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Sailing on Saturday with WM Nixon
Blast from the past…..Northele starring in the Crosshaven Classics Regatta 2009 on the cover of Afloat Magazine March/April 2010. At the time, Anthony and Sally O'Leary had already quietly decided that they hoped to own her one day, but the family had another decade of successful competitive sailing at home and abroad before they made the move
When Anthony and Sally O'Leary of Crosshaven quietly decided that some day they were going to make the classic 50ft 1949-vintage sloop Northele a member of their extended sailing family, it was a sort of Breakfast Epiphany. The boat had…
The National Yacht Club today. At the heart of the modern complex is the building constructed as the Kingstown Royal Harbour Boat Club 150 years ago
Most yacht and sailing clubs begin with a group of like-minded friends sailing and racing - sometimes together, sometimes against each other - until activity reaches such a level that some sort of organisation is required, and in time it's…
Catherine Hunt and Pamela Lee of Greystones aboard Iarracht Maigeanta. Their new double-handed Round Ireland Time has added significance when set in the full historic framework
The Round Ireland Sailing Record is a bit like Ireland herself. It's complicated by Partition. It's a case of there being not one but two sets of records, two elephants in two rooms. But for interested parties, the relevant elephant…
Up, up and away….Jeremy Bayou's Charal was one of the first of the latest generation of IMOCA 60s to be launched, thereby avoiding many of the production delays which the pandemic caused for campaigns on a later time-scale. Having won the Vendee Artique Race in July, Charal is seen as a leading contender in the 24,000 mile Vendee Globe Race, which starts tomorrow at Les Sables d'Olonne
Make no splash, leave no trace, tame the turbulence, and THEN JUST FLY…..That's the thinking which underlines the very latest manifestations of the IMOCA 60, which are expected to lead the fleet of 33 sailing machines in the 24,296 miles…
Thanks to main support sponsors Advens Cybersecurity, Thomas Ruyant's new Marcus Hutchinson-managed Vendee Globe-entered IMOCA 60 is providing major publicity for the not-for-profit social organisation LinkedOut
Marcus Hutchinson has been having a good Autumn in his role as a sort of benign marine Svengali with an Irish flavour, operating largely behind the scenes at the sharp end of the French big-time offshore racing scene. But it…
Silver Service in a different world….back in the still relatively carefree times of early January, just for a spot of fun Olympic Sailing Silver Medallist Annalise Murphy took Olympic 5,000 Metre Silver Medallist Sonia O'Sullivan for a sail in the Laser in Melbourne
The process of intense training, endlessly learning, and continually practising in the hope and expectation of improving your game does not come easily to many Irish sailors. The fact of our being an island nation, and having a very long…
Handsome is as handsome does – the uncompromising Lombard 45 Pata Negra – used for several Howth YC successes – has been chartered by ISORA's Andrew Hall of Pwllheli for today's (Saturday) 41st Rolex Middle Sea Race from Malta
People have been unobtrusively getting on with sailing in many places during the pandemic, determinedly maintaining social distance afloat and ashore, reducing their interaction with outsiders to such a minimum it's almost non-existent, and doing it all thoughtfully, with properly-located…
"Your Health Treatment Starts Here". Paul Tingle's Alpaca sailing in bracing conditions in the first race of the Royal Cork Yacht Club's truncated 2020 season on Thursday 9th July. Until the COVID-19 shutters came down again this week, sailors throughout Ireland had come to cherish their limited local sailing as a really positive health benefit in building up natural resistance to coronavirus
"I just want to go sailing and racing. Until we had to slam down the shutters this week, I didn't really realise just how much the ordinary club sailing programme and a special local annual series like the Autumn League…
 The spirit of September 2020, as the Water Wags have their last race of the season in Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the evening of Wednesday, September 16th. Tim & Marcus Pearson's Little Tern gets to the finish line just ahead of Ian & Judith Malcolm's Barbara, with Martin & Triona Byrne's Hild making in on port to finish third
Thank you, September. You did your best to provide us with good sailing as ingenious moves were implemented to run modified pandemic-compliant events which gave proper meaning to the season, and to our sailing traditions. It was neither your fault…
Tom Dolan on Smurfit Kappa maintaining concentration, keeping the boat moving, staying on the optimum course……the Figaro Solitaire 2020 was a massive test of focus and wakefulness for the lone sailors over hundreds of miles in light winds
When solo star Tom Dolan was told last Saturday evening that the exceptionally calm condition of the inner Bay of Biscay meant that the proposed final fourth stage of the Solitaire du Figaro 2020 would not be sailed, among the…
While her wardrobe is not yet complete, John B Kearney's 1925-built Mavis - restored by Ron Hawkins in Maine - has enough cloth available to take her first new steps under sail in September 2020
In this time of increasing uncertainty with its frustration of sailing plans, we find reassurance in soothing thoughts of well-restored or new-built classic boats. And traditional vessels in handsome and workmanlike order have the same heartening effect. We've an instinct…
The Goodbody family of Dun Laoghaire have been remarkably successful in making the best of 2020's shortened season. On Thursday evening their J/109 White Mischief emerged as overall winner of Cruisers 1 in the DBSC Thursday Series under both IRC and ECHO, and they also were champion J/109. Meanwhile in August, Richard Goodbody and his 16-year-old son Max crewed aboard Chris & Patanne Power-Smith's J/122 Aurelia to take line honours and third overall in the Fastnet 450
Even Dublin Bay Sailing Club, with all its remarkable expertise and sheer firepower, has been unable to slow Planet Earth in its daily rotation, let alone alter the steady changing of our little solar satellite's endlessly shifting tilt as it…
Viking Marine sailor helms modern Viking ship – Ian O'Meara of Dun Laoghaire's Viking Marine steering the successful Volvo 70 Ericsson.
The only way to face the future is with optimism, energy and enthusiasm. That's the philosophy of Ian O'Meara and the team at Viking Marine in Dun Laoghaire, as they implement the re-shaping of a business which is noted for…
After weeks of preparation to be COVID-compliant, Lough Ree Yacht Club's Quarter Millennial Regatta is finally under way with 25 Shannon One Designs and other classes racing
"The seas is for sailing and the lakes are for fishing". Quite. It's a gross over-simplification to put any analysis of the Irish public perception of our use of waterways into such crude terms. But we didn't get where we…
Denis & Annamarie Murphy's Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo (Royal Cork YC) racing off Dublin Bay, which this weekend sees her start as one of the favourites in the 270-mile Fastnet 450 Race.
The Fastnet 450 starts today (Saturday) at 1300hrs in Dublin Bay, and sends the fleet on a 270-mile course southward, taking them all the way to the Fastnet Rock before finishing back at the entrance to Cork Harbour, clear of…
"Warriors About to Go into Battle". This properly serious-looking foursome from the cream of the 1982 Irish Laser Class, with their mentor Ron Huthcieson on right, are (left to right) Simon Brien (later multiple Edinburgh Cup winner and other majors), multiple champion Charlie Taylor (still at it in the Laser Masters), Olympian Bill O'Hara, and Dave Cummins, All-Ireland Helmsmans Champion 1981 and 1982
The retirement this month of noted northern sailor Ron Hutchieson as Chairman of Irish Sailing's Racing Rules & Appeals Board brings to a conclusion an exceptionally long period of devoted and very effective honorary official service to sailing and its…

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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