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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.

A joy to sail. Bantry Boats revelling in open sea conditions off the Morbihan in France during 2014’s Atlantic Challenge
Most sailing folk in Ireland will have some level of awareness of the Bantry Boat. Even those who live most determinedly in the present, and look unswervingly to the future, will be vaguely aware that thanks to some fortuitous turns…
Conor Fogerty of Howth’s Class 3 winner Bam! pacing with the higher-rated J/122 Liquid as they approach the final turn of the RORC Caribbean 600 at the deserted island of Redonda on Thursday evening
With winter still clinging like a hyper-cold limpet in northern latitudes, the prospect of balmy breezes and warm seas in the tenth annual RORC Caribbean 600 in late February seemed like the perfect prospect for escape and sport writes W…
Maire Breathnach at the helm of the Swan 44 King of Hearts off Cape Horn in 2004 during the circuit of South America, when she was first awarded the Irish Cruising Club’s Faulkner Cup
Irish cruising under sail and power is being celebrated and developed this weekend. Last night’s AGM of the Irish Cruising Club in the National YC in Dun Laoghaire saw this 1929-founded organisation moving its many activities forward on all fronts…
Role reversal. A year ago, when Olympic Medallist Annalise Murphy became Volvo Sailor of the Year 2016, monthly award winner Conor Fogerty got together with her for a quick snap. Now, she is on the high seas, racing the Hong Kong to New Zealand leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. And Conor Fogerty is now Volvo Sailor of the Year 2017
As he commented at last night’s annual Volvo Sailing Awards ceremony, our Sailing on Saturday columnist reckons that anyone who thinks they really understand every aspect of the Irish sailing and boating scene obviously isn’t a part of it. It’s…
Pata Negra, a Marc Lombard-designed IRC 46. This interesting boat has been chartered by Howth’s Michael Wright for the RORC Caribbean 600 in two weeks’ time
The annual RORC Caribbean 600 in late February is now a pillar event of the international offshore racing programme, despite the fact that it was only first sailed – and on a rather experimental basis at that – as recently…
A slight touch of maturity…….Dun Laoghaire’s Sean Craig – Helmsman’s Champion of Ireland in 1993 – racing in the Laser Masters Worlds in Croatia last September. This year’s mega-fleet Masters Worlds will be in Dun Laoghaire from 7th to 15th September.
We’re living longer than ever. But as the years advance, are most of us really living, really alive? Or are we merely existing, and allowing our diminishing physical abilities and shrinking mental interests to be dictated by out-of-date concepts about…
A Cork Harbour One Design heading seaward in style. This 1895-96 William Fife design is one of many vintage One-Designs still sailing in Ireland which are of special interest to international boat-building schools
The traditional and classic wooden boat-building movement is gaining momentum in many parts of the world. It can be part of educational and training schemes which provide skills and purpose in life, usually for young people but also for older…
Work on re-building Conor O’Brien’s Saoirse has begun in West Cork. Meanwhile, the noted world-girdler’s capacity for speed has always been a matter of interest – this photos of her at full chat off the coast of Cornwall was taken in the 1950s by another noted circumnavigator, Eric Hiscock
Work began this week at Oldcourt near Baltimore in West Cork on reconstructing Conor O’Brien’s Saoirse. One of the most remarkable sailing vessels in Irish and world maritime history, the 42ft Saoirse is unique in many ways. W M Nixon…
The complete sailing club. High summer at the National Yacht Club with a major Laser event under way. Berthed amidst them at the pontoon is Conor and Henrietta O’Regan’s Rival 38 Panima, which they cruised round the world. Moored off (right) is a Flying Fifteen, a class which has been a mainstay of the club for many years, and will be bringing its World Championship to the NYC in 2019. On this particular morning, all is well with the world with a great sailing day in prospect as the developing easterly sea breeze begins to get the flags fluttering
The National Yacht Club of Dun Laoghaire – founded in 1870 – has long been one of Ireland’s leading sailing clubs in sporting competition inshore and offshore, while at the same time retaining a friendly, hospitable and “can-do” attitude to…
Summer sailing time in Ireland. The crew of the 1897-vintage 37ft Myfanwy from Wales celebrate “the best five days of sailing in our lives” after the last race of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2017. And this was before they heard that they’d won the Kingstown 200 Cup – the winning crew are (left to right) Max Mason, Rob Mason, Andy Whitcher and Gus Stott. Photo: W M Nixon
Here on Afloat.ie, in recent weeks we’ve carried several formalised reviews of the 2017 sailing season at home and abroad in its many aspects, and have looked forward to what 2018 may bring, and what it should bring. Yet as…
The hottest new boat on the Australian coast. Matt Allen’s Botin-designed TP52 Ichi Ban, with Gordon Maguire as Sailing Master. Ichi Ban has been scorching her way to the front of the fleet since making her debut in October, and is a favourite for the handicap win in the up-coming Rolex Sydney-Hobart race
It is one of the world’s classic offshore races. And its timing plumb in the middle of the Christmas holidays make it an essential safety valve for serious sailors being smothered in festive cheer in the Northern Hemisphere. For although…
The haven under the hill. Howth will be pulling out all the stops to make its new Wave Regatta from June 1st to 4th 2018 a user-friendly success
A successful new development in the national sailing programme will inevitably be something of a revolution. Yet if those managing the event handle it in the right way, the changeover can take place without people thinking that anything really revolutionary…
The Eric Tabarly-skippered trimaran Cote d’Or III racing to Dun Laoghaire in the Tag Heuer Round Europe Race 1987
In a year which has seen sailing headlines frequently dominated by uniquely French events like the Vendee Globe, the Mini-Transat and the Transat Jacques Vabre, we find ourselves analyzing yet again just why France’s special take on our sport seems…
George David’s all-conquering Rambler 88 at Wicklow Head shortly after the start of the Volvo Round Ireland Race 2016. 2018’s staging of this biennial classic will be the 20th edition, and its international significance is recognized with bonus points for the RORC Championship
At least two different viewpoints may be taken on the remarkable and very long history of sailing in Ireland. Either you see it as a wonderful heritage, which should be celebrated with gala anniversaries, and whatever you’re having yourself, at…
Ludde Ingvall’s extremely individual 98ft CQS aboard which Ireland’s 2013 “Sailor of the Year” David Kenefick of Cork will be racing the RORC Transatlantic
With three major yet very different marathon sailing events crossing the Atlantic this month, it’s clear that the once decidedly quirky and often eccentric devotees of offshore and ocean racing are becoming mainstream. This is further reinforced by the confirmation…
The public face of Fintan Cairns – at the helm (left) of the ICRA Support RIB with Barry Rose and Mike Broughton during the Anthony O’Leary-led 2014 re-taking of the Commodore’s Cup
He was in the key role of Commodore when Dublin Bay Sailing Club was successful in implementing the changeover from pier to Committee Boat starts which involved the complete re-structuring of its course programme in the Bay, and many other…
At Ballyholme on Belfast Lough in April, the biggest-ever Irish Sailing Youth Pathway Nationals saw Ewan McMahon of Howth emerging supreme in the elite fleet in the Laser Radial, making him April’s Junior Sailor of the Month
The Afloat.ie “Sailor of the Month” awards were established twenty-one years ago in 1996. But as the adjudicators have always been allowed an element of flexibility, sometimes there have been more than one award in a particular month, so any…
The sailing dream realised for Westport’s Joan Mulloy. But now she reckons she has to give her sailing talent a real racing edge, and in January she’ll be doing an intensive offshore racing and training course with the legendary Tanguy Leglatin at Lorient in South Brittany.
In an exceptional week for Irish international offshore sailors, the Michael Boyd-skippered Lisa has been confirmed as both the RORC Points Champion and the Boat of the Year, while the Damian Foxall-crewed Vestas 11th Hour Racing has emerged as the…
(Top) The essence of summer sailing for the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, which also celebrated the Bicentenary of the Harbour. The classic restored Dublin Bay 24 Periwinkle (Chris Craig and David Espey) and the likewise restored 1897-vintage 37ft Myfanwy (Rob Mason) racing neck and neck towards the in-harbour finish. Photo: David O’Brien/Afloat.ie (Above) Another side of 2017’s sailing. 2016 All-Ireland Champion Helm Alex Barry of Monkstown Bay SC revelling in brisk conditions at the Royal Cork’s successful Dinghyfest 2017. Event organizer Nin O’Leary had put in such good work beforehand that he was able to take a day out to go to England and win the huge-fleet Round the Island Race. Photo: Robert Bateman
While sailing is now a year-round interest, and for many a year-round activity too, the notion of a traditional season is natural for anyone who lives in Ireland. Admittedly, there are times when we seem to be experiencing the four…
Grind on…..Annalise Murphy putting in the work on Turn the Tide on Plastic
There is a time and a season to all things, and in some years, that time comes earlier than others. Ireland has been getting away with it in remarkable style in recent weeks, putting through 2017’s Autumn sailing fixtures in…
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