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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.

Thoroughbred style – the pioneering One Tonner Golden Apple is now in Denmark
We’ve become sadly inured to reports of Denis Doyle’s exquisitely-varnished Crosshaven-built Frers 51 Moonduster of 1981-vintage mouldering mossily in the harsh climate of northern Norway. So when a certain nautically-minded antiquarian bookseller of the Roughty Valley in southwest Kerry mentioned…
Living for the moment – Shannon One Designs giving as good as they get
When a Centenary arrives, most of those closely involved tend to focus on the history they’re celebrating, whether it’s a club or a boat class or whatever. Sometimes they become immersed in potentially challenging and even contentious projects like re-enactments,…
Gaff rig leaders Stiofan O Laoire, Paul Keogh and Johnny Wedick in Poolbeg Y&BC. Paul Keogh was honoured by the international Old Gaffers Association at their AGM at the weekend with the prestigious Jolie Brise Trophy for his long years of dedicated service with the Clondalkin-built Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan
For many years until her transfer to Galway in 2021, the Clondalkin community-built Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan was a feature of sailing life in Dublin’s River Liffey at Poolbeg Y&BC in Ringsend, and she was a regular attendee at traditional…
Effortless progress – Rob Mason’s newly-restored 1938-built trawler yacht Blue Hills moves sweetly through the waters of southwest Wales
To say that Rob Mason of Milford Haven has an eye for a boat is a bit like saying that the late Vincent O’Brien was quite a good judge of horseflesh. The retired Milford Haven tugboat skipper turned up from…
God’s own harbour town – Kinsale provides excellent berthing, superb hospitality, great sailing, and top class sport afloat
When the Irish Squib Class signed off their 2021 season with boats from all parts of the country taking part in the successful though socially-distanced Freshwater Regatta for four national keelboat classes at Dromineer on Lough Derg in October, the…
Fighting for clear air - a two-handed Figaro 2 asserts its rights over a Class40 at the start from Plymouth of the Royal Western YC’s Round Britain & Ireland Race, which all have its first 2022 stopover in Galway at the beginning of June.
Galway Bay Sailing Club are looking forward to organising the first stopover for the enlarged four-stage Round Britain and Ireland Race, which starts from Plymouth on May 29th 2022. In time past, the race has been based on two-handed crews.…
Hal Sisk’s 1991 replica of the 1663 Arklow-built catamaran Simon & Jude outperforming the Bantry Boat Unite in the mouth of the River Liffey
It’s said that when the experimentally-minded William Petty, the compiler of the Down Survey in Ireland in the 1660s, decided to build his very innovative Simon & Jude catamaran in 1663 for testing in Dublin Bay, the decidedly odd vessel…
File image of the tall ship Lady Ellen sailing
What goes around comes around. When Enda O’Coineen’s Atlantic Youth Trust revealed their interest in acquiring a classic three-masted topsail schooner from Sweden last Autumn for multiple maritime functions, of which sailing training would only be one, it set bells…
Hal Risk in the Dragon documentary Setting Hearts on Fire
The International Dragon One Design has been an important of Irish sailing since the 1930s, writes W M Nixon. This classic boat’s good looks and excellent performance continues to provide rewarding racing for sailors of all ages worldwide. Indeed, a…
Although the 12ft Wagtail is intended for day cruising rather than racing, the crew of this boat - currently on the market with Leinster Boats - are well aware that getting their weight efficiently amidships gives a much more rewarding sailing performance
The recent announcement that Nordic Clinker or Clench Timber Construction - as practised by several classic boat-builders in Ireland - is now receiving UNESCO Heritage Recognition has caused understandable pride among those who own one of those beauties, craft such…
The dream starts to become reality. Molly Claire at Lanzarote, having sailed out from Ireland before her Transatlantic passage
The French ocean sailing pioneer Bernard Moitessier became famous for trying not to be famous. In the Golden Globe challenge of 1968 with his Colin Archer-style steel ketch Joshua, he was very much in contention in the non-stop circumnavigating contest…
Irish Sailors of the Year 2021
Who gets your vote for Afloat Irish Sailor of the Year 2021? Afloat Sailors of the Month in 2021 kept our sport going through adversity is the view of Winkie Nixon in his review of 24 individual sailors, pairings and crews (below)…
Shannon One Designs in close racing at Lough Ree Yacht Club. In 2022, the Shannon ODs are celebrating their Centenary, while the 1770-founded Lough Ree YC will be marking its pandemic-postponed Quarter Millennium+
Lough Ree Yacht Club and the Shannon One Design Association are sharing this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Sailing Club of the Year Award. It’s the well-deserved honouring of a dynamic combination that provides a core contribution to the Athlone area’s reputation…
Sydney-Hobart Race winners three times in a row - Ichi Ban’s Matt Allen & Gordon Maguire with the Tattarsall Cup
When Gordon Maguire of Howth won his first Sydney-Hobart Race in 1991 helming Atara with Cork’s Harold Cudmore as skipper, he can scarcely have dreamed that thirty years later, he would proudly be holding the coveted Tattersall Cup for the…
Ichi Ban making knots in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race as she approaches the final stage in to the Hobart finish
Matt Allen’s Botin/TP 52 Ichi Ban, with Gordon Maguire of Howth as Sailing Master and a crew including Sean O’Rourke and Dublin-born Noel Drennan, has received the benefit of a remarkable reversal of fortune in the current Rolex Sydney Hobart…
The Botin 52 Ichi Ban (Matt Allen, Sailing Master Gordon Maguire) at the Organ Pipes in outer approaches to Hobart
Matt Allen’s TP 52 Ichi Ban, with Gordon Maguire as Sailing Master, was first of all the TP 52s into the finish of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race 2021 at 4:45:29 pm local time December 29th. But as she had…
In the calm of the night…..Black Jack crossed the Hobart finish line at 01:37
The Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race must be one of the most intensely-analysed offshore racing events in the world, providing four or five days of close-fought competition to be looked at every which way while the Northern Hemisphere is largely in a…
Ichi Ban settling to her work in open water in the race to Hobart, with the seas built by the fresh southerly wind steepened by the south-going East Australia Current. The Botin 52’s carefully-calculated hull sections minimize wetted area at this optimal angle of heel
The south-going East Australia Current off the coast of New South Wales can vary in its strength. But if there’s power in it at its strongest streams about ten miles and more offshore, even a moderate to fresh southerly wind…
The Transat Jacques Vabre Class40 winner Redman has been in mid-Atlantic December storms with Pamela Lee of Greystones
With the three named Atlantic storms of Arwen, Barra and Corrie already logged and leaving behind trails of varying degrees of disruption in Northwest Europe, we in Ireland don’t need to be told that the winter of 2021-2022 has been…
A Classic. The Rolex Sydney-Hobart fleet leaders sweep seaward in perfect style shortly after the traditional in-harbour start.
For many years now, the annual 628-mile Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race on 26th December has played a special role in reviving the mid-winter spirits of the dark and gloomy Northern Hemisphere, with the glitzy sunlit start out of one of the…
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