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Sailing on Saturday with WM Nixon
The vision of sailing as it can be in high summer. Dave Cullen’s blue-hulled Checkmate XV starts to show towards the front of the fleet in the 2015 Half Ton World Classics, which she went on to win. But the story behind the pitch-perfect tune of these top racing machines can usually be found in workshops far from sea and sun.
W M Nixon
The attraction of boats and the sea as a year-round fascination is something which by-passes many people. And even in summer – particularly if it’s a typical Irish summer – you’d sometimes be hard put to explain the appeal of…
Current Blue Water Medallists Tom and Vicky Jackson aboard their much-travelled S&S 40ft sloop Sunstone. Built by McGruer’s in Scotland in 1963 and originally called Deb, Sunstone was for many years known as Dai Mouse III when she was a regular contender with the ISORA fleet in the Irish Sea
W M Nixon
We take it for granted, and it’s always there - whether we like it or not. The good old Irish Sea. But could it be that there’s a new and growing awareness of just how much the Irish Sea can…
The big boys’ game….Antix in fine form in the RORC Easter Challenge 2016. But it was during this event that it became clear the newest generation of the Fast40+ class marked an up-grade in performance, and the amateur crew on the now-veteran Antix will have to focus their efforts with total attention if they’re to be at the races at all.
W M Nixon
It has been confirmed by the Irish Cruiser-Racing Association (ICRA) that it’s extremely unlikely that Ireland will be mounting a defence in July 2016 of the RORC Commodore’s Cup, which we so convincingly won in 2014 with the team of Catapult,…
The magic book. The Princess Royal receiving the special copy of Lord Dufferin’s Letters from High Latitudes from Myles Lindsay, Vice Commodore, at the recent reception in the Royal Ulster YC
W M Nixon
Maybe it’s time and more to see sailing and its story – and particularly the complex history of Irish sailing north and south – in a new light. This year, the historical sailing focus is on Northern Ireland, where the…
She flies…..current Round Ireland Record Holder Musandam-Oman will be on the line for the start of the Volvo Round Ireland Race at Wicklow on June 18th – and this time Damian Foxall will be on board.
W M Nixon
In precisely eight weeks’ time from this morning, adrenalin levels around Wicklow Harbour on Saturday June 18th will be rising as the final countdown begins to the start of the 19th Round Ireland Race. With new sponsorship for Wicklow Sailing…
The beginning of a beautiful friendship – top men Chris Moore of Dublin Bay SC (left) and Philip Sherry of Sherry Fitzgerald at yesterday’s launch of the new sponsorship. Photo: Brendan Fogarty
W M Nixon
The 133rd annual racing programme of Dublin Bay Sailing Club was unveiled yesterday in the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, and it brought the announcement by incoming Commodore Chris Moore that the club had secured a strong three year…
The Ship’s Wheel finds its new home for 2016. At the Mitsubishi Motors “Sailing Club of the Year” presentation to the Royal Irish Yacht Club this week were (left to right) David Lovegrove (President Irish Sailing Association), Afloat.ie’s W M Nixon (adjudicator), James Horan (Commodore RIYC), Billy Riordan (Mitsubishi Motors, adjudicator) and Frank Keane (Chairman, Mitsubishi Motors).
W M Nixon
We’re into the last weekend in which the popular figure of James Horan will be making regular appearances on the Dun Laoghaire waterfront, and at national sailing occasions, as Commodore of the Royal Irish Yacht Club. Next week at the…
 Howth Harbour today is a very long way from the place deliberately forgotten in the mid-1800s. Photo:W M Nixon
W M Nixon
This weekend has the Irish Sailing Youth Pathway Championships being staged at Howth, and despite the weather the place is buzzing. From being a harbour abandoned in embarrassment for twenty years in the middle of the 19th Century, the peninsula…
Let’s hear it for Tasmania! The Hobart-registered Reichel Pugh 66 Alive (Philip Turner) has just recorded line honours and a new record in the Rolex RORC China Sea Race
W M Nixon
Sailing forums have seen exchanges in recent days about the relative global coverage of the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s (RORC) measurement system - the International Rating Certificate (IRC) - and the Offshore Racing Congress’s (ORC) Offshore Rating Certificate. Dobbs Davis…
The newly-built Fife-designed Belfast Lough Class I 25ft LWL boats Feltie (George Clark) and Halcyone (Bertie Brown) in action in Clyde Fortnight 1897, just four weeks after they’d had their maiden race on May 29th at Carrickfergus, where they were built by John Hilditch. In a classic Firth of Clyde squall, Feltie is still hanging on to her topsail, though Halcyone under her lowers seems to be providing her robust helmsman with quite enough to be thinking about as he shapes up for a gybe. Belfast Lough Class I made such an impressive debut in Scotland in 1897 that a lengthy report of their success were carried in the New York Times. Photo: Courtesy RUYC
W M Nixon
The development of organised sailing in Ireland seems to have spread northeastwards from the south and southwest coasts. Although the great chieftain Hugh Maguire had a fleet of pleasure vessels including sailing craft on Lough Erne in County Fermanagh in…
The new Commodore’s racing machine. Incoming ICRA Commodore Simon McGibney’s family-owned Dehler 101 Dis-a-ray in action in the ICRA Nationals in Tralee in 2013. Dis-a-ray is a good example of the competitive cruiser-racers - not all necessarily in the first flush of youth - which continue to get first class racing both with ICRA’s IRC Divisions, and with its impressive Progressive ECHO Handicap System.
W M Nixon
The Irish Cruiser-Racer Association (ICRA) is a unique organisation. “Run by sailors for sailors”, it is nevertheless a very land-centric administrative body whose only manifestation afloat as a group with its own identity is seen at the organisation of the…
A glorious debut. Even the cheapest of printing and forgetting to put the year in the cover date for the magazine failed to lessen the fabulous impact made by Moonduster on Irish sailing in May 1981
W M Nixon
This week’s sad video on Afloat.ie about the dilapidated and deteriorating condition of the late Denis Doyle of Cork’s very special Frers 51 Moonduster in northern Norway has led to a flurry of communication on social media, and all sorts…
W M Nixon
Last Saturday’s Irish Sailing Association National Cruising Conference, sponsored by Union Chandlery with full organisational support from the Cruising Association of Ireland and the enthusiastic hospitality of Howth Yacht Club, was able to put through a very complete day-long programme…
W M Nixon
With last night’s Irish Cruising Club Annual General Meeting & Prize-Giving hosted at Howth Yacht Club, and this morning’s day-long ISA Cruising Conference at the same venue, centre stage has been taken by the silent majority – the large but…
W M Nixon
You’ll have glimpsed the photo gallery and heard the reports of the International Fireball Dinghy Class 50th Anniversary Irish Reunion last Saturday night in the Royal St George YC in Dun Laoghaire. Fifty years, by George……Most sailing folk still think…
W M Nixon
The Irish Sailing Association Annual Awards ceremony undoubtedly conveyed three clearcut messages. The first is that, in global sailing terms, we’re a wet and breezy little island which nevertheless punches way above our weight. The second is that we live…

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