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WM Nixon

WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

Somewhere, under the rainbow…..the bright side of the rainstorm favours the Ilen in the Ted Russell Dock in Limerick – she has her own private rainbow, when everyone else was facing flash flood warnings
When we’d flash floods pestering the country recently with wayward downpours, Gary MacMahon went to check out the beloved Ilen in Limerick docks, and found the old girl sitting serenely under her own private rainbow writes W M Nixon But…
Never happier than when at sea - Donal Lynch in 1998, aboard the Swan 55 Rambler.
Donal Lynch’s remarkable life was a series of successful and interconnecting phases writes W M Nixon. His engaging presence is now gone from among us at the age of 81, and he is very much missed. Yet so much of…
Beaufort Cup racing in Volvo Cork Week. Commandant Barry Byrne’s success with racing John Maybury’s J/109 Joker 2 in this series, and in the Round Ireland Race earlier in July, was one of 2018’s many remarkable achievements
As we begin to contemplate a 24th year for the Afloat.ie/Irish Sailing “Sailors of the Month” assessments in 2019, it’s time and more for a look back to the people and the achievements which defined our top performers in and…
 Ilen in search of wind as she heads seaward past Scattery Island in the Shannon Estuary
Foynes Island in the Shannon Estuary exerts an almost supernatural attraction for the O’Brien family writes W M Nixon. The great circumnavigator Conor O’Brien always regarded it as his one and only true home. And though his voyagings and other…
Dingle Maritime Weekend to Feature Ted Creedon on 3rd & 4th November
Dingle Maritime Weekend, an annual event jointly organised by Kevin Flannery of the town’s renowned Oceanworld, and former Harbour Master Captain Brian Farrell (he played a key role in the establishment of the biennial Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race in…
Everyone Welcome to Limerick Party to Celebrate Restoration of Sail Trader Ilen
The return of the restored trading ketch Ilen to Limerick after 92 years has been a matter of quiet celebration among all involved since the 56ft “small tall ship" sailed up the Shannon Estuary from Baltimore at the beginning of…
Summer sailing as it should be….Jump Juice from Cork in the lead at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, which will be the biggest event in Irish waters in 2019
“For everything to stay the same, everything must change….” It’s an enduring and profound thought from the classic Italian novel The Leopard. And it applies to Irish sailing at least much as it does to most other aspects of Irish…
The 64ft Cornish lugger Grayhound, a re-creation of a design of 1796, recently delivered 6 tons of Monaghan-brewed Irish craft beer from Cork to Granville in Normandy
The recent totally carbon-free delivery of six tons of Irish craft beer from Cork to France makes for a positive response to those who are concerned by the adverse effects of industrially-induced climate change, and the possible interruptions to trade…
Silver sun, shining sea – Conor Fogerty’s historic Silver Shamrock (1976 World Half Ton Champion) and the Formula 28 Animal (G. O’Sullivan) cross tacks in perfect Autumn racing conditions at Howth
The six Saturdays of the KBC Bank Autumn League at Howth Yacht Club experienced some days so perfect that by the time it concluded with the mother of all festive prize-givings last night, everyone had forgotten that somewhere in the…
 Cool performer. Niall Dowling’s Ker 43 Baraka GP at Wicklow Head at the start of the Volvo Round Ireland Race 2018. Despite being well down the overall rankings off the coast of Mayo, a tactically brilliant second half saw her emerge as line honours victor and overall winner
Anyone who claims to comprehend every nuance of Ireland’s sailing story during 2018 is living in a state of happy delusion writes W M Nixon. For sure, much that happened followed the set path of the annual programme at home…
 Ilen secure for the winter in the Ted Russell Dock in Limerick, where there are daily reminders that this is very much a working port, and Limerick is a manufacturing town
The restored 1926-built 56ft ketch Ilen proudly tells us on her transom that her home port is Limerick writes W M Nixon. And while Limerick may have come to prominence as a raiding base and trading centre for the Vikings…
Alex & Daria Blackwell’s Bowman 57 Aleria enjoying the best of Galician summer weather in the midst of the ICC’s July 2017 Rally to Northwest Spain. Although normally based in Clew Bay, Aleria elected to stay on in Galicia, where she was recently hauled for her second winter in Spain
Is Irish sailing heading south? Are significant sectors of the national fleet heading for new home berths in the Lotus Lands asks W M Nixon. Every Autumn, we hear of boats which have headed down to southern Brittany or southwest…
Involved to the end. The late Fred Espey in his eighties, fulfilling his longtime role as President and Chairman of the Sandycove Bathers Association. In addition to his many sailing roles, he was a lifelong swimmer at the Forty Foot, and an experienced diver
Fred Espey of Dun Laoghaire, who has died aged 85, was best-known in sailing as Commodore of the Royal Irish Yacht Club from 2001 to 2004, the culmination of many years of service to the club in a variety of…
The Ilen as she is today, fully restored and sailing into port past the Baltimore Beacon before departing for her passage to Limerick. Back in 1952, she was far from being in the same excellent order when Pat McCarthy, originally of Bantry, managed to deliver her from the Falkland Islands to Chile for a much-needed complete refit.
The story of the historic 1926-built trading ketch Ilen, and her recent return in her restored state to the Shannon Estuary and Limerick, has evoked many memories writes W M Nixon. But few if any of these stories are as…
Aboard Ilen in Limerick Docks are (left to right) boatbuilder Liam Hegarty of Baltimore, Gary MacMahon of the Ilen Project, President Higgins, Brother Anthony Keane of Glenstal Abbey, and Sabina Higgins
President Michael D Higgins wished further fair winds for the historic ketch Ilen when he and his wife Sabina went aboard the newly-restored Conor O’Brien ketch during his visit to Limerick writes W M Nixon. Ilen has been brought back…
Whatever about the outcome of this weekend’s J/109 Nationals at Howth, home team Pat Kelly (centre) and his crew on Storm are already winners of the RC35 Celtic Trophy 2018 after success (seen here) in the Silvers Scottish Series in May, followed by second at Bangor Town Regatta in July, and first at the Welsh IRC Championship in August.
The great Danish sailor Paul Elvstrom famously commented that it was much easier to create a completely new racing boat with top class potential than it was to create a successful Class Association with global reach to give proper support…
Myfanwy shows her sweeping curves to best advantage as she races to success in Dublin Bay. Photo
The memorable Dun Laoghaire Regatta of 2017 included celebrations for the Bicentenary of the great harbour, and the Kingstown 200 Trophy in its honour became something very special for racing among the Classics writes W M Nixon. In a popular…
The Great Skellig as seen from the Limerick-bound ketch Ilen this (Saturday) afternoon
The restored Conor O’Brien ketch Ilen may have had her first sailing sea trials as recently as yesterday off Baltimore in West Cork, but the current spell of settled weather in the southern half of the country has been too…
The classic view looking aloft – the restored working ketch Ilen sailed again today, the first time in nearly 20 years
The Conor O’Brien-designed 56ft ketch Ilen sailed for the first time in twenty years today off Baltimore writes W M Nixon. Originally built in 1926 at the picturesque West Cork port, and recently restored at nearby Oldcourt by Liam Hegarty’s…
Ready and willing – just 14 weeks ago, this was Gregor McGuckin at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire with Hanley Energy Endurance, about to depart for the Golden Globe Golden Jubilee Race in France
Gregor McGuckin is currently and very deservedly the best-known Irish sailor in the world writes W M Nixon. The sheer gallantry and utter rightness of his efforts to bring aid last weekend to injured fellow Golden Globe competitor Abilash Tomy…
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