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Sailing on Saturday with WM Nixon
The Swiss entry Team Work (Justine Mettraux and Gwenola Gahinet) showing the new Figaro 3’s foiling potential during the current Sardinha Cup series. A non-foiling version of the boat is being proposed as an economical possibility for the new Olympic Offshore Class. Meanwhile, the new fleet have to address some rig challenges and other teething problems before the Golden Jubilee Figaro brings the class to Kinsale in early June
The miraculous years of 2016 and 2017 provided a magic time in Irish sailing writes W M Nixon. Annalise won her Olympic Silver Medal. Shane McCarthy won the GP14 Worlds. And the most glamorous Round Ireland Race ever staged saw…
The essence of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta. The Dublin Bay 24 Periwinkle (built 1947) and the 1897 classic cutter Myfanwy approaching the harbour mouth racing neck-and-neck in idyllic summer sailing conditions in July 2017
In the years to come, Thursday, April 4th 2019 will be remembered as a pivotal date in the development of Dun Laoghaire Harbour as a maritime, recreational and community amenity, a key moment in the significant growth of a shared…
Editorial desk with a difference……..on board the 64ft gaff cutter Annabel-J, powering along off the West Coast of Ireland. Annabel-J is owned by long distance voyager Andrew Wilkes and his wife Maire Breathnach of Dungarvan, who is currently Honorary Editor of the Irish Cruising Club Annual
When the Irish Cruising Club was established in Glengarriff at the head of Bantry Bay on Saturday 13th July 1929, the friendly gathering of the crews from a modest flotilla of five decidedly varied sailing yachts – mostly small craft…
Special gathering – the four “Sailors of the Year” together in Sutton this week are (left to right) Conor Fogerty (2017), Annalise Murphy (2016) and Sean Waddilove & Rob Dickson (2018)
Annalise Murphy’s role in raising sailing’s profile in Ireland was brought home to us last weekend when The Irish Times ran a St Patrick’s Eve Quiz. Set by Eoin Butler, it aimed to test how truly Irish we who like…
An eye-catching book cover…….having Winslow Homer’s famous 1899 painting “The Gulf Stream” - with its graphic suggestions of inevitable tragedy - superimposed by the chirpy title “Fun with Sailboats” may not be to everyone’s taste. But it certainly captures attention for American Pete Brennan’s book on his sometimes quirky sailing experiences on both sides of the Atlantic
Pete Brennan is an American of partially Irish ancestry who came originally from New Jersey, and now lives in Florida writes W M Nixon. For most of his life he has had steady jobs which had nothing whatever to do…
Memories of idyllic summer days of sailing – the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2017
In this week of meteorological mayhem exacerbated by an unsettling international political atmosphere, a reassuring and heartening mood of warm optimism was provided by getting together with Don O’Dowd, Chairman of the Organising Committee for Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2019…
Just the place to go on a cold night in March. The National YC in Dun Laoghaire tonight hosts the Annual Dinner of the Shannon One Design Association, with the overall award – the Transom Trophy - going to Andrew Mannion of Athlone, who sails with Lough Ree YC.
They’re the sometimes well-hidden glue that holds key elements of Irish sailing together writes W M Nixon. They’re a formidable power in our sport. They might seem to outsiders like secret societies. Yet each in its own way – for…
The Water Club of the Harbour of Cork on fleet manoeuvres at sea in 1738, as recorded by Dutch artist Peter Monamy. Today, the flags may have changed, the boats may be different, and it is now the Royal Cork Yacht Club. But the spirit of 1720 lives on with its Tricentenary next year. Image courtesy RCYC
Sailing in Ireland is a sport of long-lived organisations, writes W M Nixon. It’s a vehicle sport in which a significant number of the sailing vehicles are cherished classics, sometimes passed down from one generation to the next. Like it…
Donal Walsh’s Ovni 385 Lady Belle from Dungarvan gets the best of the summer weather off Fingal’s Cave in the cliffs of Staffa in the Hebrides during a wide-ranging North European cruise which has been awarded the Irish Cruising Club’s premier trophy, the Faulkner Cup
Dungarvan in the west of County Waterford is in some ways one of Ireland’s best-kept secrets writes W M Nixon. It’s big enough to be considered a real town by Irish standards – it’s the County Town too - yet…
The magic atmosphere of classic boat-building - the Dublin Bay 24 Zephyra under re-construction at the Apprenticeshop in Maine, USA.
Dublin Bay has an unrivalled continuous history of One-Design sailing and racing writes W M Nixon. It runs in a golden thread all the way back to 1887, when Ben Middleton launched his little class of Water Wag dinghies to…
In balance. The newly-honoured “Sailors of the Year 2018” Sean Waddilove and Robert Dickson achieving optimal windward performance with their Gold Medal-winning International Olympic 49er
There is no other event quite like the annual Afloat.ie Volvo Irish Sailing Awards writes W M Nixon. Ireland is small enough for most of the key people in sailing ashore and afloat to know each other personally. So it…
The heart of it all. The Corby 25 Fusion (Richard Colwell & Ronan Cobbe) in a club evening race at Howth
When time is spent with Richard Colwell, who was elected as the new Commodore of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association in November, you’re quickly reminded of the saying: “If you want anything done, and done well, then ask a busy…
Smoothly away. The Defence Forces’ crew in the J/109 Joker II going well at the start of the Volvo Round Ireland Race 2018 at Wicklow. But in order to be there, they’d to use military principles to fit their preparations into a very tight time-frame. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien
It was while crossing the Atlantic on the Sail Training Brigantine Asgard II during a celestial navigation module of his Naval Service education in 1999 that Barry Byrne had something of an epiphany writes W M Nixon. He’d been introduced…
Onwards and upwards….the new Ship of Dreams for offshore racing hopefuls is making its debut at Dusseldorf Boat Show. A CGI of the new Pogo Classe Mini Proto Foiler, which will provide a potential access point for Mini-Transat, Figaro Solo, Class 40 and IMOCA 60 enthusiasts
In the Great Halls of Dusseldorf, where the colossal annual Boat Show opens today with its Golden Jubilee providing multiple opportunities for appropriate Wagnerian accompaniment for hyper-glossy boats on the grand scale, a specialised level of interest will focus on…
Howth YC’s Conor Fogerty with his Sunfast 36000 Bam! starts the final 47-mile beat of the breezy RORC Caribbean 600 in February 2018, on his way to winning his class (for the second time) just a fortnight after he’d been declared Ireland’s “Sailor of the Year” in Dublin
Howth Yacht Club has become the latest winner of the Mitsubishi Motors “Sailing Club of the Year” Award primarily on the strength of its sailing successes through 2018 - major successes which began in February and continued until well into…
Wild Oats X1 approaching the finish in the heart of Hobart harbour to take line honours in the Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race 2018. Thanks to her speed, though the actual wind is from aft of the beam, she seems to be on a close reach
Hobart in Tasmania is a characterful port with a certain style to it, picturesquely located in handsome scenery on the estuary of the River Derwent writes W M Nixon. It’s home to a goodly fleet of sailcraft and motorboats of…

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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