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Robbo returns to Sydney-Hobart race at 77

AAP logoAAP 16/12/2016 Adrian Warren

His wife thinks he's mad, but Queensland sailing icon Robert "Robbo" Robertson is making a comeback to the Sydney to Hobart yacht race at the age of 77.

Robertson won't be the oldest sailor in the 2016 race - that honour goes to Ervin Vidor, who's in his mid-80s - but it's rare for someone of his vintage to return to it after a few years away.

Struck by a case of "Hobart fever", Robertson is not only back after four years, but he's gunning for an overall win in Bravo, a Beneteau First 40 boat.

Robertson has a good record in the race, which he's contested on 11 occasions.

He finished third overall in 1991 on Sanctuary Cove QLD Maid and has also recorded two fifths.

Robertson won his division in Lunchtime Legend, the last time he entered the race in 2012.

"We won our division and I thought, 'That's it. I've had a good innings'," Robertson told AAP.

"The boat was hot, everybody wanted to buy it, so I got rid of the boat.

"Last December I got on the net watching this Hobart yacht race and I just got the worst case of Hobart fever you'd ever get.

"I started looking for boats. I found this boat in South Australia and flew down there and bought it and brought it back to Queensland and I've spent nine months working on it."

The competitive spirit still rages inside the septuagenarian sailor, who won't be content just to finish the race.

"I can win the race. I wouldn't be here otherwise," Robertson said.

"The weather conditions have got to suit this length of boat. If it suits this length of boat we'll win."

Robertson steers and navigates and does the cooking for his crew, which includes three other sailors over 50 years of age.

He remains active, but his wife has mixed feelings about him racing at an age when most people have finished their sporting endeavours.

"A lot of old blokes just go shopping with their missus. I don't do any of that," Robertson said.

"I get up in the morning and I've got jobs to do all the time.

"She just accepts the fact that I'm probably a happier person doing what I want to do.

"She thinks I'm mad."

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