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Sailing on Saturday with WM Nixon
(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Afloat.ie’s W M Nixon is usually quick off the mark about firing in historical references on just about any sailing topic.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…
Something to celebrate. Dun Laoghaire Harbour’s glory days and the Bicentenary of the harbour will be honoured with a large Classics Section in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta from July 6th-9th. This photo is believed to be from 1900, and it shows the Viceroy Lord Dudley crossing the in-harbour finish line in his new Dublin Bay 25 Fodhla close ahead of other DBSC 25s, and in company with the first of the new-style Water Wags.
W M Nixon
The notion that the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2017 from July 6th to 9th should include a significant Classics and Old Gaffers element to mark the Bicentenary of this great harbour surfaced only relatively recently. Yet this week a high-powered…
How international can you get? Lineup of several nations in the KBC Laser Worlds at Dun Laoghaire, where Ewan MacMahon won the Silver Medal.
W M Nixon
Irish sailing may have gone very public and centre stage in the national consciousness in August 2016, when our Olympic squad performed with distinction. But all round the coast and on the lakes, and at major venues overseas, sailing events…
The “Suburban Seafest”. Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta from 6th to 9th July 2017 will be providing racing in the bay for 30 classes.
W M Nixon
The only non-elitist thing about the Olympic Games is the fact that all countries – however large or small – are treated equally. A small country like Ireland is entitled to exactly the same number of places in competition as…
The moment when a nation held its breath. Annalise Murphy in her Laser Radial approaches the finish line to clinch the Silver Medal in the Olympic Games at Rio, Tuesday August 16th 2016
W M Nixon
It’s indicative of the pace of Irish sailing in 2016 that for anyone taking an overview, it takes a bit of an effort to remember what the weather was like for much of our spring, summer and autumn. Admittedly, here…
The restored Dublin Bay 24 Periwinkle, currently based in southern Brittany, would be a star turn in the Classic Yachts section in next year’s Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta if she could be persuaded to return for the celebration of the Bicentenary of Dun Laoghaire Harbour in 2017.
W M Nixon
It could be argued that Dun Laoghaire Harbour has never been completely finished writes W M Nixon. To varying degrees, it has always been Work in Progress. Construction started in 1817, yet it was maybe all of twenty or even…
The complete package. DBSC Commodore Chris Moore racing his J/109 Powder Monkey in Calves Week at Schull. Despite her undistorted hull shape and comfortable accommodation, the J/109 frequently beats all comers in open IRC racing, while also now offering the possibility of viable One Design racing in Dublin Bay
W M Nixon
The J/109 has proven herself to be well suited for sailing in Irish waters for several years, achieving major successes in the main offshore races and championships allied to starring roles in top regattas. Yet it is only now that…
Artist Brian Byrnes and Maedhbh Murphy, archivist of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, with the artist’s new painting envisaging how Sir Thomas Myles’ Chotah, one of the Irish gun-running vessels of 1914, might have looked with a steam-driven auxiliary engine fitted. Sir Thomas Myles was President of the RCSI from 1900 to 1902
W M Nixon
The Erskine Childers-led Howth and Wicklow gun-runnings of July 1914 took place so quickly and efficiently that those involved ashore only had fleeting glimpses of the boats involved. Although Erskine & Molly Childers’ historic ketch Asgard is now conserved and…
 Sailing should be fun….49er President Marcus Spillane and ISA Coach Rory Fitzpatrick showing what a 49er can do
W M Nixon
Is it a bird, is it a plane? The International 49er Skiff is twenty years old in 2016, and it has been part of the Olympics since 2000. Yet for most sailors it is still as modern and bewildering as…
In control. Anthony O’Leary powering along to his convincing victory in the All Ireland Championship 2015 in Dublin Bay
W M Nixon
It has been a golden if sometimes very thin thread running through Irish sailing continuously since 1947. Despite the vagaries of the Irish weather and the increasing complexity of our sailing programme, absolutely every season for sixty-nine years now we’ve…
On the mark – Ewan McMahon. His Silver Medal in the KBC Laser Radial Worlds in Dublin Bay was Irish Youth Sailing’s supreme achievement in 2016
W M Nixon
Time was when youth sailing and junior sport generally were dealt with very cautiously by mainstream media, if at all writes W M Nixon. Apart from the need to provide space for young people to develop their personalities and sporting…
One of cruising’s many pleasures is the unrivalled opportunity it provides to enjoy island and coastal wildlife without fuss. These puffins were seen on the Treshnish Islands west of Mull during the cruise by the Sun Fizz 40 Mystique of Malahide (Robert & Rose Michael) to the west coast of Scotland in July 2016
W M Nixon
While today’s galaxy of our top international sailing talent draws in its stars from many parts of Ireland to focus their energies and campaigns through a relatively few major centres, there was a time when one charming little estuary village…

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