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Sailing on Saturday with WM Nixon
David Lovegrove happy in his work as a Race Officer
W M Nixon
David Lovegrove, President of the Irish Sailing Association, steps down in a week’s time. The conclusion of his three year period in office at the up-coming ISA Annual General Meeting relieves him of what is surely the most demanding voluntary…
Busy men. Mark Mansfield on the wheel and Maurice “Prof” O’Connell optimising the trim on Dave Cullen’s J/109 Euro Car Parks at the start of the Volvo Round Ireland Race 2016, in which they won their class - the only Irish boat to do so. While the boat - in her other life, she’s the Kelly family’s Storm - has been an ICRA “Boat of the Year” in past seasons, at last weekend’s ICRA National Conference in Limerick, Mark Mansfield was present to collect the “Boat of the Year” award on behalf of John Maybury’s J/109 Joker 2, his regular mount. And the Prof was there to tell us about winning the Melges 24 Worlds in Conor Clarke’s Melges 24 Embarr
W M Nixon
On the other hand, ICRA could equally mean 'Ireland’s Cool Runnings Assembly'. In the week in which the Travelling Community was granted Ethnic Minority Status, W M Nixon finds himself among two groups which might be equally deserving of such…
Glory days. Asgard II at her best in a Tall Ships Parade in the Baltic in company with the Russian government’s Shtandart, a replica of a warship built by Peter the Great in the early 1700s.
W M Nixon
As we move into March each year, throughout Ireland Tall Ships enthusiasts will wistfully recall that it was in March 1981 that Ireland finally commissioned her own Tall Ship, a national flagship worthy of our aspirations, the Jack Tyrrell-designed and…
This famous 1834 aquatint by J Lyons of a schooner from Bermuda sailing in the Caribbean shows that the straightforward Bermudan rig was already old hat when it caught on elsewhere in the 20th Century
W M Nixon
The 35th staging of international races for the 176-year-old America’s Cup is rising rapidly up the agenda. The opening jousts for challengers begin on 26th May 2017 at the first-time-selected venue of Bermuda, and the cup series itself starts there…
How about this for the Editorial Office? The 55ft steel cutter Annabelle J is cruised extensively by incoming Irish Cruising Club Annual Honorary Editor Maire Breathnach of Dungarvan and her husband Andrew Wilkes
W M Nixon
Cruising is the side of sailing which sometimes finds it difficult to make its voice heard. Its essence is in the quiet enjoyment of seafaring and the peace of secluded anchorages. Unlike the absolute clarity of racing results, which create…
The 68ft Nimmo, built by Dan Mill in Galway in a four year project eight years ago, is a reminder that there’s a lot more to sailing in the west than the traditional craft of the Irish Atlantic seaboard
W M Nixon
There is really no reasonable comparison between Ireland’s eastern and western seaboards writes W M Nixon. The east coast is quite densely populated, and while it has some areas of impressive scenery, in general it lacks the majestic inlets and…
Jack O’Keeffe leads a race of Drascombes around the Fastnet Rock
W M Nixon
With some visionary thinking by Cathy MacAleavey in her capacity as chief of the sub-committee organising the Classics, Traditional and Old Gaffers section of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta & Harbour Bicentenary Festival from June 6th to 9th, the scope…
Pictured (L-R) last night at the Volvo Sailing Awards at the RDS, Dublin were Youth Sailor of the Year Nominee Aoife Hopkins, Winner Ewan MacMahon, Sailor of the Year Annalise Murphy,  Youth Sailor of the Year Nominee Sophie Crosbie and Youth Sailor of the Year Nominee Nicole Hemeryck. Scroll down for photo gallery
W M Nixon
Although it was no surprise when Annalise Murphy was enthusiastically acclaimed as the Volvo Sailor of the Year 2016 last night in Dublin, the ceremonies around her “coronation” were a reminder that our boat sports and amateur sailors are great…
Hal Sisk aboard the newly-restored 1894-built Peggy Bawn in Dublin Bay in 2005, with the square-rigger Jeanie Johnston in the background. Peggy Bawn will be one of the stars of the Classics & Traditional section in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2017, celebrating the Bicentenary of the harbour. Photo: W M Nixon
W M Nixon
There could well be as many opinions as to what constitutes a true classic or traditional boat as there are owners of these often highly individual craft. As part of the celebration of the Bicentenary of Dun Laoghaire Harbour –…
Alex Thomson – who spent five years of his childhood in Crosshaven – at full speed in Hugo Boss. He is expected to finish the Vendee Globe next Wednesday night/Thursday morning in Les Sables d’Olonne, and is challenging Banque Populaire VIII for the lead despite losing the starboard foil – seen activated in this photo – at an early stage of the race.
W M Nixon
Enda O’Coineen may have exited the Vendee Globe in dramatic fashion on New Year’s Day when, as he drolly put it, Kilcullen Voyager stopped stone dead as she zapped into the back of a Southern Ocean wave, but his enormous…
Making the international stage. The start of the Volvo Round Ireland Race 2016 as seen from a typical Wicklow hilltop, with George David’s mighty Rambler 88 dominating the line–up
W M Nixon
Wicklow Sailing Club are best-known as the big-hearted little organisation which keeps the iconic Volvo Round Ireland Race show on the road with such style that it is now one of Europe’s premier events, with a stellar international entry list…
(Top) Bonito as she was in Strangford Lough in 1884 and (above) Bonito as she was in Dun Laoghaire for many years under Roy Starkey’s ownership
W M Nixon
The traditional timing of the London International Boat Show as soon as possible after New Year’s Day may have been shifted about in recent years as the changing dynamics of the European marine industry and the sheer dominance through size…
Battered but unbowed. Enda O Coineen has a rough and ready dry-off in the cramped cabin of Kilcullen Voyager.
W M Nixon
The 72nd Rolex-Sydney-Hobart gets under way on Monday. The Australian ocean classic is rightly regarded as a tough event. Yet in terms of the sailing challenges its poses, it seems to pale into insignificance when set against the Everest of…
The timelessness of it all…..it may be completely artificial, with an almost entirely built waterfront, but for most of us Dun Laoghaire Harbour seems a natural part of the environment
W M Nixon
Afloat.ie’s W M Nixon is usually quick off the mark about firing in historical references on just about any sailing topic. With the Christmas season upon us, we asked him for a report from Dun Laoghaire in 2050, and to…
Getting them introduced to sailing – junior wannabee sailors aboard SailCork’s First 36.7 Holy Grounder
W M Nixon
After decades of expansion, many participant sports which are at the heart of our way of life have in recent years seen the numbers actively involved becoming static at best, and in many cases contracting. This is particularly the case…
Conor O’Brien’s Saoirse as she was in the 1950s under Eric Ruck’s ownership. This eccentric-looking 42ft ketch achieved daily mileages in the Southern Ocean which showed she was something very special
W M Nixon
The process towards re-creating Conor O’Brien’s famous Baltimore–built 42ft ketch Saoirse, in which he gained his place in international sailing’s Hall of Fame with the first circuit of the world by a small vessel south of the great capes in…

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