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Sailing on Saturday with WM Nixon
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…
First into the ring…Rupert Barry’s JOD35 Red Alert from Greystones was the first fully-confirmed entry for the Fastnet 450 in two weeks’ time
It’s called the SCORA Fastnet 450 which is a zinger of a name, whatever it means, and right now it’s taking shape as we go along in best pop-up style, having come centre stage after the Round Ireland Race was…
Denis Doyle’s new Crosshaven-built Moonduster makes her debut off Cork in 1981, the year after the first Round Ireland Race was sailed from Wicklow. The following year, when her owner was already 62 with a lifetime of offshore racing experience and success behind him, he brought Moonduster to Wicklow for the new biennial Round Ireland event, and remained loyal to it for the rest of his long sailing career
“What would The Doyler do?” That was the question we asked here when writing with resigned sadness on 11th April about the pandemic-induced two-month postponement - from 20th June - of the Wicklow start of the SSE Renewables Round Ireland…
Glory days. George David’s mighty Rambler 88, overall winner and course record breaker in 2016. A Round Ireland race in 2020 will inevitably be a much less flamboyant affair
With just four weeks to go to the proposed re-scheduled start of the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Yacht Race 2020 on August 22nd, the word is that a final decision as to whether it is going ahead – and indeed,…
“Every summer Saturday is Regatta Day” The Howth 17s Isobel (Turvey brothers) and Deiliginis (Massey, Twomey & Kenny) demonstrating their Saturday style. They try to maximize crew numbers, and thus have declined involvement in today’s Two-Hander at Howth.
A while back, the off-the-wall idea was mooted of creating a line of quality face-masks, tastefully printed or even embroidered with sailing and yacht club logos. The world of high fashion was already on to the idea of designer-labelled COVID-contesting…
The Royal Cork Yacht Club Tricentenary is up and running. Thursday night’s exuberant club racing was a declaration that while the international element of the celebrations may have been COVID-curtailed, the core membership element of the 300-year-old club at Crosshaven is very much in action at home.
There are three Royal Cork Yacht Clubs. One is the globally-recognised historic institution which is directly descended from the Water Club of the Harbour of Cork founded three hundred years ago, the oldest yacht club in the world. The second…
 The Clondalkin community-built 43ft Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan on Dublin Bay in 2003, with Stiofan O Laoire at the helm. Launched new in 1997, she had been based on Ireland’s East Coast until this week at Poolbeg Y&BC, regularly appearing in traditional events at home and abroad. But now she has moved west into new management with the Claddagh Boatmen in Galway City
If you’re having trouble processing the full implications of the fascinating new portmanteau ministry which has emerged this week from the formation of our latest government, not to worry. You’d be on your own if you weren’t a little bit…
Gotcha! The 1898-built Cork Harbour OD Jap is discovered hidden away at Truro in the uppermost reaches of Falmouth Estuary in Cornwall in August 1994, cleverly disguised as an attractive little cruiser. Jap has now returned as a restored classic to Cork Harbour. Photo: W M Nixon
It is a truth not universally acknowledged that the steady pint-drinking communities of Cork city and south Munster contributed substantially to the resourcing of the newly-formed Ulster Volunteer Force’s uprising against the proposed introduction of Home Rule for Ireland in…
Atlantic voyager Garry Crothers with wife Marie and daughters Oonagh (left) and Amy (right) aboard their Ovni 435 Kind of Blue in the Caribbean
If this year had gone anything like according to plan, today (Saturday) would be seeing the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race from Wicklow getting going, with Afloat.ie providing a list of riders and runners in this column today, while getting…
Where the spirit of sailing lives on, after 300 years and more. Yet only fifty years ago, there were no marinas at all in Crosshaven
Time was when fifty years seemed a long time in the life of any sports organisation, and indeed in life itself. Golden Jubilees were a big deal, to be celebrated with much fanfare. In fact, even 25 years of organisational…
 Living history. Michael Creedon’s classc 54-year-old S&S 36 Sarnia being lifted-in at the National YC last weekend
The generally accepted view of the 1950s in Ireland is of an economically grim period when everything - including the spirit of the inhabitants - withered in the face of a seemingly permanent financial recession, with desperate emigration the only…

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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