Sport

Robertson to give Sydney to Hobart one last crack

The Sydney to Hobart fleet begins it race down the south coast of Australia.
The Sydney to Hobart fleet begins it race down the south coast of Australia. Rolex - Daniel Forster

FOR 31 years Bob Robertson has been "chasing a dream", but this year's Sydney to Hobart will be his last.

The Mooloolaba Yacht Club member admits to restless nights as his mind digests the numerous variables that can mean the difference between success and failure in the great race, which starts today in Sydney Harbour.

Make no mistake. The event and the owner-skipper, who will attempt to win overall honours aboard Lunchtime Legend, have become intertwined.

"I got into sailing probably later in life than I wanted to," Robertson, 73, said as he grappled with the decision of what sails to use on the 12.3m vessel, which he also skippered last year.

"But due to business and family pressure, this is how the situation evolved.

"Since then I've spent millions of hours chasing a dream."

Robertson first attempted to win the race in 1981 with Hot Prospect II.

He admits to being a "greenhorn" back then - lofty in ambition but short on the experience that is needed to succeed in the race he describes as "for all Australians".

Lunchtime Legend is his fifth Sydney to Hobart boat.

"I remember the first time we came down here 31 years ago. We thought we were pretty good," he said.

"We were greenhorns. We knew nothing about it.

"It's more than having a good crew. It's a matter of getting the preparation right."

The closest Robertson came to winning was third place overall in 1991 with Queensland Maid.

Less than nine minutes separated him from victory as Atara triumphed.

Last year the retired builder-developer was leading deep into the race, only to "sail into soft breeze and the big boats got away".

He would finish equal 12th.

Robertson, of Shelly Beach, intends to win this year.

"I'm reasonably confident at this stage," he said.

"I've spent a few hours awake at night thinking about, will I use this mainsail or will I go out to sea or will I come in from sea ... which way is the breeze going to be heavier."

He added: "This is the right time (to retire from the race).

"I'm fit and I probably could go another couple, but I believe there's another side to life out there, and my wife and family have been very considerate to me and it's time to do the right thing by them."

Topics:  mooloolaba yacht club, sydney to hobart, yacht




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'My husband lasted 6 weeks as a stay at home dad'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images. Katie Dykes being interviewed for the webisodes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

FROM the outside, being a stay at home mum looks like a breeze.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

OPINION: How to prepare your child for day care

Your kids will love childcare, but it may take some adjusting.

GETTING your child ready for day care is vital.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Why Baden-Clay's lawyers say he's not a murderer

Gerard Baden-Clay

The QLD DPP has moved to have Baden-Clay found guilty of murder

Waterfall at Queens Park

Waterfall at Queens Park.

Congratulations Melissa Faye

Food van crashes into embankment

Women treated at scene of motorway crash

Latest deals and offers

Driveway delivery

Toby Hill was born on June 22 on his grandparents driveway in Riverhills. Pictured is big brother Bradley Hill, dad Matt Hill, mum Hannah Hill, grandmother Donna Eagle and grandfather Nick Eagle.

Toby Hill was born on June 22 on his grandparents driveway in Riverhills.

Rosewood Amber Alert

No Caption

Audio of Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Williams of the Ipswich Child Protection...

Ernie Els dunks for eagle

Smooth swing, great shot.

Ernie Els lives up to his reputation for one of the best swings in golf.

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%