Victorian Championships 2021 - Somers Yacht Club

We had a fantastic fleet at the 2021 Pacer state titles. Results are here:


Enter the 2021 Pacer state titles here:

Association membership is required and can be applied for here:

Notice of race is available here: NOTICE OF RACE

Sailing Instructions are now available here: SAILING INSTRUCTIONS

Current entries:


Pacer Victoria, Notice of AGM at Somers Yacht Club, 6th March, 2021 at 6pm.

> Somers YC will be open for boat drop off for the Pacer State Titles on Friday 5th March between 5pm - 6:30pm <




Pacer Pursuit

The Pacer Pursuit is a high performance version of the traditional Pacer developed by long time Pacer Builder Jim French in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia with 400mm extra on the mast, new larger fully battened mainsail, new larger jib, new larger asymmetric spinnaker and trapeze using the same Pacer hull. It is the intention for the Pacer Pursuit to be developed as a completely new and separate class alongside the traditional Pacer Class. This will allow the traditional Pacer to remain in its long established current format.

We asked Jim French to tell us about how he developed the Pacer Pursuit.

After sailing Pacers for many years, it became obvious to me that the class could do with a bit more sail to make sailing a bit more exciting. A lot of people were leaving Pacers because of this, and the class has taken on a training boat image in some areas. The pacer hull is a really good design, it is really stable and can easily take a lot more sail.

As the Pursuit was already a class in the 70`s (a not very successful  boat) I thought it was time to re-visit the concept and modernise it. The single luff kites of the skiffs are so much more modern than the old balloon spinnakers, much faster and much easier to handle. Mylar fully batterned main and jib were the way to go.

I first thought, to make the boat successful I should make it affordable, so I tried to do a rig using the same mast as the Pacer, gaining the extra area needed from a big roach on the main, and the biggest jib I could fit with the same sheeting position.  The mast needed spreaders and a different spin set up, but that was all. For the bowsprit I drilled a hole in the bow of the boat, and set up the retractable pole the same as the skiffs.

The boat worked brilliantly, especially off the wind, upwind it was just a little faster than a pacer. I sailed it for a few months, lending it to as many people as I could, their comments were noted , mostly the comment was that it should have a trapeze, so I added one.

I kept sailing the boat as often as I could and continued to lend it to as many that would try it. After the State Champs, I finally came to the conclusion through the feedback that it needed more sail to use the trapeze effectively and to be significantly faster than the pacer upwind.

A longer mast was the only option, so I made it 400mm longer, so people who didn`t want to buy a new mast could sleeve their old one. I ordered a new set of sails 400mm longer in the luffs and the kite longer in the foot as well to give it a bit more go off the wind.

The result is that the boat now is much faster than the Pacer upwind and amazingly quick downwind. It is really stable, especially off the wind, and is easy to sail, but not too much of a handful in a breeze.

Pacer update - 2020/21


The Pacer Association supports the FOAK regatta at Chelsea Yacht Club on Saturday 6th Feb, 2021.

More information here:


The next Pacer Victorian State Championships will be hosted by Somers Yacht Club, March 6-8, 2021

Pacer membership is necessary for participation in Pacer events. Join the association here:

Further information to come.

Victorian Championships 2020 - St Leonards Yacht Club

The 2020 Victorian Championship will be held at St Leonards Yacht Cub over the labour day long weekend - March 7-9.

Results are available at

Notice of Race is now available. Click HERE

Entry is available here:

Current entries


There are campsites nearby with limited availability. Contact the association: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Pacer Nationals 2019/20 - Mordialloc YC

Results are posted HERE

We are excited to announce that the 2019-20 Pacer National Championships will be held at Mordialloc Yacht Club on Port Phillip Bay, from 28th December, 2019 to 3rd January, 2020. We’re hoping to attract a large contingent of local and interstate sailors to this event. So, if you’re not from Melbourne, now is the time to book some accommodation for the New Years period. It's a vibrant time to be in Melbourne, with plenty of events happening  in the city, on the Mornington Peninsula, and in the Yarra Valley. .

Enter at

Documents now available:

Notice of Race





Videos has a channel on YouTube.


The Legacy

The mighty Puffin Pacer was first introduced to Australia in the late 1960’s. Designed by Jack Holt in the UK many boats were made in Australia from timber kits utilising the stitch and glue process. The UK Pacer Association allocated numbers in the 600’s to 800’s range for boats in Australia. In the early 70’s Anchor Marine provided the first fibreglass boats. These came with wooden gunwales, mast gates and thwarts. Smackwater began making fibreglass boats in the 80’s down at Carrum. They were good boats but where structurally a little weak and maybe not as stiff as was needed as they were made with a lot of chopped matt fibreglass. Many timber boats are still with us today, boats made by Graham Downey and Alex Magner are still in use and sailing well.

Pacer Nationals 2018/19 - Paynesville

Latest results can be found here:

Congratulations to the Australian champions Ross Martin and Natasha Martin, winners on a countback.

Junior champions are Lauren Kemp and Eliza Kemp.

Winners of the non-spinnaker division are Ethen Perry and Archer Manuell.

Junior / Senior champions are Jessica Viza and Anne Vize.

Masters champion is Paul Taig with Emma Taig.

Victorian Championships 2018 - Mount Martha Yacht Club

The 2018 Victorian Pacer Championship held March 10 - 12, 2018 at Mount Martha Yacht Club.

Final results: Final Results

Congratulations to the winners Paul and Judy Hardie.

Thanks to our sponsors:

OTB Marine


Notice of race is here: Mt Martha Yacht Club State Championship 2018 Notice of Race

 Enter at


 States 2018 flyer



Pacer Nationals Coming to Sydney

Chances are high that when you first learnt to sail, it was in a Pacer. Many of us belong to sailing clubs where Pacers are used as a training boat.   As they begin to race, novice sailors might form a skipper/crew team together or perhaps an experienced sailor/instructor might sail with the trainee. It is often at club level that the racing bug is born!

Do you still sail a Pacer? Or do you consider yourself too old, too young, too fast, too slow, too competitive, too inexperienced, too cool or not cool enough?

The Pacer is a double handed 'Off the Beach' dinghy and is the boat of choice for both Learn to Sail and Teams Racing throughout Australia. Victoria and Queensland have active state associations that hold regattas in their respective states. Pacer fleets are also strengthening in NSW. It is likely that a state body will be formed in the next few months. Under the stewardship of the national body, Pacer Australia, Pacer NSW will organise regattas at state level and continue to build the Pacer class in NSW.

Pacer Australia is keen to encourage stronger ties with schools and youth sailing teams as well as club sailors. Many coaches and sailors may not be aware that the National Pacer and Pacer Pursuit Championships are held annually. All Pacer sailors are made very welcome. The National Championships offer a fantastic opportunity for teams sailors to participate in a national competition with a fleet racing format. Now is the time to plan for the Nationals, which are coming to Sydney in January, 2018!

So who is your typical Pacer sailor? Is it Darren? He sails with young trainees from his local club. Or could it be Nicole? She usually sails with Jonathan, when he isn't racing in his own Pacer. That's when she teams up with Jane or Silke. Judy and Paul have been married a long time but have been sailing a Pacer for even longer. They prefer strong wind conditions and only argue when it gets below 10 knots. Mun is promiscuous. He sails with a different person every week. Ian prefers the higher power of his Pacer Pursuit, with crew Conor on trapeze. Sarah and Will enjoy teams racing with their school. Sea Scout Grace likes to sail with Rachel, although they don't use a spinnaker. Orla and Eamon are siblings who take turns at being skipper or crew. They are past National Pacer Youth Champions.

Pacers provide exciting racing for a rich combination of age and ability levels, from young children to teens to those pushing seventy. There are plenty of challenges, especially when racing with a spinnaker in a stiff breeze.

Highly competitive sailors from other classes frequently return to Pacers to sail with their family. These teams seem to have the perfect balance of lightness of weight and depth of experience to get the boat flying. Peter and his children Lauren and Eliza are the current National and Victorian State Champions. A sailor who can overtake them will be competitive in any class.

On the other hand, some of us started sailing in Pacers and would no sooner sail another class than give away a beloved pet. The sailors of these hardy, stable, beautiful and seaworthy crafts can be intensely loyal to our class. This group of die-hards is highly social and love nothing more than welcoming newbies and catching up with old friends from previous Nationals. They have quite a few sailing smarts to share.

The next National Pacer and Pacer Pursuit Championship will take place in Woolahra, Sydney Harbour, next January. It's during summer holiday time, so will combine well with an interstate or local holiday. There is always plenty of time for exploration and socialisation with non-sailing family members and other Pacer sailors. Those new to racing will discover the thrill of competing in a fleet of both serious and not-so-serious sailors. The Pacer community sails competitively but is also very inclusive and generous in sharing tactical, sailing and rigging tips with others who are wanting advice on the best ways to catch the faster sailors in the fleet.

You don't have to qualify for entry in the Pacer National Championships. You don't even need to own a Pacer, as some will be available to hire. There is a Green Fleet division for those new to sailing, a Youth division, a Masters division and a Non-Spinnaker division. All you need is a wish to enjoy competitive and friendly racing on the beautiful waters of Sydney Harbour.

We know there are lots of Pacer sailors in Sydney and around Australia who would love to join us. Tell everyone you know and come along and join us.  

Pacer and Pacer Pursuit National Championships. Woolahra Yacht Club, Sydney. 2-6 January, 2018. More information and accommodation options are available on Please note that Sydney accommodation should be arranged well in advance.

[As published in Australian Sailing June/July 2017]