is based around the boat speed reading from a portable GPS stowed in his pocket and the ability of the on watch steerer to shoot the prevailing ocean swells.
This new generation challenge also shares a strong family bond with Alexander following the career of his grandfather Greg who steered Nocturne into second place behind the legendary Solo in 1958.
Besides winning many races on Saltash ll Peter Cavill holds the distinction of steering Silver Shamrock to narrowest loss in race history when Ross Perrins skippered Scampi A to her tense 26 second win 1984.
All of this respected family history will enter an interesting new phase when Saltash ll starts her chase to possibly record a ninth win when the start signal is fired at 11am on Good Friday morning.
Meanwhile interest also focuses on the expected challengers including the impressively fast Royal Geelong Yacht Club sloop Shogun V skippered by Robert Hanna and the Rod Jones owned and skippered Audi Sunshine Coast Alegria V.
Shogun V has the proven potential to set the pace to win on handicap while her crew will be intent on improving on the 27 hour 37 minute 35 second elapsed time they set with the previous Mick Cookson designed Shogun in 2009.