by Jane Moffat
McCrae members Alan and Nathan Riley sailing Amen have achieved their goal as they have been crowned Australian Pacer Champions. After being the bridesmaid last year to Phil Chadwick, the Riley's secured a bullet in the final race of the series to finish the championship on 13 points.
Alan and Nathan Riley - 2012 Pacer Nationals
Peter and Lauren Kemp sailing Bebop were 10 points behind in second after Murray O’Brien withdrew from the series. Phil and Jack Chadwick in Chaddywagon completing the podium on 26.5 points.
Brody and Corey Riley are the Junior/Junior Pacer Champions finishing in fifth place on 45 points. Mention must go to the leading non spinnaker boat Chris and Ella Dean finishing in sixth place overall ahead of many spinnaker boats. The Deans are from Christies Beach Sailing Club who will host the championship next year.
The leading all female crew were Safety Beach Sailing Club teenagers Emma Martin and Georgia Strong.
McCrae member and A Class sailor David Loutit showed it’s not the boat but the sailor as he finished in ninth place overall sailing a non spinnaker McCrae Training School boat complete with plastic bottles at the top of the mast.
The overall success of the championship is the family atmosphere with parents competing with sons and daughters, cousins and friends making up crews to get out and have a go especially this year which saw the introduction of the green fleet. Spencer and Tony Paul taking first in this fleet
Perhaps the one thing the Pacers should consider is their regatta format, with five long races in the series it can be hard on the younger crews to remain enthusiastic at the prospect of a 90 minute race……....food for thought.