Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Sailing on Saturday with WM Nixon
“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…
Two-handed superstars. Olympic 49er contenders Sean Waddilove and Robert Dickson (Sailors of the Year 2018) have kept themselves race ready by moving into shared accommodation as the Lockdown was introduced
If you’re a proper Irish sailing enthusiast and you’re not going crackers at the moment, then there’s something seriously wrong with you. For here we are, in as perfect an early summer for sailing as anyone has seen in a…
That was then…..the conclusion of Scottish Series a year ago, and Dublin Bay’s Andrew Craig (second right) has emerged as overall champion with his J/109 Chimaera and a crew of all the talents
How many other front-line sailing administrators anywhere in the world would have noted the February announcement of the postponement of the new James Bond movie’s global premiere in London from early March 2020 away back until November, and immediately realised…
Cometh the hour, cometh the boat….with a weight of just 30 kilos to the 58.97 kilos of the Laser, the easily-managed RS Aero may be just the boat to provide sailing with minimal shoreside inter-action in these restricted times
You would expect the sailing community to be more understanding than most others of the difficulties inherent in setting out any sort of comprehensible and feasible plan for the resumption of life in all its forms as the Covid-19 pandemic…
This could well be the maiden sail of the famous Dorade in 1930, as the inappropriately-dressed group in the cockpit – with Olin Stephens (22) on the helm and his brother Rod (20) beside him -look as though they came for a launch party, and decided to go for a brisk sail as well, even if no-one had brought proper sailing gear - note the slightly bewildered-looking guy on the weather rail wearing a bow tie
In Ireland, these days, the name of Rod Stephens is most readily associated with an international award - the Cruising Club of America’s Rod Stephens Trophy for Outstanding Seamanship - for the very good reason that during the past six…
It would only take some green jerseys and a translation of the name as gaeilge to make this new JPK 11.80 an ideal GAA entrant in the SSE Renewables Round Ireland race on August 22nd, as the JPK boats are built in the proudly Celtic seaport of Lorient.
If you’re not having unusually colourful dreams in these weird times, then you’re the exception. Everyone else is. I woke up the other morning totally exhausted, and little wonder. For as the foggy mind came into focus, all recollections were…
Monday 10th August 1987, and the Dubois 40 Irish Independent arrives at the Fastnet Rock, on her way to winning the Fastnet Race overall, and becoming top scorer for Ireland in the Admiral’s Cup.
In 2025, the Centenary of the RORC Fastnet Race – arguably the world’s most famous offshore challenge – will be sailed. Until recently, it would have seemed a bit odd to be focusing on a Centenary all of five years…
The ultra champion – Paul O’Higgins’ JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI is currently ICRA Boat of the Year, Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Champion, ISORA Champion and Calves Week Champion, while he is Afloat.ie/Irish Sailing “Sailor of the Year”. If the tentative proposal to resume sailing with the ISORA Dublin Bay to Cork Harbour Race at the later date of Friday, July 31st is implemented, Rockabill VI and her crew could be campaigning almost continually from July 31st until the conclusion of the ICRA Nationals in the Wave Regatta at Howth from September 11th to 13th
The postponed date of Friday, July 31st is being considered as a feasible time to think of starting the ISORA-organised 160-mile Dublin Bay to Cork Harbour Race, which was originally planned for July 9th to link this summer’s celebration of…
The start of a very special relationship. Denis Doyle’s Moonduster approaches the finish of the 1982 Round Ireland Race to take line honours, a new course record, and the handicap win. Today’s Round Ireland crews, faced with a two month postponement of the start date, will be asking: “What would The Doyler do?”
If we needed a reminder of the central role which the biennial Round Ireland Yacht Race from Wicklow has grown into within Irish sailing and in the global offshore racing context during its 40 years and 20 editions, then the…
The classic stem shape exemplified by Tom Crosbie’s International 8 Metre If off Cobh in 1960. Designed and built by Bjarne Aas in Norway in 1939, the 49ft If was unusual for her class in having full standing headroom
The accepted and popular shapes of boats and yachts in different ages changes so much that you’d be forgiven for thinking that their functions also change completely to suit the requirements of each new era. Of course, design development, measurement…

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

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2022

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating