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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.

The first of American Magic's two AC75's is officially named DEFIANT in front of friends and family during a ceremony at the team's base of operation in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.
The New York Yacht Club have been having a busy time of it up at their Newport, Rhode Island summer base, what with running the intense International Invitational Series in which Ireland’s Anthony O’Leary took Bronze for Royal Cork, and…
Better late than never – superb July weather comes to Howth in mid-September, nicely in time for the start of the Beshoff Motors Autumn League 2019
Bright sunshine, a good but warm sailing breeze, and summer temperatures which lasted well into the evening made Saturday’s opening of the 38th annual Autumn League at Howth Yacht Club – partnered this year by specialist car importers Beshoff Motors…
A place at ease with itself, despite the inevitable problems of running a busy harbour. Howth at noon on an early September day, with the yacht club beyond and the trawler Eblana – owned by John Lynch and his son Peter – taking aboard her nets after her annual August refit has left her looking very well indeed
Howth Yacht Club has a fresh buzz to it these days, an electrical charge which - if they could somehow package, market and sell it at its true value - would surely provide a handy addition to club revenues. But…
Frank Nugent, a crewman on the Ilen Salmons Wakes Voyage to Greenland, climbing the ridge of Tilman Peak (named for pioneering mountaineer/sailor Bill Tilman) in West Greenland, with Ilen a barely visible dot, very far below in the small bay immediately to the right of the rocky summit. Photo: Paddy O’Brien
This past summer’s successful Salmon’s Wake voyage by Limerick’s 56t traditional ketch Ilen to Greenland worked productively in many ways in high mountains, on the sea, and in ports where the crew interacted with Greenlanders on several cultural programmes. But…
Lunch break with a difference – the exploring flotilla of Drascombes at a natural berthing spot in the hidden entrance to the “upper Upper Shannon” at the north end of Lough Allen. The rising ground in the background leads on to Cuilcagh, location of the river’s traditional source at the Shannon Pot
What is the most meandering bit of waterway in all Ireland? Obviously it would be a river. And surely it would have to be a river trying to get across a very large area of flat country where, over the…
The new Mark Mills-designed Melges IC37 is the boat of choice for the New York YC Invitational Series which starts today at Newport, Rhode Island, with Anthony O’Leary of Royal Cork skippering the Irish challenge.
Although the New York Yacht Club was founded as “recently” as 1844, it’s regarded in the senior yacht club in the USA, as is the Royal Cork in Ireland - and the world too, come to that, with the RCYC’s…
Grace O’Malley in fighting form – would anyone have invited her in for dinner when His Lordship was away?
When the great sea warrior queen Granuaile of Mayo voyaged from Clew Bay to parlay with the then all-powerful Queen Elizabeth I in London, there was even more to it than was hinted at by Clew Bay Figaro sailor Joan…
The Dun Laoghaire sea/land interface as seen from seaward as it might be with the new National Watersports Campus installed in the Municipal Watersport Centre at the inner end of the Carlisle Pier
Mark Twain used to say that you should never get into a row with anyone who buys ink by the barrel. But last weekend The Irish Times, our national Paper of Record, ran a Weekend Review feature about the problematical…
Malizia II – having been well ahead of Hurricane Dorian, a crew injury has now delayed her near the storm’s track at St Pierre off southeast Newfoundland
This week’s attempt by the Monaco-based Malizia II to set up a Transatlantic west-east record time for a fully-crewed IMOCA 60 with two Irish – Shane Diviney and Brian Carlin – in the crew of five, has been knocked off…
The ketch Ilen’s regular training berth in Kinsale has welcomed her back to Ireland from Greenland
The Limerick ketch Ilen returned safely from Greenland to berth at an Irish quayside for the first time in more than two months when, at 0400hrs this morning, skipper Paddy Barry and his crew brought the 56ft 1926-built “little ship”…
The Little Skellig as seen from Ilen eleven months ago, when she was on passage from Batimore to her home port of Limerick
When Conor O’Brien returned from his round the world voyage in Saoirse to Dun Laoghaire in 1925, it was all carefully choreographed so that he arrived in the middle of a Saturday afternoon, and the DBSC fleet, having abandoned their…
The Open 60 Malizia II, climate activist Greta Thunberg’s preferred means of travel to reach New York, will have two Irish in the crew of five for the up-coming Transatlantic record attempt on the return voyage
The IMOCA 60 Malizia II is one busy boat these days writes W M Nixon. She hit the global headlines by conveying climate activist Greta Thunberg across the Atlantic to New York in a carbon-neutral way courtesy of skipper Pierre…
Leaving Greenland…..Ilen under Paddy Barry’s command seen recently heading eastward through Prinz Christian Sund, the awesomely steep but very convenient passage inside Greenland’s most southerly headland of Cape Farewell. The colours leaching from some of those cliffside rocks suggest that this rugged environment might hold impressive reserves of valuable minerals, making it one very desirable piece of real estate………..if it were for sale.
There’ll be opportunities in Limerick and Greenland for young people to learn more of what the two Transatlantic voyages – outward and return - of the 56ft traditional ketch Ilen have discovered and explained, with schools now resumed after the…
There are two diametrically opposed ways of looking at this photo of the Dublin Bay 25s starting a race a very long time ago through the entrance of Dun Laoghaire Harbour. You either loathe it as being a way of beginning a race which puts too much emphasis on luck. Or you can love it as being a celebration of wayward sailing skills which rely on local knowledge and sheer cunning.
Our header photo this week may not be the greatest in terms of clarity and technical brilliance, let alone jaw-dropping drama writes W M Nixon. But it tells us much about our peculiar sport of racing under sail, that two…
The Limerick ketch Ilen making knots in Dublin Bay in May. Having since voyaged to Greenland for salmon migration research and the further development of cultural interchange between Limerick and Greenland schools, she is now bound for Kinsale for an Autumn programme of school and health projects before finally returning to Limerick in October
The 56ft traditional ketch Ilen under the command of Paddy Barry has been making excellent progress since departing Greenland on Sunday evening, and is already halfway home to Ireland along the 1200 mile passage from Prince Christian Sund writes W…
The late Douglas Deane, winner of the Dognose Trophy in 1959 at Crosshaven.
The world of sailing in Ireland and internationally is much diminished by the sad passing of Douglas “Dougie” Deane of Crosshaven at the age of 82, after a very fully-lived life in which he contributed much to the sports with…
Michael Walsh of Dubarry presented Belgian solo sailor Caroline Adriens with a very practical gift of the latest Dubarry Shamrock Boots in Galway before she departed south on her dream voyage
Belgian solo sailor Caroline Adriens has departed southwards from Galway after spending nearly a year in the popular west coast port with her 30ft Albin Ballad. She had arrived in Galway in September 2018 from Tromsø in Norway via Shetland,…
A perfect day for their first sail - pupils of Tokai School in Japan were introduced to sailing in Quest’s J/80s at Howth, in this case with instructor Alex Delamer.
With all eyes on the pre-Olympics and the Rugby World Cup in Japan, Quest Howth has recently proven a big hit in the Land of the Rising Sun. While the focus in recent days may have been on the Olympic…
ISORA competitors Tsunami (left) and Wow depart Dublin Bay on Saturday en route for Greystones in a feeder race to the County Wicklow port
After so much promise with sun-filled races towards Greystones on Saturday, as a local observer has wrily remarked, Sunday was more Factor 6 than Force 6…….Perhaps in other places, local coastal anomalies and neighbourhood weakness in tidal streams made events…
The 56ft 1926-built Ilen setting her full traditional rig off the rugged coast of Greenland
Limerick’s restored 56ft Conor O’Brien-designed 1926-built traditionally-rigged trading ketch Ilen emerged yesteray evening (Sunday) from the eastern end of Prince Christian Sound to start her passage back to Ireland writes W M Nixon. The magnificent Sound - noted for its dramatic…
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