by Ian Grant
While a storm tormenting the Tasman Sea may not be a place to discuss events of the day over a quiet lunch, it has become apparent that no one has mentioned this to the legendary skipper Bob Robertson.
Lunchtime Legend - Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2011
Some time ago the self appointed ‘Knight of Queensland ocean racing’ stated he was done with the unfinished business of trying to win the gruelling 628 nautical mile blue water classic.
However the burning desire to equal the feat of Mackay navigator Bob Thomas who with his skipper Ed Psaltis of Sydney crewed Midnight Rambler to win the dramatic race in 1998 has prompted Sir Robbo to again face a supreme test of his personal tactics later this year.
He recently bought a new Beneteau First 40 class sloop and has christened the impressive challenger Lunchtime Legend which indicates the ‘Old Salt’ from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast has committed to a serious investment to have the chance of making space for a Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race trophy on his mantelpiece.
Lunchtime Legend still relatively short of racing trim with the builders dust in her bilge finished fifth in her class at the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in August.
At the time her proud owner skipper said 'This is the first step toward a last shot at the Sydney to Hobart'.
Naturally the dual winner of the Brisbane to Gladstone race and many other major places in Australian coastal classics including a third in the Rolex Sydney Hobart believes he has the experience and endurance to become a serious challenger when the fleet heads south on Boxing Day.
'I guess when you approach the sundown-side of sixty you could be classed among the pretenders but Lunchtime Legend has the crew experience and the potential handicap rated speed to be rated among the serious contenders'. Bob Robertson said.
Sure he was excited when he told this columnist of his intentions during a (QLD) quiet little drink on the deck of the Hamilton Island Yacht Club last August.
As proved in the past the veteran Sunshine Coast ocean racing sailor has never backed away from becoming involved in a tactical ‘dog-fight’ to protect his reputation.
He has personally endured the physical and mental torment of numerous Hobart races and after several years of enjoying a family Christmas and New Year with a boating holiday on Moreton Bay has laid up the retirement plan to refresh the experience of enjoying a post race celebration on Hobart’s historical Constitution Dock.
One of his Hobart Race rivals who should remain nameless has quoted ‘Sir Robbo’ as having made more comebacks than opera legend Dame Melba, however depending on luck and experience he may have the chance to sing the Queenslander song as part of the ‘quiet little drink’ during the post race celebrations at the Custom House Pub (in Hobart).