Photography by Saltwater Images / Nautilus Marine
17 April 2018
Mr Peters, a well-known member of the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria was skippering his Adams 10 Top Gun, when he fell overboard. He was recovered but was unable to be revived.
The tragedy has shocked the sailing community in the southern capital. Rob Hartnett from Sailing Shack, a yachting marketing and photography company posted on Facebook: “A sad day for sailing in Melbourne yesterday, [Sunday], as Adams 10 owner Max Peters lost in his life during a very windy race of the Association Cup.
I raced against Max and his very competitive and well sailed Adams 10 many times when I was helming the Hick 30 Godzilla. Max was a great competitor and always had a smile on his face. RIP Max and may the wind always be at your stern. Rob.”
Another friend Daffy Wallace had this tribute: “Max Peters went over the side while sailing today, [Sunday] on his yacht Top Gun. His passing will bring sadness to many over the days and years to come. I feel for those aboard Top Gun and Vertigo who went to their [Top Gun’s] aid in trying to recover Max. A sad day indeed.”
An official statement jointly released by the Sandringham Yacht Club and Royal Yacht Club of Victoria expressed “deep regret” over the “tragic news of the death of Max Peters whilst competing for the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria in the 2018 Association Cup on Sunday 15th April.”
The statement continued, “the Association Cup is an inter-Club event that is run on an annual basis and is traditionally hosted by the last winners being Sandringham Yacht Club. Racing was being held on Port Philip in the waters between Brighton and Sandringham with 18 yachts competing from three Clubs around the Bay.
“It is understood the boat Top Gun broached whilst sailing downwind which in turn led to Max falling overboard. After being recovered from the water, very sadly Max could not be resuscitated.”
The clubs also thanked nearby boats which came to the rescue, and offered support to those affected by the tragedy.
“Our sincere appreciation goes to all the people who assisted with the rescue effort. At this time our thoughts are foremost for Max who was known as a true gentleman of our sport. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family, crew and friends.”
A Northerly had been blowing on Port Phillip bay earlier, but as it clocked around to the West South-west and gusted to well over 30 knots, conditions would have gone from flat water to possibly 1.5-2 metre waves very quickly.
Mr Peter’s death is the third fatal incident in two months in Australian yacht racing circles. Finistere Skipper and owner Rob Thomas and crewman Paul Owens died after their yacht capsized in the early hours of Saturday 25 of February during a race off Mandurah, south of Perth.