Sailing stalwart intent on winning epic race
SAILING: Bob Robertson has won a Sydney Hobart Yacht Race division but now he is determined to win overall in his 12th race south.
The 78-year old is doing everything he can to give his Bravo team the best possible chance of succeeding.
Earlier this year he bought a second-hand 40-foot Beneteau, which he believes is faster than the one he used to win his division in 2012.
He's added new sails and recruited an experienced crew including Wendy Tuck, the sole Australian skipper in the 2015/16 Clipper Round the World Race.
The team have competed in all lead-up blue water races conducted off Sydney.
"We have done five long races in the last five or so months. It's been good preparation,” he said.
Their consistent results have secured Bravo a podium place in the series ahead of the final race, the Sydney Hobart.
The last-minute addition of Tuck to the team ensures the final crew position is filled with a person who has a reputation for driving crew successfully in tough blue water competition.
"When you are treating the Hobart race as 60 races of 10 miles, you can't afford to ease off,” Robertson said.
"You have to mentally think that you are out there for 10 mile races and if you stuff up you are going to get flogged.
"I have learnt from every race I've done that's why I think we can pull this off if everything goes our way and if the conditions favour this length of boat,” he added.
He is looking for a hard start and a big southerly to hit the fleet early on, "to break as many of those big boats as they can”, and then finishing with a spinnaker run down near Tasmania.
Robertson is emphatic. "The only thing I am interested in is winning the bloody race,” he said.
"We have a good handicap. With a good handicap and a good crew, you stand a chance.”