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Sailing on Saturday with WM Nixon
Dublin Bay Sailing Club’s latest 48-page yearbook is the visible face of a significant part of Irish sailing’s organisational infrastructure
It’s big, it’s unique, and it’s the focal point of recreational interaction with the sea for one of the more affluent areas of population in Europe writes W M Nixon. But anyone visiting Dun Laoghaire Harbour for the first time,…
Starting young. Thumbs up from Billy Coyne (aged 12) aboard Lula Belle at the start of the breezy Volvo Dun Laoghaire-Dingle Race 2017
It’s highly likely that a trial Olympic offshore racing event will be run in tandem with the 2020 Sailing Olympiad in Tokyo in 2020, and one proposal which seems to have traction is that a boat similar to the Figaro…
A joy to sail. Bantry Boats revelling in open sea conditions off the Morbihan in France during 2014’s Atlantic Challenge
Most sailing folk in Ireland will have some level of awareness of the Bantry Boat. Even those who live most determinedly in the present, and look unswervingly to the future, will be vaguely aware that thanks to some fortuitous turns…
Conor Fogerty of Howth’s Class 3 winner Bam! pacing with the higher-rated J/122 Liquid as they approach the final turn of the RORC Caribbean 600 at the deserted island of Redonda on Thursday evening
With winter still clinging like a hyper-cold limpet in northern latitudes, the prospect of balmy breezes and warm seas in the tenth annual RORC Caribbean 600 in late February seemed like the perfect prospect for escape and sport writes W…
Maire Breathnach at the helm of the Swan 44 King of Hearts off Cape Horn in 2004 during the circuit of South America, when she was first awarded the Irish Cruising Club’s Faulkner Cup
Irish cruising under sail and power is being celebrated and developed this weekend. Last night’s AGM of the Irish Cruising Club in the National YC in Dun Laoghaire saw this 1929-founded organisation moving its many activities forward on all fronts…
Role reversal. A year ago, when Olympic Medallist Annalise Murphy became Volvo Sailor of the Year 2016, monthly award winner Conor Fogerty got together with her for a quick snap. Now, she is on the high seas, racing the Hong Kong to New Zealand leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. And Conor Fogerty is now Volvo Sailor of the Year 2017
As he commented at last night’s annual Volvo Sailing Awards ceremony, our Sailing on Saturday columnist reckons that anyone who thinks they really understand every aspect of the Irish sailing and boating scene obviously isn’t a part of it. It’s…
Pata Negra, a Marc Lombard-designed IRC 46. This interesting boat has been chartered by Howth’s Michael Wright for the RORC Caribbean 600 in two weeks’ time
The annual RORC Caribbean 600 in late February is now a pillar event of the international offshore racing programme, despite the fact that it was only first sailed – and on a rather experimental basis at that – as recently…
A slight touch of maturity…….Dun Laoghaire’s Sean Craig – Helmsman’s Champion of Ireland in 1993 – racing in the Laser Masters Worlds in Croatia last September. This year’s mega-fleet Masters Worlds will be in Dun Laoghaire from 7th to 15th September.
We’re living longer than ever. But as the years advance, are most of us really living, really alive? Or are we merely existing, and allowing our diminishing physical abilities and shrinking mental interests to be dictated by out-of-date concepts about…
A Cork Harbour One Design heading seaward in style. This 1895-96 William Fife design is one of many vintage One-Designs still sailing in Ireland which are of special interest to international boat-building schools
The traditional and classic wooden boat-building movement is gaining momentum in many parts of the world. It can be part of educational and training schemes which provide skills and purpose in life, usually for young people but also for older…
Work on re-building Conor O’Brien’s Saoirse has begun in West Cork. Meanwhile, the noted world-girdler’s capacity for speed has always been a matter of interest – this photos of her at full chat off the coast of Cornwall was taken in the 1950s by another noted circumnavigator, Eric Hiscock
Work began this week at Oldcourt near Baltimore in West Cork on reconstructing Conor O’Brien’s Saoirse. One of the most remarkable sailing vessels in Irish and world maritime history, the 42ft Saoirse is unique in many ways. W M Nixon…
The National Yacht Club of Dun Laoghaire – founded in 1870 – has long been one of Ireland’s leading sailing clubs in sporting competition inshore and offshore, while at the same time retaining a friendly, hospitable and “can-do” attitude to…
The hottest new boat on the Australian coast. Matt Allen’s Botin-designed TP52 Ichi Ban, with Gordon Maguire as Sailing Master. Ichi Ban has been scorching her way to the front of the fleet since making her debut in October, and is a favourite for the handicap win in the up-coming Rolex Sydney-Hobart race
It is one of the world’s classic offshore races. And its timing plumb in the middle of the Christmas holidays make it an essential safety valve for serious sailors being smothered in festive cheer in the Northern Hemisphere. For although…
The haven under the hill. Howth will be pulling out all the stops to make its new Wave Regatta from June 1st to 4th 2018 a user-friendly success
A successful new development in the national sailing programme will inevitably be something of a revolution. Yet if those managing the event handle it in the right way, the changeover can take place without people thinking that anything really revolutionary…
George David’s all-conquering Rambler 88 at Wicklow Head shortly after the start of the Volvo Round Ireland Race 2016. 2018’s staging of this biennial classic will be the 20th edition, and its international significance is recognized with bonus points for the RORC Championship
At least two different viewpoints may be taken on the remarkable and very long history of sailing in Ireland. Either you see it as a wonderful heritage, which should be celebrated with gala anniversaries, and whatever you’re having yourself, at…
Ludde Ingvall’s extremely individual 98ft CQS aboard which Ireland’s 2013 “Sailor of the Year” David Kenefick of Cork will be racing the RORC Transatlantic
With three major yet very different marathon sailing events crossing the Atlantic this month, it’s clear that the once decidedly quirky and often eccentric devotees of offshore and ocean racing are becoming mainstream. This is further reinforced by the confirmation…
The public face of Fintan Cairns – at the helm (left) of the ICRA Support RIB with Barry Rose and Mike Broughton during the Anthony O’Leary-led 2014 re-taking of the Commodore’s Cup
He was in the key role of Commodore when Dublin Bay Sailing Club was successful in implementing the changeover from pier to Committee Boat starts which involved the complete re-structuring of its course programme in the Bay, and many other…

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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