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Sailing on Saturday with WM Nixon
The spirit of Irish sailing – Ian Hickey's veteran Granada 38 Cavatina (Royal Cork YC) making a perfectly-timed start in the Dun Laoghaire-Dingle race. A successful participant in Fastnet, Round Ireland, Dingle and AZAB races, Cavatina is in the entry list for this year's Dingle Race on June 9th
The welcome announcement that the National Yacht Club's biennial 280-mile Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race 2021 will be going ahead on Wednesday, June 9th, is encouraging. But it should not be seen as a clarion call to get the 2021…
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For this week's Sailing on Saturday we take a look back eight years when WM Nixon cruised from Ireland to the Outer Hebrides in the 36-foot vintage restored sloop Ainmara #hebrides – August is almost upon us. The heat has…
Cover girls….The International Dragon Class on an evening race in 1969 at Royal North of Ireland YC on Belfast Lough. RNIYC introduced the class to Ireland in the late 1930s, and for many years had the largest fleet, sending forth the 1948 Olympic helmsman Eric Strain
The Olympic Flame is now well into its progression through Japan, on a Marathon of Marathons which is seeing runners of every shape and size and type carry it into all of the 47 Prefectures which make up that most…
A new season beckons. The 55-year-old S&S Classic Sarnia (Michael Creedon) gets ready for the splash at the National Yacht Club, with the underside of her keel getting its lick of anti-fouling before taking to the water
Welcome to Nautical Limbo Land. This weekend may see the annual start-of-season lift-ins – with masked-up socially-distanced protocols - at the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, the National YC, and the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. But…
Spreading goodwill and mutual understanding…..the Howth YC Biennial Sporting & Cultural Mission to the Sovereign's Cup series in Kinsale, gathered at their shore base to celebrate another successful regatta. This year's O'Leary Insurance Group Sovereign's Cup is scheduled at Kinsale YC for 23rd-26th June 2021
How quickly can we hope to return to the carefree style of sailing sociability which reflects the mood displayed above, as seen in the officially-accredited Sporting & Cultural Mission from Howth Yacht Club on its traditional biennial visit to the…
History is made. The first Dublin Regatta of 1828, with the non-racing Pearl at left, the second-placed Ganymede (Col. John Madden) at centre, and the winner Liberty on right.
The impression conveyed in the image above of good-humoured sport afloat at the first regatta from the new harbour of Kingstown on July 22nd 1828 is so lively that today we easily forgive the relatively unskilled work of the artist,…
The champion. Paul O'Higgins' JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI (RIYC), ISORA overall champion in 2019, and again in the truncated season of 2020
On Sunday, August 29th 1971, a group of offshore devotees who had campaigned the previous day's annual cross-channel Abersoch-Howth Race for the James C Eadie Cup gathered in the bar of Howth Yacht Club and gave some purpose to their…
George O'Brien Kennedy FRINA, (1912-1998). Known to everyone as Brian, and renowned as a dreamer of dreams, he is seen here in his early days of pioneering the Shannon Hire-Boat industry in the 1960s
You know how it is. You're wondering if the slightly odd flavour of the evening cuppa is a hint of the imminence of the C-Monster's indicator of taste-loss. All this, too, just as it's increasingly clear that your already-proposed personal…
Conor O'Brien's Saoirse gets underway from
Ireland's Conor O'Brien was the first amateur skipper to circumnavigate the globe by the classic sailing ship route south of the great Capes, running down his easting in the big winds of the Great Southern Ocean which blow unhindered round…
No longer at the races……The AC75 American Magic at an early stage of the selection trials for the current 2021 series, when she seemed well able to cope with awkward seas. But she was actually in smoother water some weeks later when she became airborne in squally weather on starboard tack, and in crashing back to sea level, the port foil snapped like a stick of celery, holing the hull
When the "low black schooner" America won what was to become an historic race around the Isle of Wight on Friday 22nd August 1851 from a small fleet of varied English yachts, thereby winning a silver ewer which was eventually…
Irish Cruising Club's Honorary Editor Maire Breathnach at the helm of the Swan 42 King of Hearts at Cape Horn
The Irish Cruising Club has been producing a printed Annual collating its members doings afloat and ashore through logs and narratives for ninety years now. And while these days this substantial collection is in circulation before Christmas as a matter…
A short season maybe, but all their stars were in alignment in 2020 - Tom Dolan on his Figaro 3 Smurfit Kappa
The Figaro Solo was arguably the peak in sailing competition – both inshore and offshore – in Europe during 2020. In a truncated and contorted season, somehow the crème de la creme of international solo sailing were guided into a…
At the double. Anthony O'Leary of Crosshaven and Annalise Murphy of Dun Laoghaire are the only contenders to be Afloat.ie "Sailors of the Year" twice – himself in 2010 and 2014, and herself in 2012 and 2016
In these long-lived times, a Silver Jubilee is not what it used to be in an era when Golden Jubilees, Centenaries, Tricentenaries and whatever you're having yourself are cascading around us in an almost continuous nostalgia-fest. Nevertheless the healthy Quarter…
"Our jewel and darling Dublin…." Far from being seen as a problem, the intertwining of the city, port and sea should be thought of as something to cherish and develop
Dublin and its Port. The City and the Sea. The Culture and the Commerce. The Buzz and the Business. The sense of real working and creative life, with the romance of the ocean and the hint of salty far horizons,…
Laser 4.7 Euro Championship 2019 underway in Belgium. The classic Laser has served sailing well – the hull design may have been in existence for more than fifty years, yet it still looks very right no matter which of the three rig options you choose.
At one stage last Autumn, it looked for a week or two as though Irish venues might be hosting no less than five World Championships for dinghy classes during the three week period between the July 24th and August 14th…
Conor Doyle's xP50 Freya from Kinsale is currently the largest entrant for the Volvo Dun Laoghaire-Dingle Race on June 9th. She is seen here winning the Kinsale-Monkstown Race in a record two hours, but the course record she challenges in the race to Dingle was set by a 94-footer, Mick Cottter's Windfall in 2019
It's getting to be like a game of skittles in the planned lineup of high-profile 2021 events which everybody - way back in the dark depths of earlier pandemic lockdowns – thought would surely come to pass in the remote…

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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