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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.

Time for a Sinking Fund? One cartographer’s version of Dublin’s chronic flood risk by 2050
Yet again we’ve had a journalist in Ireland’s “Paper of Record” ventilating at the weekend about the widely-held belief that not only are world sea levels rising – which we all accept – but that these absolute sea level rises…
Sailing Legend - at 83, Robin Knox-Johnston is in the front line of word saliing greats
Orca attacks on sailboats off Spain or Portugal - usually aiming for their rudders - are a matter of serious and increasing concern. Now the topic has been moved even further up the offshore passage-making agendawith an assault on the…
The start of the 2019 National YC Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race, with eventual overall winner Rockabill VI (JPK 10.80, Paul O’Higgins RIYC) just ahead of Mick Cotter’s 94ft Windfall, which took line honours and established a new course record. The 30th Anniversary D2D starts in Dublin Bay on June 7th 2023
Did we really manage it? Did we really cram all those major special and routine regular sailing events into the one season of 2022? And all that despite its three main months afloat experiencing decidedly mixed weather? And also despite…
Happy times – Molly and Erskine Childers cruising Asgard in the Baltic in 1910. His short life of 52 years from 1870 until his execution in Dublin on November 24th 1922 was one of increasing seriousness, and this is one of the very few photos which show him with even the hint of a smile
The gaunt but serene Erskine Childers (52) died an hour after dawn on November 24th 1922 in Beggars Bush Barracks in Dublin. He had been captured as an armed opponent of the new Irish Free State Government’s policy of implementing…
Outgoing Secretary Darryl Hughes, maritime historian Cormac Lowth and President Adrian Spence at Saturday's AGM of the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association in the Poolbeg Y&BC in Dublin Port
The Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association is now the central organisation for the OGA in Ireland, following the absorption of the Northern Ireland branch, which supplied the re-elected President, Adrian "Stu" Spence. His home port is in Ringhaddy Sound in…
Inshore heading offshore – ISORA 2022 Champion Mojito (Vicky Cox & Peter Dunlop, PSC) powering into clear air at the start of a Dun Laoghaire-Dingle Race, with Round Ireland winner Cavatina (Ian Hickey, RCYC) close abeam
Is most “ocean racing” today really oceanic? Does “offshore racing” really involve going truly offshore? Are boats touted as being “cruiser-racers” ever really used for genuine cruising? And are sailing enthusiasts who like to think of themselves as being devoted…
Cut and thrust of historic Water Wag racing against the background of the “noble granite” of Dun Laoghaire’s West Pier. The harbour now has monumental status with a history dating back more than two hundred years, and for much more than half of that time, the Water Wags have been a regular feature of its sailing scene
It could be argued that the progress of the Dublin Bay Water Wag Class has been unstoppable since its foundation in 1887 by Ben Middleton and his friends as the world’s first One-Design fleet. There may have been times in…
Stars of the Show – the 1994-founded International Cork 1720 Sportsboats found a new lease of life in 2022, and mustered 42 boats for their European Championship within Volvo Cork Week in July
Sailing sport has previously been halted within personal memory, both by world wars and more locally-based hostilities. And we don’t have to go very far beyond living individual recollection to gauge how the lingering effects of Spanish Flu in 1919…
CGI of the new Rob Doyle/Juan Kouyoumdjian Argo 54 sloop under sail. The aluminium hull was recently launched in the Netherlands, and is currently on the way to Greece for fitting out and commissioning
Today’s largest sailing superyachts are so much a world unto themselves that they lead a sort of independent and supra-national existence. The name of Argentine-born designer Juan Kouyoumdjian (an ancestor was Armenian) may be best known in Ireland for his…
That was then……Julius Price’s classic late Victorian portrayal of a female helm adorned the walls of the snooker room in many traditional yacht clubs. Courtesy RUYC
Anyone with a basic knowledge of the development of sailing in Ireland – particularly from 1890 onwards – will be aware that women sailors played an active role afloat in this country’s sailing boat sport for a long time. For…
Irish Solo Sailor Pat Lawless is among the Golden Globe Race front-runners as they close towards their second video-drop off Capetown. See Live tracker below
Pat Lawless of Limerick, in his hefty Saltrams Saga 36 Green Rebel, has strengthened his placing at fourth in the Golden Globe Race 2022, having seen off the challenge of India's Abilash Tomy in his much-fancied Rustler 36. Simon Curwen,…
The view eastward over modern Ringsend. At first glance it seems totally tamed, with the formerly anarchic waterfront along the banks of the River Dodder (running left to right across photo foreground) now neatly tidied, while the south bank of the Liffey is kept in order by the dual carriageway accessing the Eastlink Bridge. But a “magic maritime space” has been preserved to provide room for Poolbeg Y&BC with its marina and mooring area, while there’s waterfront access and pontoons for the thriving Stella Maris and St Patrick’s Rowing Club
When the multi-talented John B Kearney (1879-1967) retired from a distinguished career in Dublin Port in 1944, he re-focused most of his attention on his parallel interest as a yacht designer and builder. It was an enduring passion that went…
the marine artist Richard Brydges Beechey, who lived and worked in Dublin for many years
Nobody knows how maritime researcher and historian Cormac Lowth does it all. But while most of us are still absorbing his recently-launched encyclopaedic book about the once hugely active Ringsend sailing trawler fleet, he has been re-focusing on another of…
Hull speed…..the Howth 17 Isobel (Conor & Brian Turvey) digs in and goes for it as she runs hard at Howth on Saturday
With six solid race results already on the leaderboard, the weekend’s seventh and final race of the Beshoff Motors Autumn League at Howth Yacht Club came through as a bonus with an often sunny though brisk and freshening southerly. But…
“If you like your work, then work is the best fun that you can have”. 25 years on, and going stronger than ever at MGM Boats’ Silver Jubilee Celebration in Dun Laoghaire are (left to right), Ross O’Leary, John O’Kane (Belfast Lough Office), Gerry Salmon and Martin Salmon 
For most sailors in what is Ireland’s largest and busiest pier-enclosed recreational harbour, MGM Boats of Dun Laoghaire are, first and foremost, the people who provide the essential service of one of Ireland’s largest and most versatile travel hoists. For…
An O'Brien Kennedy-designed Lymington Slipway 5 Tonner. The prototype won the Round the Island Race in the late 1940s
We've a plea for help from Darren Fowler in the Channel Islands: "I am currently restoring the Lymington Slipway 5 tonner "Sardrette", 182817, first registered 27/7/51 in Guernsey. There is very little information available on these boats; I have read…
The Full Monty - a complete waterspout is more likely to be seen in tropical waters than off the Irish coast
Any young reader of the Arthur Ransome children's novel Peter Duck will know that waterspouts are - more or less - tornadoes over the sea which quite frequently occur in tropical waters, and they can build a mighty column of…
The last hurrah. Ted Crosbie’s X302 No Excuse on her way to victory by one point in the Royal Cork YC IRC Winter League 2017. Just as Ted had encouraged his own father Tom to keep sailing until well into advanced old age, so Ted’s son Tom encouraged his father to keep racing until he was eighty-seven
Ted Crosbie combined so many of the strongest threads of Cork life that he embodied an entire Munster universe of personal positivity. Family was everything to him, but so too was the unique and bustling maritime city of Cork and…
The ultimate crew view – Don Street of Glandore racing Gypsy at the International Dragon Class 90th Anniversary Regatta at San Remo, and an uncountable number of boats in his wake. Gypsy was the fleet senior, and Don is senior to her…..
Glandore in West Cork is a picturesque international melting pot of folk of all types from many backgrounds, and like all melting pots, it can occasionally boil ever, particularly if you have someone like Don Street stirring the heated mix.…
Classic ridge day at Howth on Saturday, as the afternoon draws on with continuing sunshine, even if the indicators in the sky of the slowly-approaching rain and southerly gales are spreading from the west. However, the sun prevailed for two races on this fourth day of the HYC Beshoff Motors Autumn League, and conditions were comfortably benign for the vintage Howth 17s to carry their jackyard topsails. In fact, the topsails make such a difference that most boats now carry a Hawk Wind Indicator on their topyard, but not all of these delicate items survive the fraught journey aloft. Despite that, Harriet Lynch’s Echo (No 8, built 1913 by Hollwey of Ringsend) recorded a 6th and 8th in a fleet of 15
The Howth Peninsula was buzzing with sailing sport at the weekend, with the top level of competition on its southwest side at the national Champions’ Cup raced in GP 14s at Sutton Dinghy Club, while there was competition at every…
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