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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.

Tom Dolan has achieved a clear win in the First Timers section in the 410-mile Stage 3 of Solitaire URGO Le Figaro, taking eleventh overall just 15 minutes behind the leader after 3 days and 16 hours of racing
Tom Dolan of County Meath racing Smurfit Kappa took the coveted Top Rookie spot after a worthwhile little breeze finally spread in over the calm-bedevilled Figaro fleet last night as they raced Stage 3 from Northwest Spain, bringing leader Sebastien…
Sebastien Simon, front-runner in the Solitaire URGO Figaro. He has a new IMOCA 60 on the way for the Vendee Globe 2020
It’s a cruel scenario, the final wind-lacking 70–miles of Stage 3 of the Solo URGO Figaro 2018 from northwest Spain across the Bay of Biscay to Saint-Gilles in the northwest of France’s Vendee region writes W M Nixon. We may…
Tom Dolan with his Figaro 2 Smurfit Kappa nicely in the groove as as the fleet shapes up to take on the long slow beat across the Bay of Biscay. Photo Figaro URGO Solo
With a hundred miles still to race this morning to the finish at Saint Gilles Croix de Vie on France’s Biscay coast, the shortened 410 miles Stage 3 of La Solitaire URGO Figaro 2018 from northwest Spain is even more…
Tom Dolan’s Figaro 2 Smurfit Kappa is currently among the front-runners in Stage 3 of the Figaro Solo
Ireland’s Tom Dolan has seen his position move between 7th and 12th this morning as he features frequently in the Top Ten with the Solitaire URGO Figaro fleet racing in difficult headwinds across the southern Bay of Biscay from Northwest…
An emotional moment – Ireland’s Joan Mulloy receives her Special Award for overcoming adversity from the communities of Ria de Muros
Joan Mulloy of Mayo overcame the setback of a broken main halyard to get back in the hunt in Stage 2 of the Solo URGO Figaro from Saint Brieuc in Brittany across the Bay of Biscay to Ria de Muros…
Gold galore! New Olympic 49er U23 Gold Medallist Robert Dickson (left) with HYC Commodore Joe McPeake and fellow Medallist Sean Waddillove at Howth Yacht Club’s “Welcome Home” celebration last night.
Howth Yacht Club members have already logged some remarkable successes during the 2018 season, but the Gold Medals won by Robert Dickson (21, HYC) and Sean Waddilove (20, Skerries SC) in the Olympic 49er U23 Worlds last weekend at Marseilles…
The Supreme Master – Bruce Kirby designed the hugely popular Laser 48 years ago.
Lasers Masters do not grow old as those who stay ashore or go into keelboats grow old. On the contrary, they’re Tir na nOg afloat. It’s the Land of the Ever-Young out on the sea. And the prospect of the…
The fleet nicely stitched up at the start. Jonny Swan’s Harmony (foreground) and Dave Cullen’s Checkmate XV (blue bow) nicely clear in a Half Ton Classics start in Belgium. The final overall result was Checkmate first and Harmony second
A properly managed race-winning cruiser-racer talks to us. And we, in turn, think in terms of “a well-presented boat” writes W M Nixon. But there’s much more to it than stylish presentation. It’s not enough just to look good. Everything…
The home place……clear evening at Greystones Harbour with the Sugarloaf Mountain silhouetted against the last of the sunset. This weekend sees the two-day Taste of Greystones Regatta in the continuing celebration of Greystones Sailing Club’s Golden Jubilee Year
When 2018’s rain-free heat-wave of zephyrs and calms was at its peak in July, old salts of every age and gender naturally and inevitably observed in their sagacious way that it would all end with a bang. They reckoned that…
Hanging in there……Ireland’s community-minded International GP 14 Class meet for their three-day Irish Nationals at Sligo today. Skerries SC and GP14 Ireland will be hosting the Worlds at Skerries in 2020
With 178 Optimists racing in the Irish Nationals at Kinsale, and Ireland’s GP14 dinghies in fine form after the massive Worlds in England as they gather for their own Nationals in Sligo this weekend through to Monday, there’s much to…
John Maybury’s J/109 Joker II will be looking to take her fourth ICRA National title in a row in Galway next week after an extraordinary month in July when she achieved success in the Round Ireland and Beaufort Cup skippered by Commandant Barry Byrne
With three-times-in-a-row class champion Joker 2 (John Maybury, Royal Irish YC) set to defend her title for an unprecedented fourth time, the Irish Cruiser Racing Association Nationals in Galway next week will be making history at least twice over in…
West Cork sailing at its best – Paul O'Higgins' JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI in action at Calves Week
West Cork, Ireland's own Lotus Land, should be designated a licensed substance writes W M Nixon. A licensed substance with a proper scientific code, to be administered only by highly-trained professionals. People in white coats. In a clinical setting. For…
May 7th, 1915. The sailing fishing boat Wanderer from the Isle of Man is first on the scene after the Transatlantic liner Lusitania is torpedoed ten miles off the Old Head of Kinsale by a German submarine as an act of war. The first survivors have already been hauled on board Wanderer, while others struggle towards their rescuer in the water or on lifeboats
In the midst of high summer, with life slowed by the all-pervading heat, it is almost impossible to contemplate the sheer horror of total conflict as experienced in the industrialised attacks of the Great War of 1914-18 writes W M…
2020 is the Royal Cork YC Tricentenary and1720 was when it first happened. The 1720 Sportsboats racing in towards Cork Harbour with the growing sea breeze are a timely reminder of this globally significant date in just two years’ time
If you set out to explain to a stranger to sailing everything that has been going on afloat and ashore at Volvo Cork Week 2018 (and we refer only to the official events), then you’d find yourself warbling away until…
Commandant Barry Byrne helms the J/109 Joker II around a sunlit Fastnet Rock on Sunday July 1st during the recent Volvo Round Ireland Race, with the sky beyond giving hints of the strong headwinds to be met off Ireland’s west coast. He will be racing round the Fastnet again next week in the same boat, defending the Beaufort Cup in Volvo Cork Week
Time was when “A Soldier’s Wind” was a slightly patronising term used to describe exceptionally favourable conditions for smooth voyaging in the great days of sail, with a beam reach in a good Force 4 being held up as the…
Going for it. Baraka GP may have looked every inch a winner as she settled down after the start going past Wicklow Head, but she experienced many reversals of fortune before moving into the overall lead for the final 180 miles
The Volvo Round Ireland Race from Wicklow back in 2016 was something of a unicorn event writes W M Nixon. George David’s majestic Rambler 88 took mono-hull line honours, the new mono-hull course record, and the overall IRC win -…
Chris Power Smith’s optimized J/122 Aurelia (RStGYC) is one of many contenders in with a good chance in the 20th staging of the biennial Volvo Round Ireland Race, which starts today off Wicklow at 2.0pm
It was the dogged determination of Wicklow Sailing Club 38 years ago that brought about the beginnings of an event which has since become an internationally-recognised cornerstone in the complex structure of the Irish sailing programme writes W M Nixon.…
The spirit of Dublin Bay – the J/109 Powder Monkey sailed by current DBSC Commodore (and former NYC Commodore) Chris Moore. The J/109s will have some of the closest racing in today’s National Yacht Club Regatta
The Annual Regatta of any yacht or sailing club is the ultimate expression of the club’s identity. The ideal is a very special mixture of the best of sailing sport afloat followed by hospitality and conviviality ashore, with it all…
International designer Ron Holland in his studio in Vancouver
Like many New Zealanders, the young Ron Holland was mad keen about boats and sailing. And like several eventually distinguished fellow-countrymen, he has found his life path through a successful career in the international yacht design industry, right up to…
The man and his boat. Gregor McGuckin with his Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance this week in a sun-soaked Dun Laoghaire, where the harsh realities of the Great Southern Ocean seemed very remote
There is a monumental singularity of achievement in Robin Knox-Johnston’s non-stop solo voyage around the world in the 32ft Suhaili fifty years ago. While there may have been others taking on the Golden Globe Challenge set by The Sunday Times…
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