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Sailing on Saturday with WM Nixon
With their Centenary next year, the Shannon One Designs celebrate a unique boat and successful class which came into being at a time when Ireland was in a state of turmoil
In Ireland, we're living through the Decade of Centenaries in terms of marking conflict-laden historical events and major national happenings ashore. So it says everything about the blissful sense of having a world of our own in sailing that in…
The The 1938-founded Ballyholme Bay Class when still going strong in 1970, with Bobby Swanston's Eileen leading from Frank Humphreys' Penelope. While the class in Bangor is now largely defunct, an active sister-ship has emerged in Isle of Wight ownership
Coming as it does from David Tasker - an Afloat.ie reader from the Isle of Wight - a typically Autumnal query received a day or two ago from this new owner of an interesting and much-loved vintage boat is one…
The Helmsman's Championship of October 1970 at Crosshaven rounded out the Quarter Millennial Celebrations of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, and the six finalists were (left to right) Michael O'Rahilly (Dun Laoghaire), the late Somers Payne (Crosshaven), Harold Cudmore Jnr (Crosshaven), Owen Delany (Dun Laoghaire), Maurice Butler (Ballyholme) and the winner, Robert Dix of Malahide – at 17 in 1970, still the youngest-ever winner
We've been waiting a year to use this header photo which – owing to a certain confusion in the filing of thousands of photographic negs and images – has had to be scanned from the November 1970 issue of Irish…
What was it with last weekend's weather? As the pandemic restrictions against activity afloat are ever-so-gradually eased, not only was there some sort of sailing going on almost everywhere, but the mood was that of late August. Yet it was…
The cause of much joy – and grief. The schooner America wins the race around the Isle of Wight 170 years ago
Let's face it, Ireland bidding to host the 37th America's Cup in 2024 – or more accurately, Cork's campaigning to stage it – has all the makings of a handy TV drama. As it has to be a national investment,…
Frank Whelan's J/122 from Greystones SC had had a fine season, winning Calves Week in August, and then following it in September with a clean sweep and the overall win in the ICRA Nats. The J/122 – first produced in 2008 – is no longer built, yet Kaya is frontline competitive with the owner-skipper supported by crew-leader Patrick Barnwell, and with Mark Mansfield as tactician for the ICRA Nats
You might say it's unnatural. Normally at this time of year, we'll be talking of the evenings and the season closing in together to facilitate a gently easing pace. But last weekend in Cork, they seemed to have so many…
If you want some colour in Dublin Bay, bring your own……Conor Phelan's Ker 37 Jump Juice from Cork, fresh out of A&E @ The Noonan Clinic, provided a bright spot yesterday on a grey day in a grey bay.
Let's hear it for coloured sails. On a grey day on a grey bay, every last spinnaker or asymmetric or gennaker or whatever with a splash of colour was more than welcome yesterday morning (Friday) to help bring the grimly…
The J/109 Jelly Baby (Brian Jones) personifies the spirit of Cork sailing, which this weekend is being celebrated with the two-day AIB RCYC Tricentenary+1 Regatta
There's something about the last weekend of August which makes it a specially pivotal time in Irish sailing. And in this weird pandemic-emergence period, there's an extra sense of individually-tailored controlled events being added to the programme to meet immediate…
Two Commodores – Jonathan Nicholson (DBSC Commodore 2018-2020) and Ann Kirwan (DBSC Commodore 2020-2022) at this week's presentation of the Mitsubishi Motors
Dublin Bay Sailing Club is the current Mitsubishi Motors Sailing Club of the Year, and yesterday (Friday), their Commodore Ann Kirwan took over custodianship of the well-travelled ship's wheel trophy. It dates back to 1979 in a unique and informal…
The Lads with the Ladies Cup. The Bicentenary of Sligo YC's Ladies Cup – the world's oldest perpetual sailing trophy - was celebrated with it being the award for the J/24 Nationals 2021 last weekend, and the winning boat Headcase – the defending champion – is an all-Ireland project, with (left to right) Cillian Dickson (Lough Ree YC & Howth YC), Sam O'Byrne (Howth YC) Louis Mulloy (Mayo SC) with the famous Cup, Marcus Ryan, and Ryan Glynn
The Irish weather is no respecter of history, and sailing history in particular. Apart from the fact that it regularly appears to break meteorological records with an insouciant disregard for their significance and the patient effort that our ancestors put…
Fifty years ago to the day, Jack MacKeown's S&S 34 Korsar (RStGYC, sailed by John Bourke) is seen from Ronnie Wayte's Hustler 35 Setanta of Skerries as they duel their way westward into the Needles Channel in the early stages of the 1971 Fastnet Race, with the great Ted Turner's 12 Metre American Eagle thundering through with a performance which will take line honours and set a new course record
Time was when doing the Fastnet Race seemed a natural part of sailing life. The world was young, yet we'd sufficient maturity (no sniggering at the back, please) to appreciate the full meaning of the experience as a uniquely significant…
Home again. After an absence of 35 years - and all of 116 years after she first sailed here - the restored Dublin Bay 21 Naneen sails past Dun Laoghaire's East Pier lighthouse with a 21-gun salute
There's something about the way that Steve Morris and his boat-building team in Kilrush are restoring the 1903-vintage Dublin Bay 21s that speaks to people with only a vague notion of the sea and sailing. The class association circled around…
The mixed tapestry of Irish sailing – Olympians Finn Lynch and Annalise Murphy winning a race in Dun Laoghaire in a classic Dublin Bay Water Wag
The start of the Sailing Olympics tomorrow (Sunday) at Enoshima, fifty kilometres from central Tokyo, may seem to be the beginning of a boat event about as different as humanly possible from the staging next Friday (July 30th) of an…
Glen Class OD revelling in Dublin Bay sailing. Dating from 1947, the class now show the signs of successfully emerging from limbo into classic status
The cherished local One-Design classes of Ireland have never been more relevant than they are now, in these crazy times of soaring-graph numbers when local is good. The expectation of staying local, while making do with fairly modest socialising and…
Was your journey really necessary?
It has been said here before, but it's worth saying again – on Thursday evenings in normal times in summer, the Dublin Bay Sailing Club programme is so popular that the fleet out racing would be considered a splendid turnout…
Serious picture. The new billboard posting on Howth YC's gable wall carries the hopes of a large community
It's a serious-looking big poster that they've had newly-displayed for the past three days on Howth Yacht Club's gable wall. But then, the prospect of Rob Dickson of Howth and Sean Waddilove of Skerries representing Ireland in the Tokyo Olympics…

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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