Vale Bill Psaltis

The CYCA mourns the passing of Life Member and Past Commodore, Bill ‘Salty’ Psaltis.

Photography by CYCA

07 March 2023


Bill Psaltis has passed away, aged 95.

Bill joined the Club in 1953 and served for many years on the Board, including as Treasurer from 1954 and through various flag-bearing roles. He was appointed Commodore on two occasions – in 1963/64 and again in 1971.

Bill was awarded Life Membership to the CYCA in 1999 for his extraordinary contributions to the Club and to sailing.

He competed in 22 Sydney Hobarts, most famously with his S&S Meltemi, and won Line Honours in the 1968 Sydney Hobart as Navigator on Huey Long’s Ondine II. Bill fired the 10-minute warning signal ahead of the 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Alongside Norman Rydge and Trygve Halvorsen, Bill was instrumental in the first Australian campaigns for the Admiral’s Cup.


He also established the Southern Cross Cup as a genuine international contest, enticing many top international yachts to Australia.

Bill worked closely with the spiritual leader Aga Khan to help create the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and establish the prestigious Sardinia Cup.

Bill was a proud husband to Margaret. The pair were married for 65 years and were the driving forces behind the formation of the CYCA’s Associates Committee. Margaret was the first President of the Committee.

All three of Bill’s sons – Charles, Edward and Arthur – cut their teeth in ocean racing and did their first Sydney Hobarts with Bill, an experience they treasure immensely.

Bill was grandfather to William, Rebecca, Ben, Matt, Georgie, Harriet and Amy, and great grandfather to Ellie.

The CYCA extends its warmest condolences and thoughts to Bill’s family and friends. His legacy will long be remembered.

Bill was interviewed by Peter Shipway in 2014 for the CYCA’s Video Archive Project. Watch the full video here.

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