Vale Peter Hill

Vale provided by Peter’s son, James

Peter Hill, who joined CYCA in 1961 and served for nearly 60 years, has sadly passed away at the age of 93.

Peter was a successful businessman who made his mark in the private and licenced hotel business world. 

He also made his mark in the sport of offshore yacht racing with a veteran harbour racer called Windward 1. This yacht proved unsuitable for offshore racing so Peter purchased a new S&S 36-footer Maria van Diemen to contest his first Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in 1966. This was to be the first of many Hobarts for Peter skippering his own yacht, plus the beginning of a long offshore career that included the Sydney Noumea Yacht Race in 1991.

Peter owned and skippered several well-known yachts of the era including the revolutionary foam-fibreglass Boomerang VII and three yachts bearing the Ruthless name, a play on his late wife’s name of Ruth. The first Ruthless gained fame as one of the first Doug Peterson designs built in Australia and a winner of the Montague Island race as well as winner of the Short Ocean Pointscore Division 2 in 1976/77.

Peter was an internationally renowned sailor, being one of the first Australian yacht owners to contest the One Ton Cup with Maria Van Diemen in 1967 at Le Havre, France.

Well-known CYCA sailors who sailed with Peter at the time included now 50 Year Member Bill Ratcliff and Life Member Boy Messenger. He was also a close friend of Past Commodore Bill Psaltis whom he credits with encouraging him to try ocean racing.

After representing CYCA at Le Havre, Peter contested many more One Ton cup events in the Mediterranean throughout the 1970s including Sardinia in 1973 with his two sons James and Martin. Always with Ruth as supporter and then later daughter Caroline too. As a family, the Hills also enjoyed cruising.

Ruth sailed the Ladies Day events and became a founding member of the CYCA Ladies Auxiliary (see photo in the Clubhouse). Firm friends were made between skippers and their partners that would last a lifetime.

Peter loved sailing and even after the death of his beloved wife was going out on his Beneteau Oceanis 45 Ruth Magic right up until two months before his passing.

Peter was a larger-than-life character with a treasure trove of yarns and an indomitable spirit.

He will be missed not only by friends and family but the many people who sailed with him over five decades.

2/12/1927 – 27/08/2021

James Hill is the RMYC Broken Bay Sailing Master and can be contacted on 0450 328 440.

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