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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.

With a moon like this, anything can happen……spooky thoughts are evoked by Tuesday’s super-moon over Balscadden Bay in Howth at a location of exceptional literary associations
We’ll begin by making it clear that this remarkable image of Tuesday night’s super-moon over Balscadden Bay in Howth was taken at 2041hrs by a Howth resident within the prescribed two kilometres of her residence, using a carbon-neutral means of…
Good times in West Cork – Leo McDermott’s former fishing boat Sile a Do, converted to a cruising ketch by Liam Hegarty, with one of the Ilen School’s Limerick gandelows in the foreground at the annual Baltimore Woodenboat Festival
In locked-down Baltimore in West Cork, the word is that in current circumstances, the most exciting thing that happens during the day is when a dog walks past, taking its sniff-busy morning walk up the empty street. Everybody goes to…
A moment of special peace in a troubled time. David Wilkins of Malahide receives his 1980 Olympic Silver Medal from IOC President Lord Killanin as his Flying Dutchman crew Jamie Wilkinson of Howth awaits his turn.
With the world becoming unrecognisable as the invisible Enemy of the People takes over to make our lives Coronavirus-dominated and postpone the 2020 Olympics to 2021, in our not-so-splendid isolation we can find consolation in disappearing into the Afloat archives…
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…
Dublin Port at its most attractively busy on a summer’s day. However, the suggestion that commercial port activities be moved elsewhere to aid city waterfront development has recently been aired yet again.
In recent months the concept of a fixed link between Ireland and Britain has been rapidly developing as various politicians have proposed bridges between Northern Ireland and Scotland across the narrow, storm-tossed and tide-riven waters of the North Channel. But…
 The King and the special sailing star – the late Patsy Dan Rodgers, King of Tory Island, with Rita Kennedy during her cruising visit to the island in 2017 with her husband Richard on their 34ft steel cutter Seachran
“If you find a good crew, marry her”. It may sound flippant. But when you think of all the challenges of keeping any ship’s company in a friendly and effectively-functioning form, and add to that all the challenges of a…
Cover of Irish Yachting & Motorboating for May 1970, showing the International Dragons in a club evening race at RNIYC at Cultra on Belfast Lough with Jeremy Hughes in Medusa leading
Once upon a time, when life followed some sort of a plan, Irish sailing was getting into early action in April. In looking back at Irish Yachting & Motorboating – the predecessor of Afloat.ie – for the editions of April…
The yachts of the 1720-founded Water Club of the Harbour of Cork – the predecessor of the Royal Cork Yacht Club – as recorded on fleet manoeuvres by Dutch artist Peter Monamy in 1738. The Royal Cork YC’s unique collection of maritime art and memorabilia – some of it 300 years old – is an eloquent testimony to the continuity and quality of sailing enthusiasm in Cork Harbour.
The Covid-19-related cancellation of the pillar events planned for July in the Royal Cork Yacht Club’s Tricentenary Celebrations has had an inexorable inevitability about it for the last ten days and more. But a decision of such magnitude needed to…
The restored 1926 ketch Ilen takes her departure for Greenland from the MacMahon stronghold of Carrigaholt Castle on the Shannon Estuary
There were several notable Irish sailing families with their names up in lights more than once at Saturday evening’s virtual awards ceremony for the annual achievements in Irish sailing. But none could match the seaborn diversity of an ancient tribe…
Sailor of the Year Paul O’Higgins aboard his JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI in Dingle Harbour after being declared overall winner and successful title defender of the National YC’s Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race 2019
The potent Dun Laoghaire-based JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI may now have four very busy seasons – both inshore and offshore - in her sailing CV. But the years have not dulled her performance and competitiveness, and in 2019 she had…
“Don’t go down the mine daddy, there’s plenty of coal in the yard…..” The BH41 Silk (Jocelyn Waller, Lough Derg YC) takes soundings in the Solent. As the helmsman is Gordon Maguire, any further comment can only come from sailors of equal stature.
When a country is brooding under the gloom of a developing and lethal global pandemic, you’d have thought that something mildly light-hearted such as the weekend’s Sailing on Saturday creation of a virtual launch party at the Royal Irish Yacht…
Racing certainty? The 1971-vintage S&S 49 Hiro Maru (Hiro Nakajima) crossing the finish line at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes to win Class 3 in the 2019 Transatlantic Race. Hiro Maru is currently the senior entry in the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race 2020, and the favourite to be the first winner of the Maybird Mast Trophy for the oldest boat to complete the course, while also being well in the reckoning for other honours.
There’s a rumour going around about the cancellation of this week’s traditional Dublin launch in the Royal Irish Yacht Club of the biennial SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race, due to start from Wicklow Sailing Club on June 20th. The rumour…
Making sailing fun again – the user-friendly Sun Fast 3300 provides maximum sport for best-utilised effort as the boat moves over rather than through the water.
We were having one of those brainstorming discussions the other day about how best to promote sailing in Ireland, when some still small voice suggested that we were going at the challenge entirely the wrong way. We were thinking in…
The excitement for schoolkids getting afloat at Howth…. a new Bursary Scheme through Howth YC’s training Quest programme aims to spread the sailing net wider among primary schools on the peninsula.
Howth and its peninsula have been actively interacting with the sea since recorded history began, and instances of Howth children being taken sailing date back at least to the famous visit of Connacht’s sea queen Granuaille to Howth in the…
Strangford village’s own-build St Ayle’s Skiff. A sister-ship is to be built in Kilrush by Seol Sionna, builders and owners of the gaff cutter Sally O’Keeffe
This weekend two years ago, Storm Emma was sweeping Ireland, with onshore hurricane-force winds attacking much of the East Coast and wrecking a shed on Howth’s East Pier where, for decades, boats of the 1898-founded Howth Seventeen Foot class had…
Evelyn Cusack will speak at tomorrow's ICRA conference at Dun Laoghaire
You’d like the absolute one hundred per cent top-level insider information on what gives with the approaching Storm Jorge? Well, unless things conspire to such total destructiveness that she has to be at her command post 24/7 as Jorge sweeps…
Revelling in it. The late Roy Dickson racing his Corby 36 Rosie long after he’d become entitled to his free travel pass
The death of Roy Dickson of Sutton and Howth at the age of 87 takes from among us one of the most multi-talented people in sailing, a man whose 75-year career of innovation and success afloat had started as a…
The late Roy Dickson of Howth at the National YC after winning the 1984 Irish Half Ton Championship
We regret to announce the death a the age of 87 of Roy Dickson of Howth and Sutton, a former Commodore of both Sutton DC and Kilbarrack SC, and a renowned dinghy racer and offshore sailor who was a pioneer…
A long way from Portmarnock and early seagoing experience on Asgard – Darren Nagle’s award-winning Chantey V in the majestic anchorage of Puffin Bay in Alaska
The Irish Cruising Club celebrated the completion of its successful 90th year at its Annual General Meeting in the Royal Irish YC in Dun Laoghaire last night and saw a significant change of the watch with Stanton Adair of Belfast…
Nick Kats ketch Teddy in East Greenland waters last summer. Teddy was designed and built in steel in Denmark by Arne Hedlund in 1988
The further west you go in Ireland, the warmer is the hospitality. So despite the current ferocious weather and the fact that Clifden in Connemara is well out into Ireland’s Atlantic frontier, the mood will be friendly and warm in…
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