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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.

Royal St. George's line honours leader, Chris Power Smith's Aurelia at the Daunt Buoy at 0930 hours this morning on her way to the Cork Harbour finish of the inaugural Fastnet 450 Race
Day 3, Monday, 0900hrs Chris Power Smith's J/122 Aurelia may have had nearly two miles in hand on Denis and Annamarie Murphy's Grand Soleil 40 when she led the Fastnet 450 fleet round the Fastnet Rock at 0040 hrs in…
 The Dubois 40 Irish Independent with Tim Goodbody as lead helm rounds the Fastnet Rock in August 1987, on the way to overall victory in the Fastnet Race. Tonight, Tim's son Richard and grandson Max will be racing rounding the Rock as crewmembers on Chris Power Smith's J/122 Aurelia in the Fastnet 450.
Day Two, Sunday, 2030hrs:  After a stimulating day's sailing along the length of the south coast, turning to windward in very sailable breezes and enjoying more sunshine than much of the rest of Ireland, the leaders in the Fastnet 450 are…
Chris and Patanne Smith's J122 Aurelia from the Royal St George Yacht Club
Day two, Sunday 1400 hrs: Chris Power Smith’s J/122 Aurelia was the first of the three on-the-water leaders in the Fastnet 450 to tack far offshore for the longboard that will take her from the area of stronger west wind…
Fastnet 450 race leader - Denis & Annamarie Murphy's Grand Soleil Niueulargo
Sunday, day two, 0930hrs: After yesterday (Saturday) afternoon's swift ebb-assisted close reach down the East Coast from Dun Laoghaire to the first major turn at the Tuskar Rock, the fleet in the Fastnet 450 have found a determinedly west wind of…
Nieulargo (Denis & Annamarie Murphy) at the start of the Fastnet 450 Race
Day One 1830 - As the onset of the adverse flood tide approaches with the leaders sluicing south past Cahore Point with the last of the ebb and more than 50 miles of the Fastnet 450 course already sailed, an…
Cian McCarthy's Cinamonn Girl from Kinsale is front row after the 1pm start today of the Fastnet 450 Race on Dublin Bay
A brisk sou'wester provided a fast reaching start for the 266-mile Fastnet 450 Race at 1300 hrs today in Dublin Bay, with Chris Power Smith's J/122 Aurelia (RStGYC), John O'Gorman's Sunfast 3600 Hot Cookie (NYC) and Robert Rendell's X45 Samatom…
Denis & Annamarie Murphy's Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo (Royal Cork YC) racing off Dublin Bay, which this weekend sees her start as one of the favourites in the 270-mile Fastnet 450 Race.
The Fastnet 450 starts today (Saturday) at 1300hrs in Dublin Bay, and sends the fleet on a 270-mile course southward, taking them all the way to the Fastnet Rock before finishing back at the entrance to Cork Harbour, clear of…
The Saltram Saga 36 – Pat Lawless’s Iniscealtra is one of this special type, based on the Colin Archer all-weather concept.
While Ireland is battered by the multiple surges of Storm Ellen, the irrepressible Pat Lawless of Ballyferriter on the Dingle Peninsula is riding it out on the southern fringes of the huge weather system, halfway home from the Azores in…
Globe Star, which the late Marvin Creamer sailed round the world without any orthodox navigational equipment between 1982 and 1985, became part of the Irish Cruising Club fleet in 1986. She is a Ted Brewer-designed steel-built Goderich 36.
When Marvin Creamer sailed his robust Ted Brewer-designed Goderich 36 steel cutter Globe Star round the world in 1982-1985, the now-cliched habit of describing any extra-special form of activity as "extreme" was still only in its infancy. Yet by any…
"The Hat" in his hot glass boat…Caolan Croasdell and Fiona Drayne (Lough Ree YC) on their way to winning the Mirror Nats, with Chloe & Fionn Murphy (also Lough Ree and fourth overall) close aboard, and the black-hulled Blue Away (David Evans & Jack Draper, Sligo YC, 5th overall) chasing them both
With the Mirror Worlds 2021 scheduled for Sligo YC at Rosses Point, there was an extra edge to the weekend's two-day Mirror Nationals 2020 on the race area under the unmistakable profile of Ben Bulben. And though the fleet size…
Father and son team – Patrick & Morgan Oliver aboard their 7 Metre Cheetah Class Catamaran in Galway Docks today (Saturday)
It says everything about the announcement that Patrick Oliver of The Claddagh in Galway and his son Morgan are to receive the Afloat.ie National Seamanship Trophy with immediate effect, when we realise that everyone in the country will know exactly…
"Warriors About to Go into Battle". This properly serious-looking foursome from the cream of the 1982 Irish Laser Class, with their mentor Ron Huthcieson on right, are (left to right) Simon Brien (later multiple Edinburgh Cup winner and other majors), multiple champion Charlie Taylor (still at it in the Laser Masters), Olympian Bill O'Hara, and Dave Cummins, All-Ireland Helmsmans Champion 1981 and 1982
The retirement this month of noted northern sailor Ron Hutchieson as Chairman of Irish Sailing's Racing Rules & Appeals Board brings to a conclusion an exceptionally long period of devoted and very effective honorary official service to sailing and its…
Summer perfection – Pat Murphy's 23ft Pinkeen celebrates her seventy years with dreamlike sailing off Cobh
Not everyone gets the opportunity to restore a boat built by their grandfather, a gem of a boat whose construction started 70 years ago. But then, not everyone has had a professional seafaring and recreational sailing career to match that…
Alan Algeo, former Commodore of Lough Ree YC, feels he has to dress properly when water-skiing on strange waters, and we’re assured that’s his Lough Ree YC tie he’s wearing while cutting a dash on Lough Derg, with the Tipperary Riviera looking its luscious best
Once a Commodore, always a Commodore. And though it’s quite some time since Alan Algeo was Commodore of Lough Ree Yacht Club, in this its Quarter Millennium Year he feels that the frustrations of the COVID-denial of the full celebrations…
Aran Islands RNLI lifeboat was involved in the extensive Galway Bay search. The  girls were found off Inisheer
The two young women paddleboarders who went missing off Furbo on the northern shore of Galway Bay at 8 pm yesterday evening have been found alive and well clinging to a lobster pot marker off Inisheer, the most easterly of…
A moment of inspiration recalled at Sutton Dinghy Club's Junior Training – Annalise Murphy wins her Silver Medal in Rio, August 2016
Olympic Silver Medallist Annalise Murphy took a break from her training routine towards the 2021 Olympics this (Wednesday) morning when she hopped into her sponsored Mercedes SUV to see the successful COVID-compliant Junior set up put together by Hugh Gill…
A gybe rounding at the lee mark could be doubly difficult with the Howth 17s insistence that their spinnakers are one-sided, but Shane O’Doherty and his team on the 2020 Champion Pauline have got it to perfection despite being hounded by light-air flyer Rita (No 1, John Curley and Marcus Lynch,) and defending champion Deilginis (No 11)
The Howth 17 Nationals 2020 saw five good races sailed – a pier starter on Friday evening, and four committee boat open water races on Saturday – with the sunny nor’east wind holding up enough for the four open water…
First into the ring…Rupert Barry’s JOD35 Red Alert from Greystones was the first fully-confirmed entry for the Fastnet 450 in two weeks’ time
It’s called the SCORA Fastnet 450 which is a zinger of a name, whatever it means, and right now it’s taking shape as we go along in best pop-up style, having come centre stage after the Round Ireland Race was…
If we were to title this photo “Traditional west of Ireland gaff rigger sails past Macdara’s Island off the shores of Connemara”, even in Ireland quite a few people would buy it as the truth. But the rugged little gannet-laden island of Ireland’s Eye off Howth really does looks as if it belongs somewhere in the far west of County Galway. And the thought that they still sail boats of this antique appearance in such a setting within ten miles of the centre of a modern capital city is also clearly absurd….Yet this is the Howth 17 Sheila ( Dave Mulligan) in Howth Sound in training for this weekend’s National Championship, and it’s all happening on the Irish Sea within ten miles of Dublin city centre
The Howth 17s have been racing in their “little piece of Connemara that’s somehow in Leinster” for 122 years. And when some years ago they decided to make their annual championship into something special, they re-titled it the Howth 17…
Ilen enjoys a breeze, and can safely deliver cargo in an environmentally-friendly way
When the restored 56ft ketch Ilen of Limerick gets worthwhile wind conditions, she can give a good account of herself in terms of sailing speed. Yet no-one would claim that her rate of knots on passage afloat remotely compares to…
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