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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.

In the groove. The 1981-designed Granada 38 Cavatina - a true cruiser-racer - closing in on the finish at Wicklow in the 2006 Round Ireland Race, when she became overall winner for the second time. Under the ownership of Ian Hickey of Royal Cork YC, Cavatina is this year doing the Volvo Round Ireland Race yet again.
The Volvo Round Ireland Race 2018 - in just eight weeks time on June 30th from Wicklow - will be marking 20 stagings of this biennial classic. When first raced in 1980, it was with a fleet of very modest…
Kenneth Rumball in the newly-enlarged Irish National Sailing School premises in Dun Laoghaire this week. He is already in the midst of a busy sailing year, a highlight of which will be racing the INSS’s successful J/109 Jedi in the Volvo Round Ireland Race with former overall winner Michael Boyd as skipper
To say that Dun Laoghaire Harbour is facing a period of administrative flux is an under-statement. This exceptionally complete and totally artificial haven, for so long such an integral part of Dublin Bay that people perceive it as a natural…
Conor Fogerty breezing along in the latter stage of the OSTAR as though he hasn’t a care in the world. He’s finally getting into warmer water, the old shorts are out, he’s in his bare feet, and Bam! is going like a train with her familiar twin-tail wake zooming back to the horizon.
For most participants, sailing is a team effort – we sail as part of a crew in a reasonably sociable mutually-supportive environment. Yet increasingly the best-known sailors are those who compete solo. While we’re naturally interested in the great sailing…
The Ron Holland-designed Club Shamrock Emircedes, a 30-footer which originated in Cork in the mid-1970s. Peter Ryan and his father-in-law Michael Horgan campaigned her actively for nearly two decades until she was finally sold in 2004. In their ownership she was a veteran of many ISORA annual programmes, in addition to the Round Ireland and Dun Laoghaire to Dingle races as well as regular participation in Dublin Bay
“Peter Ryan of ISORA”. That’s all you have to say to anyone who knows anything of the Byzantine workings of the sailing scene in and around Ireland, and they’ll immediately know not only know exactly who you mean, but will…
The Great Granite Pond as this weekend’s youth sailing venue. If we see Dun Laoghaire Harbour as a natural feature of Dublin Bay, rather than as some enormous artificial construct from which income should be extracted through every possible source, then its continued existence as a National Heritage site and relatively uncommercialised recreational amenity for the general good might make more sense
With 190 sailors from 25 clubs nationwide, the first ever Northern Ireland–hosted Youth Pathway Nationals 2017 at Ballyholme last year had a debut which was little short of sensational. The momentum has been maintained into 2018 for a real talent-spotting…
The repaired IMOCA Souffle du Nord re-appears on Auckland Harbour with an extended name, but the humming bird continues to fly
Lone sailor Enda O Coineen will soon – barring any cruel last-minute setbacks - complete his current personal Odyssey to finish his very individualistic version of the Vendee Globe Round the World course writes W M Nixon. He’s slightly ahead…
Dublin Bay Sailing Club’s latest 48-page yearbook is the visible face of a significant part of Irish sailing’s organisational infrastructure
It’s big, it’s unique, and it’s the focal point of recreational interaction with the sea for one of the more affluent areas of population in Europe writes W M Nixon. But anyone visiting Dun Laoghaire Harbour for the first time,…
Starting young. Thumbs up from Billy Coyne (aged 12) aboard Lula Belle at the start of the breezy Volvo Dun Laoghaire-Dingle Race 2017
It’s highly likely that a trial Olympic offshore racing event will be run in tandem with the 2020 Sailing Olympiad in Tokyo in 2020, and one proposal which seems to have traction is that a boat similar to the Figaro…
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…
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