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Sailing on Saturday with WM Nixon
Irish Trad Boat Leader is Veteran of Gaffer Global Circuit
#vintage boats – The season-long Golden Jubilee cruise of the Old Gaffers Association starts to roll this weekend, with vintage boats from the Thames Estuary setting out tomorrow to rendezvous in the Orwell estuary in Suffolk with character boats already…
Could Dunmore East's Development Be Key to Ireland's Cruising Success?
#irishcruising – Henry Ford famously said that if he'd started out by asking people what they wanted, they'd have demanded a faster horse. Quite. But if you don't have the lightbulb moment of a Fordian concept so utterly brilliant that…
#ruffian23 – Congratulations, Ruffian 23s – you've passed your 40th birthday. It was the Springtime of 1973 when we were invited by Dickie Brown to go down to Portaferry for a sail test of the prototype of the new 23ft…
American Sailing's Great Survivor
#offshoresailing – There were four of them, back in 1968 in New York. There was Dick Nye (1903-1988). Briefly a theatrical hopeful, he'd got no further than spear carrier in an opera. But Broadway's loss was Wall Street's gain –…
#roundirelandrecord –The idea that sailing round Ireland could be sport would have seemed crazy not so very long ago. Ireland's Atlantic coasts, indeed all Ireland's coasts, were seen as the sole preserve of a skilled and hardy breed, very special…
Sailing Colleges Converge on Kerry Waters
#teamracing – The chances in Ireland of snowfall on St Patrick's Day are statistically better than the chances of the white stuff coming down on Christmas Day. The reason we haven't really got our heads round this notion is that…
Where’s The Olympic Glamour in Grass Roots?
#dinghy – General de Gaulle used to say that of course it was a very difficult job to govern France – what else would you expect in a country with 387 different cheeses? So when people talk of how difficult…
Abandon Ship! The Rescue of the Crew of Wolfhound
#wolfhound – Abandon ship!!! Complete with its insistent screamers (that's exclamation marks to you and me), it's such a hoary old nautical cliché that when it happens, you expect awesome background music to roll, with the blackest of black clouds…
The Boat from Buttevant Brings Home the Bacon
#sailing – With all the high-profile Irish entries in the RORC Caribbean 600 race falling by the wayside in this year's breezy staging of the sunshine classic, it has been left to two hard-working charter boats to do the business…
Classic Circumnavigation With a Home-Made Boat
#circumnavigation – A traditional global circumnavigation was celebrated in Dun Laoghaire last night with the award of the Irish Cruising Club's premier trophy, the Faulkner Cup, to Fergus Quinlan of Kinvara on Galway Bay for the log of the third…
Sails and the City
#americascup – It's time for the reality check in San Francisco. This morning, season tickets guaranteeing "the best seats on the bay" for the America's Cup 2013 go on sale. The America's Cup Season Pass includes a ticket to the…
Whisper Leads the Charge
#D2D – The 78ft Reichel Pugh-designed Whisper, course record holder for the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race, is leading the charge for Ireland under the command of Mark Dicker in the RORC Caribbean 600 in a fortnight's time. In all,…
Friendly Frugal Fireballs
#fireball – Has it really taken the Fireball dinghy 51 years to become an overnight success in Dun Laoghaire? Not at all. They've been hugely successful here before. But there's undoubtedly a renaissance under way, and a very special re-invigoration…
New Ground for Old Gaffers
#oldgaffers – There's a painful irony in the Old Gaffers Association choosing Dublin Bay as one of the focal points for their season-long Golden Jubilee celebration this summer. In 1963, the OGA came into being "to preserve interest in, and…
Rock Breaking Records
#fastnet – Why are people surprised that, despite the international mood of economic gloom, online entries for the Rolex Fastnet Race 2013 in August went through the roof earlier this week, with the ceiling of 300 boats – nine of…
The America's Cup – Sailing's Sacred Monster
#americascup – The America's Cup is a sacred monster, hellbent on devouring its own followers. That is part of its awful fascination. You play with fire if you get involved with this "greatest" of sailing's sporting challenges. Either you succeed…

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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