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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.

Armel Le Cleac'h winning the 2016-2017 Vendee Globe in January 2017, and setting a new 74-day record that now stands for another four years
While most of us may think the actual winner of the current Vendee Globe will emerge in the next day or two from among the ranks of Charlie Dalin, Boris Herrmann, Louis Burton, Thomas Ruyant, and Yannick Bestaven as they…
Bob Fisher – information, explanation, entertainment, achievement and a spot of mischief were never far away
The death in England of the great sailor and sailing writer Bob Fisher at the age of 85 has taken from among us one of the most vibrantly life-enhancing practitioners, innovators, expounders and promoters of our sport. He had achieved…
Laser 4.7 Euro Championship 2019 underway in Belgium. The classic Laser has served sailing well – the hull design may have been in existence for more than fifty years, yet it still looks very right no matter which of the three rig options you choose.
At one stage last Autumn, it looked for a week or two as though Irish venues might be hosting no less than five World Championships for dinghy classes during the three week period between the July 24th and August 14th…
Paul O'Higgins' champion JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI in action off the West Cork coast in Calves Week. She has raced round or past the Fastnet Rock several times in other events, but this year the star Dun Laoghaire boat will be doing the Rolex Fastnet Race itself for the first time
If anyone in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's suite of race offices was bothered by the thought that the 2021 change of course in the club's core event, the biennial Fastnet Race, was going to have a detrimental effect on…
eSailing champion – Howth's Colin Kavanagh spills the beans about successful eRacing online on Wednesday night
It's arguably the case that the best way through lock-down is to assume it's all going to last a bit longer – maybe a lot longer - than most people think. Thus the most effective way to negotiate your way…
Showing the plate – and then some. Ewan McMahon in action off Malta yesterday (Wednesday)
In Japan, public opinion may be divided as to whether this summer’s already postponed Tokyo Olympics should be postponed even further, or indeed completely cancelled. But completely focused athletes such as Laser sailor Ewan McMahon of Howth have no choice…
Hang Ten - Junior Optimist sailors catch a wave in California
They say that a good junior sail training programme will gradually introduce the young people to an increasingly demanding range of experiences afloat. But we doubt if the instructors in Santa Cruz in California at the weekend had had something…
The Dublin Bay 21 Naneen on her first sail after restoration, slipping effortlessly along on the Shannon Estuary off Kilrush
The continuing restoration of the Dublin Bay 21 class of 1902, in the longterm project guided by Hal Sisk and Fionan de Barra of Dun Laoghaire, has seen the work of Master Shipwright Stephen Morris of Kilrush and his team…
Getting on a head of steam. Rockabill Vi (Paul O’Higgins, RIYC) starting to find the strengthening fair wind in the early stages of the 2019 Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race. Already the defending champion after winning in 2017, she held on to her title in Dingle, and was also ISORA Champion and ICRA “Boat of the Year”, while her owner-skipper became 2019 Sailor of the Year
It’s only a week since the listings opened for the National YC’s 2021 Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race scheduled for June 9th, and already 15 definite entries have arrived in with such speed that the organising committee - under…
Irish sailing in 2020 involved carefully monitored events with limited numbers. Deprived of properly celebrating their Quarter Millennium as long planned, Lough Ree YC ran a special regatta in late August which – despite numbers in the club compound being limited to 200 with strict social distancing in the clubhouse – produced excellent racing, with one of the stars being Ben Graf, who went on to become September's Junior Sailor of the Month. Here, there's crisp action at the weather mark for the leading Shannon One Designs, which in 2022 will be celebrating their Centenary
For sure, the pandemic-plagued year of 2020 - with its stop-start framework of activity afloat and ashore - was something beyond most sailors' experience. Yet ours is nothing if not a can-do sport. And while some sailing enthusiasts – particularly…
Christmas Eve, 1895, and the Dublin Bay lifeboat has capsized with tragic loss of life whole trying to reach the wrecked sailing ship Palme.
If you think that life is tough under the current pandemic, then the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association has just the thing to put current national and personal problems into perspective, with a comprehensively illustrated Zoom talk by noted maritime…
A brisk breeze for the finish of the "Belfast Regatta" of 1829 – the full title reads: "Race Won 19 June 1829, at the Belfast Regatta', by the 'Ariel, John McCracken Esq., against the 'Crusader, Sir Stephen May, and the 'Zoe', Marquis (sic) of Donegall". From a painting by Andrew Nicholl, Ulster Museum
The history of sailing in Belfast Lough became so hectic in the 1890s, with the pioneering development of One-design keelboat classes and the first of Thomas Lipton's five America's Cup challenges going forth from Royal Ulster Yacht Club in 1899,…
Dublin Bay - playground, workspace, living area and complex ecosystem. With Dublin Port to the left and Dun Laoghaire Harbour on right, the sporting challenges of best utilising Dublin Bay's uniquely balanced potential have been successfully met by Dublin Bay Sailing Club
Dublin Bay Sailing Club's recognition today as the Mitsubishi Motors "Sailing Club of the Year" 2021 on the strength of achieving a remarkably full programme in 2020 when Pandemic Regulations permitted is well merited. Yet it's only the second time…
Paddy Judge brings a wealth of technical experience and a long record of voluntary service to his new position as Howth YC Commodore
Paddy Judge, a long-serving committee member and flag officer with Howth Yacht Club, succeeded Ian Byrne as Commodore as the members were asserting the club spirit with an impressive entry in the competition for the best Christmas Festive Lights display,…
The Brendan currach – "36ft of Cow & Gate" – made for a challenging east-west crossing of the northern North Atlantic in 1976-77
When the Courtmacsherry Harbour Boat Club was founded ten years ago, the late Tim Severin - the neighbourhood's own legendary sea adventurer and explorer of international renown - found himself in several roles at the inaugural gathering. Naturally, he was…
The sort of days which will return "when all this is past". The Doug Peterson-designed Contessa 35 Witchcraft of Howth racing in ISORA Week 1991 in Howth
Our header photo is one whose use had not been anticipated for at least another month, and hopefully not at all. For it was optimistically expected that by late January, we'd have evidence the vaccines were beginning to work, with…
"She stopped time for everyone around". So said photographer Teddy Murphy as he recorded the characterful Limerick trading ketch Ilen when she came through Dalkey Sound in a flash of sunlight on the afternoon of December 7th for a busy two weeks visit to Dublin
In Greek mythology, at the Winter Solstice, there is a brief calm for the Halcyon Day, and this was the experience of the crew on the Limerick ketch Ilen as they headed away on Monday evening, after a busy two…
Festive lights afloat at Kinsale Marina in West Cork
There are only a few harbours in Ireland where you get the feeling that the land is effortlessly embracing the sea rather than endlessly battling it, but Kinsale is undoubtedly one of them. The picturesque port town provides a gentle…
Putting on the cloth on the shortest day of the year – Ilen’s headsails being hanked on at Poolbeg Y&BC in Dublln this afternoon
The great Captain Cook may have voyaged to the Pacific in 1769 for the astronomical purpose of observing the Transit of Venus from Tahiti. But tonight (Monday) the crew of the Limerick ketch Ilen have a more modest hope -…
Your flexible friend – as we finally emerge from the pandemic, the classically good-looking Lasers will be tops in leading the way afloat
The Irish Laser class would remind you of a murmuration of starlings. They major in highly flexible shape-changing formations in which the actual moving around of the fleet is a matter of independent individual units somehow sweeping together with apparently…
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