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Sailing on Saturday with WM Nixon
Home-from-home. Hoteliers John & Gwen Brennan took their Redbay Stormforce 1450 Dromquinna to Brittany, expecting to book into a hotel now and again, yet they spent every night on board in complete comfort. Thanks to John’s skills in manoeuvring, here at Saint-Marine in Benodet they have managed to get berthed beside the smaller craft with a minimal walk to the marina bridge
The Kenmare River where Kerry verges into Cork is one of Ireland’s cruising gems – it’s pure gold and then some. But we weren’t exactly cruising when the Nixon Tribe descended on the area precisely a year ago for a…
GP14s racing at Sutton DC, the class and venue for the new-look Champions’ Cup on October 8th & 9th
The Helmsman’s Championship? Crazy name. Surely it should at least have been The Helmsmen’s Championship? Yet in its quirkiness, it achieved brand recognition to die for. Everyone knew what it meant, so much so it could even be shortened to…
Some Irish coastal towns almost ignore it. Others simply face it. But Kinsale embraces the sea
Where other Irish harbours face the sea, Kinsale embraces it. And this generous geographical reality helps to provide a genuine sense of community interaction when any initiative at the hospitable south Cork port is put together to help get young…
Putting the “sport” into Sportsboat…..SB20s revelling in a real breeze as other boats scuttle back to port
In 2002, the ingenious Laser SB3 was unleashed on an unsuspecting world by Performance Sailcraft as one of several innovative craft that enabled the leading Laser builders to offer loyal Laser sailors – already in their several thousands with the…
A global phenomenon? The icon of an international nautical cult? The J/24 is all that and more
The International J/24 European Championship getting under way this weekend in Howth leads inevitably to thoughts of a special drama afloat two months ago. The crunch finish period of the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race 2022 at Wicklow on Friday,…
When Irish sailing conditions are good, they’re very good indeed. Aboard the successful J/99 Snapshot during the Fastnet Race in the recent Calves Week at Schull, with Des Flood on the trim, Richie Evans on the helm, and Mike Evans keeping things in order
So where are they? The hurricanes, we mean. Or more accurately, the “decaying tropical storms” which occasionally make their ominous and often unpredictable way towards Ireland as the Summer progresses and morphs into Autumn. For as it happens, back in…
A heart-stirring sight – Grace O’Malley under full sail
In recent days, we’ve seen celebrations honouring the super-star young sailors who have brought major international sailing medals of gold, silver and bronze home to Ireland and their rightfully-delighted families and cheering local clubs. These are sailors whose special talent…
HYC Commodore Paddy Judge welcomes the Howth squad home from the ILCA6 Youth Worlds in Texas with (left to right) Luke Turvey, Eve McMahon (Gold) and Rocco Wright (Bronze in U17). A carnival-style welcome home celebration will be staged at Howth YC next Friday (August 12th), starting 4 pm
In some ways, Howth Yacht Club has it easy. It isn’t hampered by being the senior sailing centre in Ireland. That particular burden has been carried since 1720 by Cork. Nor is it sailing’s premier centre. Since the active first…
The Charge of the Centenary Brigade – Shannon ODs (of all ages) in full flight on Lough Ree with (left to right): 99 (Peter Mulvihill, built 1975); 37 Kiwi (Mags Delany, 1923), 176 (Harman Murtagh Jnr, 2008); 138 (DJ Algeo, 1987); 142 Frank Guy (overall winner LRYC SOD Centenary Regatta and Combined LDYC/LRYC Centenary Regattas, 1990); 71 (Oonagh Reid, 1960); 73 (David Dickson (6th LRYC SOD Centenary Regatta, 1961); 151 (Graham McMullin 5th LRYC Cent. Reg, 1995); 155 (Cathal Breen, 4th LRYC and 2nd Combined LDYC/LRYC Regattas, 1999); 32 (Mary Cox (formally Syd Shine's boat) built 1922
The unique 18ft Shannon One-Designs have lived through some decidedly mixed times in Ireland during their hundred years of setting the sailing pace on the great lakes of our lordly river. And the two special Centenary Regattas at their main…
The 1977 Ron Holland 39ft classic Imp, restored this year by George Radley of Cobh. Imp was winner of the Schull Centenary Regatta in 1984, when owned and skippered by Michael O’Leary of Din Laoghaire, and will be racing in Schull again in August in what is now Calves Week
The pace of this first full post-pandemic sailing season in Ireland has been such that when we reached what might be thought of as the mid-point around July 15th, there was a real need for a rapid re-charging of the…
The sweet smile of success. Eve McMahon afloat at The Hague after another win
Time was when the Hill of Howth was the only part of Ireland above water. Admittedly that was about 600 millions years ago, and our rare old Howth rocks were down around where Australia is now located before they took…
Cork has a long history of regatta hospitality at the top level. It’s 1896, and the Royal Cutter Britannia with Willie Jameson of Dublin as Sailing Master is seen here chasing the giant Fife thoroughbred Ailsa down Cork Harbour. Yet at the same time, smaller more accessible craft were beginning to take part – the RCYC Regatta of 1896 was the first time that the new Cork Harbour One Designs appeared as a class
It may seem a bit odd to talk about Volvo Cork Week 2022, which gets going this weekend, as being “the exuberant expression of the spirit of Cork sailing”, when any detailed study of the hugely-varied entry list eloquently affirms…
49er Olympians Rob Dickson & Sean Waddilove gave their June programme a flying start with Silver at the Hempel World Cup Allianz Regatta in The Netherlands
With the almost melancholy passing of Mid-Summer’s Day, the sailing season is taking on a different look, a distinctly-changed mood and flavour. For in normal times – if anyone can remember when you could talk of such things – there…
A long way from the Swiss lakes…..SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race Line Honours Winner Kuka3 (Franco Niggeler, Switzerland) is a Cookson 50, a classic Bruce Farr design which has been at the forefront of the top offshore races for twenty years
We can only be wishing this morning that the traditional-type low pressure areas which march across the Atlantic from New England towards Old Ireland could take aboard some of the strict Sabbatarianism of the regions they’re passing through in their…
The Round Ireland Start of 2014. It was the last time a Volvo 70 raced, but there are two taking part today. Overall winner was the Sydney 36 Tanit (right foreground) navigated by Richie Fearon of Lough Swilly YC, who races this year on the Grand Soleil 44 Samatom
With the four year pandemic-imposed gap since the previous edition in 2018, today’s restoration of the biennial SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race from Wicklow has been attracting an unprecedented amount of countdown attention and discussion. There has been an across-the-board…
The unique pre-start scene in Wicklow Harbour, with the classic coastline looking its picture-postcard best
After 42 years of the 704 miles biennial Round Ireland Yacht Race from Wicklow, there must be hundreds – indeed, possibly thousands - of sailors throughout Ireland and beyond who will be pausing thoughtfully from time to time during the…

William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

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