The Life and Times of Peter Charody

  • Club
  • NEWS
  • By Stacey French
  • 23 Oct 2015 16:00:00
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Peter Charody next to the CYCA boat named after his father, Julius Charody

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It is with great sadness that we recently lost a beloved life-long member of the CYCA and passionate sailor, Peter Robert Charody (1951-2015).

Peter passed away after a long battle with mesothelioma with his family by his bedside and is no doubt sailing away somewhere ‘up there’ in the land of constant 25 knot winds and heavenly rum and cokes. 

The son of another esteemed CYC member, the late Julius Charody, Peter learned to sail almost as soon as he could walk and his appetite for the sailing developed early on the calm waters of Middle Harbour.

Peter started small. He sailed Cherubs, Lasers, Northbridge Juniors and NS14s for many years.

With his competitive and adventurous spirit unsatisfied by the sheltered waters of Sydney Harbour, Peter soon moved on to Blue Water Ocean Racing.

It was here that he honed in on his skills as a talented yachtsman.

With these skills he became especially helpful one year when he was kept at the helm for eight hours straight to finish first overall in the esteemed Montague Island race on Shenandoah I.

His greatest challenge of all was the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, which he completed religiously for many years.

Peter sailed the family yacht Shenandoah on numerous occasions in this celebrated race, coming fourth overall in 1979, sixth overall in 1981 and second in the TPHS Division in the 50th edition of the race in 1994.

He left Sydney heads on Boxing Day and made that famous tack south on a number of boats over the years, completing Hobarts on Shenandoah I, Shenandoah III, Sangaree and Matika II. 

Peter’s experiences of those revered southern waters are in every way exciting, hair-raising and joyful.

During one particularly bad storm in the days before GPS and satellite, when those deadly waters were still navigated using the sun and the stars, Peters yacht lost its mast in the middle of Bass Strait at 0300 hours in 20 foot seas.

With no other option and the weather deteriorating further, the crew were forced to construct a jury-rig using their spinnaker pole lashed to the remaining two-foot of mast and a storm tri-sail to limp all the way back to Eden in NSW. 

Peter’s recollection of this event always finished with how good those beers tasted when they finally made that safe port.

Peter’s spirit still glides across the windswept waves of Bass Strait. 

In 2005, Peter bought an Etchell Champagne Charlie with his old sailing friend Mike Thackeray and competed in the competitive Sydney Harbour Etchell Races for many years.

It was only ill health later in life that forced Peter to have to give up racing. 

He refused to ever give up sailing though, his number one passion and enjoyed many Sundays cruising Sydney Harbour with his mates Brett Hart and Mike Thackeray (to name a few).

Peter leaves behind a loving wife, Kristine, son Tim, daughter Chloé, sister Vicky and mother Judit.

By Tim Charody

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