by Ian Grant
Veteran Sunshine Coast blue water racing yachtsman Bob Robertson is again hopeful of steering his relatively new Beneteau First 40 Lunchtime Legend to victory in the 628 n/ml Rolex Sydney Hobart Race. He has been a serious contender before and apart from finishing third overall has spent a lot of time and money to realise his personal career ambition to win the Hobart Race.
Lunchtime Legend, Bob Robertson
Lunchtime Legend launched a little over 16 months ago made her ocean racing debut during the 2011 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week as her evaluation trial to contest the physically demanding and mentally tormenting ‘torture track’.
After being among the front runners during the first 24 hours Lunchtime Legend finished 12th overall and third in her division.
Since returning from last year’s Hobart Race the super competitive Bob Robertson as always had a personal plan in place to go back and test his skill and determination to master the elements of the storm tormented Tasman Sea and have his name engraved on trophy in what is regarded as the toughest ocean race on the International offshore sailing circuit.
His personal racing log-book has a long list on minor long distance race wins including the Sydney to Mooloolaba and Brisbane to Gladstone and apart from some minor overall and class places in the Sydney Hobart he is heading south again to perhaps fulfil what many of his rivals claim ‘as the impossible dream’.
However he served notice that Lunchtime legend had found a new competitive edge in boat speed finishing second at the Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week behind the former Rolex Sydney Hobart Race winner Geoff Ross in Yendys followed by another second place at the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week before finally winning the Magnetic Island Race Week.
'Racing in all three regattas was always in the plan to be better prepared for another crack at the Rolex Sydney Hobart'.
'We have a good mix of experience and youthful exuberance in our crew and there is no doubt that there is a marked improvement in the understanding of sailing Lunchtime Legend to her handicap rating'. Bob Robertson said.
They certainly suffered with the ‘new boat blues’ last year to eventually finish in the top 12 and while her colourful owner skipper remains confident he is yet to deal with the required tactical strategy to become the first Queensland owner skipper to enjoy that special celebration on the historical Constitution Dock.
Lunchtime Legend is one of ten Queensland yachts that will face what promises to be another gruelling test of tactics and boat speed.
Black Jack the Peter Harburg owned and Mark Bradford skippered maxi chaser which won the 2011 Brisbane to Gladstone race by a commanding margin realistically has the recent long race record to become a threat to Bob Robertson’s ambition to record Queensland’s best result in the 2012 Rolex Sydney Hobart starting on Boxing Day.