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Irish Cruising Club's Annual Shoreside Get-Together Sees's W M Nixon Receive Fastnet Trophy

27th March 2023
Still winging it.'s W M Nixon with the Fastnet Trophy at the ICC's Annual Dinner in Sligo on Saturday night
Still winging it.'s W M Nixon with the Fastnet Trophy at the ICC's Annual Dinner in Sligo on Saturday night Credit: PSDN

The 1929-founded Irish Cruising Club occasionally brings its members and their boats together for Cruises-in-Company and Rallies in home waters and abroad. Yet although there's an AGM in Dublin early in the year, and specialist Sub-Committees meet from time to time to work on key activities such as the up-dating of the publicly-sold Sailing Directions for the Irish coast, the reality is that much of the club's activities consist of boats on their own, on solitary voyaging near and far in the time-honoured manner of classic cruising.

Thus over time, an additional gathering has evolved, whereby members and some special guests can gather and socialise with a nautical flavour for a weekend of activities built around a choice venue, and this past weekend saw 230 cruising enthusiasts getting together at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Sligo, with guests including Commodores or Flag Oficers from the Royal Cruising Club, the Cruising Club of America, the Clyde Cruising Club, and the Ocean Cruising Club.

In a prodigious yet seemingly effortless team effort very ably led by ICC Commodore David Beattie and his wife Aoife, everything went with exemplary smoothness. But while there were many activities on offer, the highlight has to have been an extended and very hospitable visit to nearby Lissadell House. It may be known to most for its associations with W B Yeats and Constance Markievicz (nee Gore-Booth), but is equally well-known to cruising people as the home of Henry Gore-Booth, who was so enthusiastic about High Latitude cruising that he spent seventeen summers in the latter half of the 19th Century cruising the Arctic in the ketch Kara, which had been built very much to his personal concepts and specifications.

After seeing the inspiring and very detailed model of Kara in Lissadell, it was back to more everyday cruising under sail with the Saturday night dinner, which - after fraternal greetings exchanged between the great and the good of the distinguishd cruising clubs - was concluded with the presentation of the occasionally-awarded Fastnet Trophy for special services and achievement in cruising and sailing. It went to's W M Nixon, who has somehow managed to survive sixty-three years of writing about sailing, and sixty years of membership of the Irish Cruising Club, without yet being found out.

Published in Cruising Team

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