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Peter Hill
Peter Hill and family
Peter Hill and wife Ruth 1976

Date Born1927
Date of Death (if Applicable)2021
Current City/HometownSydney
ClubCruising Yacht Club of Australia
Middle Harbour Yacht Club
Boat Owner ofBoomerang VII
Maria Van Diemen
Ruth Magic

Peter Hill


MHYC Vale Notice

We are sad to report that Peter Hill, well known and long-term member of Middle Harbour Yacht Club and father of ex-commodore Martin Hill passed away last Friday, 27th August 2021. He was 93.

Peter was keen skiff sailor in his youth graduated to offshore sailing in the early 1960s sailing with Halvorsen brothers and other yachties of the day.

His first offshore boat was Maria Van Diemen, an S&S custom 35ft yacht in which he competed in the 1966 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and he achieved 7th overall. Peter competed in 17 Hobarts including several with sons, James and Martin.

He did many of the MHYC Sydney to Brisbane Yacht Races including one with Peter Kurts as navigator in which they run aground past Coffs Harbour. The search and rescue was front page news for the afternoon newspapers!

Peter skippered several well-known yachts including Boomerang VII and 3 yachts bearing the Ruthless name, a play on his late wife's name of Ruth. Many well-known MHYC members including Peter Sorenson, Keith Le Compte, Craig Nicholls and Jamie Wilmot sailed with Peter, along with many others making their debut to sailing.

Peter was also an internationally renowned sailor, being the first Australian yacht owner to compete in One Ton Cup in 1967 at Le Havre in his yacht Maria Van Diemen. He also competed in many other one-ton cups in the Mediterranean throughout 1970s including Sardinia in 1973 with his two sons. Always with Ruth as his supporter and later with his daughter. Peter loved being on the water and was out in his last yacht Ruth only 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 sorely missed. Our thought and condolences are with Peter's family and friends.

CYCA Offshore Magazine Spring 2021

Peter Hill, who joined the 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 an impact 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 the name of his late wife, 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 in 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 Peter credited 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. 

He always had Ruth as his supporter, and later his daughter Caroline. As a family, the Hills also enjoyed cruising. 

Ruth sailed the Ladies Day events and became a founding member of the CYCA Ladies Auxiliary. 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.

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