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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.

Even with a damaged rig, Jean-Luc van den Heede’s Rustler 36 Malmut (aka “Little Snail”) now has a lead of more than 300 miles with just 700 miles to go to the finish of the Golden Jubilee Golden Globe Race.
Veteran French skipper Jean-Luc van den Heede (73) has been giving a strategic sailing masterclass in the final 1500 miles of the Golden Jubilee Golden Globe Race writes W M Nixon. A week ago, after enduring flukey and unfavourable conditions…
Onwards and upwards….the new Ship of Dreams for offshore racing hopefuls is making its debut at Dusseldorf Boat Show. A CGI of the new Pogo Classe Mini Proto Foiler, which will provide a potential access point for Mini-Transat, Figaro Solo, Class 40 and IMOCA 60 enthusiasts
In the Great Halls of Dusseldorf, where the colossal annual Boat Show opens today with its Golden Jubilee providing multiple opportunities for appropriate Wagnerian accompaniment for hyper-glossy boats on the grand scale, a specialised level of interest will focus on…
The 1913-built Colin Archer gaff ketch Sandefjord on which Tim Magennis sailed round the world in 1965-67
Tim Magennis, the doyen of the traditional and classic boat movement on Ireland’s east coast, and one of the main movers in many significant historic sailing events in Ireland and the Irish Sea, was acclaimed with elevation to Honorary Life…
Dun Laoghaire Marina is one of few Irish marinas offering petrol supplies
We’re all well aware of the difficulty for leisure boats in sourcing diesel on some parts of the Irish coast, but what’s the situation for petrol for large outboards? Can anyone help Afloat.ie powerboat enthusiast Pete with this query? I’m…
The “Founding Fathers” of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta in 20005 were (left to right) the late Owen McNally, (Rear Commodore Royal St George YC), Tim Goodbody (Rear Commodore, Royal Irish YC), and Ronan Beirne (Rear Commodore, National YC)
The sad death of Owen McNally a few days before Christmas deprived the Dun Laoghaire sailing community of one of its most active and devoted participants, an enthusiast who put even more into our sport than he took from it…
The jaunty look. Miraculous mid-winter calm for the first setting of Ilen’s new squaresail in the dock at Limerick
In ancient Greece, the Halcyon Days were a mythological seven day period of calm clear weather at the mid-winter Solstice writes W M Nixon. Down Limerick way, they’ve been making the best of the Halcyon Days, with the blue River…
Howth YC’s Conor Fogerty with his Sunfast 36000 Bam! starts the final 47-mile beat of the breezy RORC Caribbean 600 in February 2018, on his way to winning his class (for the second time) just a fortnight after he’d been declared Ireland’s “Sailor of the Year” in Dublin
Howth Yacht Club has become the latest winner of the Mitsubishi Motors “Sailing Club of the Year” Award primarily on the strength of its sailing successes through 2018 - major successes which began in February and continued until well into…
Wild Oats X1 approaching the finish in the heart of Hobart harbour to take line honours in the Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race 2018. Thanks to her speed, though the actual wind is from aft of the beam, she seems to be on a close reach
Hobart in Tasmania is a characterful port with a certain style to it, picturesquely located in handsome scenery on the estuary of the River Derwent writes W M Nixon. It’s home to a goodly fleet of sailcraft and motorboats of…
Maybird on the finish line at Wicklow in July, the first gaff-rigged boat to complete the Round Ireland Race since its inception in 1980
Darryl Hughes’ renowned 43ft ketch Maybird, built by Tyrrell of Arklow in 1937 and superbly restored in substantial works project-managed by the owner himself in 2009-2011, has had – at 81 years old - probably her best year ever for…
Ballivor go breach!!! Jim Cooney’s Supermaxi Comanche will be hoping for vigorous winds in next week’s Rolex-Sydney-Hobart Race. He maintains close links with his ancestral homelands in County Meath, and his crew will include renowned bowman Justin Slattery of Wexford and Kinsale
What would Christmas be like without sailing? Such a state of deprivation just doesn’t bear thinking about writes W M Nixon. But thanks to the wonders of modern communication - which at other times can be too much of a…
For the casual spectator, this is the kind of sailing that attracts attention – Alex Thomson’s IMOCA 60 Hugo Boss at full chat on the foils.
The sailing community’s notable diversity is dependent on how you’re trying to analyse it writes W M Nixon. For many, it’s the community aspect, the shared love of boats and sailing and interacting with sea or lake, which is the…
 Joan Mulloy, Irish Sailing President Jack Roy, and Tom Dolan at the Paris Boat Show
Paris is big enough and busy enough to accommodate the unrest of the Gilets Jaunes in one part of the city, and yet continue to run an International Boat Show in another part of town, a boat show which is…
Checkmate XV’s international racing success is the public face of Dave Cullen’s determied campaigning, but there’s another shoreside aspect to him which emerges as Christmas approaches
Most sailing folk in Ireland and abroad will know Dave Cullen as the amiable yet very determined owner-skipper of the immaculately-maintained and precision-campaigned Half Ton Classic Checkmate XV, the current World Champion writes W M Nixon. But if you are…
Solemn moment…..Ireland’s Tom Dolan (right) looking unusually serious as he is honoured for his third place in the rookie division in the French Offshore Championship at the Paris Boat Show
Tom Dolan of Ireland had his hectic first year on the Figaro circuit during 2018 celebrated at the Paris International Boat Show over the weekend when he was on the podium for the National Championship Offshore awards writes W M…
Winter? What winter? Veteran skipper George Sisk’s rejuvenated Farr 42 WOW in sparkling form in the Turkey Shoot Series in Dublin Bay
Maybe it’s the fact that the days start to get longer again in only a fortnight, but there’s mood of rising optimism in Irish sailing these days writes W M Nixon. There’s an almost measurable buzz in the air which…
Darryl Hughes of Maybird with Anne-Marie Ryan, wife of the ISORA Chairman Peter Ryan, at the presentation of the historic Penmaen Plate in the National YC
The Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association has a long and varied history extending back to the 1930s writes W M Nixon. For although ISORA, as we know it today, was inaugurated as recently as 1972, it is directly descended from…
Flying the flag for Ireland – a very neat start for IRL 2846 in the 2018 Australian Tasar Nationals in Darwin.
Conor Byrne remembers his best sailing in Ireland as being in Mermaids at his home port of Skerries writes W M Nixon. But for some time now he has been in the most tropical part of Australia in Darwin, and…
Could it be one of the Blaskets? Or maybe a southern island of the Outer Hebrides? Not so. This is the Big One – Cape Horn on a good day. It was 94 years ago this Sunday that Conor O’Brien of Limerick achieved the remarkable “first” of crossing the Southern Ocean directly from New Zealand and rounding Cape Horn with his 42ft Baltimore-built ketch Saoirse
On most coastlines in the world, you’ll invariably hear of some challenging nearby headland being referred to as “the local Cape Horn” writes W M Nixon No other promontory worldwide has the same global image. It tells us much about…
Balbriggan Harbour looking south. It has its own special history, but now it is planned to link it more closely with the town.
When you’ve an ancient port town which happens to have the youngest population in all Ireland, clearly you face problems when the local authority proposes plans to upgrade the old harbour area to bring it more in line with the…
After a few days with the Ilen in Limerick’s Ted Russell Dock, you get used to the ever-present yet always-changing metallic mini-mountains
Down Limerick way, somebody is probably already putting together an appropriate song about how the historic sail trading ketch Ilen was saved from the scrapyard through a heroic decade-long restoration programme by Limerick’s Ilen Project, only to spend her first…
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