Murray Rae was keen to tackle the World Masters Games with his former Rome Olympics teammate but when Ron Watson wasn't available he was able to call on a veteran of seven America's Cups and five round the world yacht races.
The alternative also happened to be his son.
Murray and Tony Rae have been competing in the double-handed Weta class at the World Masters Games and were fifth after three days of racing.
It has been a special experience for the pair, not only because they are competing in a world event so close to home but also because they are able to do it together. They once won four national and one world title together in 1997 but don't get the chance to compete together very often now.
"It's a real honour and pleasure to sail with Tony," the 78-year-old Murray said. "I had been thinking about it seriously with my skipper from the Rome Olympics, Ron Watson, but he was living in Whitianga and he didn't think he would be that competitive. I got my son so I think I did alright."
That is an understatement, given Tony is one of the world's most recognised sailors.
This year's America's Cup will be the first he hasn't been involved with Emirates Team New Zealand - an association that dates back to the first campaign in Freemantle in 1987 - and he also won two Whitbread Round the World races aboard Steinlager 2 (1989-90) and NZ Endeavour (1993-94).
These days he's still heavily involved in racing on the TP52 and Maxi72 circuits which, he admits, are very different to helming a Weta.
"I'm probably yelling at Dad a lot more than he used to yell at me [when I was learning to sail] but I'm probably yelling at myself a hell of a lot more than I normally do as well," he said. "When you're on a TP52 and the like, you have your own job you're worried about. I just have to keep reminding myself what I have to do [on the Weta]. You have to think about the whole race and not just your little job."
The Raes have been doing a decent job at the World Masters Games, although they dropped a place to fifth after recording an eighth on the third day's racing of the double-handed fleet.
They didn't enjoy the light winds of 4-5 knots off Torbay which meant only one race was possible across all three classes, but they weren't the only ones who struggled in the lighter breeze and there were a number of changes in the minor placings.
Dan Slater's run of perfect results in the Laser was ended when he posted an eighth in today's only race, although it counts as his discard at this stage so he still leads the standings by three points over Matt Blakey. Rohan Lord, who had been third, was 16th in today's race and dropped to fourth.
Jon Bilger increased his lead in the single-handed Weta competition after a second today and he now holds a handy 10-point lead over Martin Cross with 66-year-old former Olympic Tornado champion Rex Sellers another three points behind in third.
The ultra-consistent Scott Leith posted another win in the Laser Radial and he holds a four-point lead over Australia's Adam Beashel.
Tomorrow's forecast is for more breeze, which will please Murray and Tony Rae who are now battling family expectations after Murray's daughter, Linda Craig, won gold in the women's ocean ski paddling at the World Masters Games.
"That puts a bit of pressure on," Tony said.
Given the background of the father-and-son combination, they should be able to cope.