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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.

Johanna Murphy of Cobh, Commodore of the South Coast Offshore Racing Association, is also a Committee Member of of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association
Some offshore racing enthusiasts may have been hoping that the historic re-enactment of the “Kingstown to Queenstown" Race of 1860 – the first proper offshore event in Irish and British waters – might still have been staged in some very…
The revived Dublin Bay 21 Class will remain true to their original colours, but their order of restoration is non-numerical, as Number 6 – Naneen, centre - has been the first to sail again, as she was the only one to be built in Dun Laoghaire
The complex project of restoring the Alfred Mylne-designed Dublin Bay 21 class – which first raced in 1903 and ceased racing in 1986 – has been in hiatus during the Lockdown. But now Hal Sisk and Fionan de Barra have…
Friendly port and ocean crossroads – Horta in the Azores, with the commercial, ferry and cruise-liner berths in foreground, while the anchorage, old harbour, and yacht harbour are beyond
Today (Monday), the Quinlan-Owens family from Kinvara on Galway Bay with the Atlantic-circuiting 39ft steel ketch Danu have been finally free to roam ashore as they please in Horta on Faial in the Azores, as the next phase in the…
Where the spirit of sailing lives on, after 300 years and more. Yet only fifty years ago, there were no marinas at all in Crosshaven
Time was when fifty years seemed a long time in the life of any sports organisation, and indeed in life itself. Golden Jubilees were a big deal, to be celebrated with much fanfare. In fact, even 25 years of organisational…
Australian Pro Whalewatcher has Bad Day at the Office
As seen off Sydney on Wednesday, as whale-watching is resumed after ending of COVID-19 Lockdown. You know how it is? Sometimes, for one second, you’re just looking the wrong way altogether.
Dennis Aylmer’s Morning Star after he’d given her a first restoration more than fifty years ago. She was subsequently given further restoration by Johnny Healion and taken back to Connemara, where she played a key role in the revival of the Galway Hooker fleet in the 1970s
The Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association invites traditional boat enthusiasts and all sailing fans to join their next Zoom session on The First Rescue of the Morning Star, which will be given by former DBOGA President Dennis Aylmer of Dun…
Danu’s crew find their first sunshine as they depart from Ireland in late June 2019
The Quinlan-Owens family of Kinvara on Galway Bay arrived safely in Horta in the Azores this morning after a slow calm-plagued passage from Antigua in the Caribbean. It was all well on board for Marine Institute scientist Vera Quinlan, her…
Sarnia’s youthful overall winning crew in the 1967 RORC Beaumaris-Cork Race were (left to right) George Sisk, Frank Larkin, Richard Lawton, Hal Sisk, Jim O’Shea and John Sisk
Some boats just come and go, leaving little trace in the Irish sailing community’s consciousness. But others quickly become an integral part of our enduring mental and physical furniture, and our story at the weekend about the 1966-vintage Sparkman &…
The 39ft ketch Danu of Galway is on the Atlantic for World Oceans Day today, but should be in Horta in the Azores by Wednesday, and possibly earlier
Today is World Oceans Day Monday, June 8th, and the 39ft ketch Danu of Galway Bay has an Azores landfall in prospect for celebration as she approaches the ocean-crossroads port of Horta in the island of Faial. Although still 150…
This untended barrow in a boat at Ringabella has raised concerns for well-being of Ms Molly Malone
An untended wheelbarrow apparently abandoned in a boat at Ringabella at the entrance to Cork Harbour has raised concerns about the well-being of the noted Dublin-based seafood distributor, Ms Molly Malone. An outstanding figure in the Dublin retail food-to-go scene,…
Mixed classes for junior sailing at Howth – a supervised initially non-racing programme begins next Tuesday (June 9th)
When Howth Yacht Club Junior Organiser Sara Lacy posted a notice on the club website on Wednesday about a controlled post-COVID-19 resumption of Junior Sailing at the club scheduled for Tuesday, June 9th, she was swamped with enquiries as the…
 Living history. Michael Creedon’s classc 54-year-old S&S 36 Sarnia being lifted-in at the National YC last weekend
The generally accepted view of the 1950s in Ireland is of an economically grim period when everything - including the spirit of the inhabitants - withered in the face of a seemingly permanent financial recession, with desperate emigration the only…
When Garry Crothers goes voyaging alone, the categorization of “single-handed sailing” has extra meaning.
Garry Crothers of Lough Swilly YC, who voyages extensively with his 2003-built aluminium Ovni 435 cutter Kind of Blue despite having only one arm as the result of a particularly catastrophic car accident in 2007, was facing a severe problem…
Last of the early-season sunshine – the 1896-originating Colleen Class Colleen Deas (Dermot Flynn & David Williams) in south Dublin Bay yesterday (Tuesday)
Although West Cork is home to several clusters of classic boats and the boatyards of the master-craftsmen who build and maintain them, they’re at scattered locations. Thus it can take quite a bit of encouragement and persuasion, plus much pre-planning…
The Gaffer. National YC Commodore Martin McCarthy looking the part in a super-cool hard hat as he leads his members in the COVID-delayed annual lift-in on Saturday
Suddenly, it’s summer in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Oh for sure, we all well know that, meteorologically speaking, it seems to have been bright sunny summer in Dun Laoghaire town since at least Easter, and maybe earlier. But in the Harbour,…
The Hanse 455 Saoirse, with which Wolfgang Bee-Fenix and his Irish-German family have been making a Transatlantic circuit cruise, is expected back in Malahide later on Sunday, after a warm welcome home to Irish waters from both the Customs and…
Two-handed superstars. Olympic 49er contenders Sean Waddilove and Robert Dickson (Sailors of the Year 2018) have kept themselves race ready by moving into shared accommodation as the Lockdown was introduced
If you’re a proper Irish sailing enthusiast and you’re not going crackers at the moment, then there’s something seriously wrong with you. For here we are, in as perfect an early summer for sailing as anyone has seen in a…
The 77ft Maritana – designed and built in Waterford - makes her debut in the river off the city at Reginald’s Tower in the summer of 1882. Two years later, she was awarded the Concours d’Elegance at Cowes
When we think of timelessly beautiful yachts, we’ll naturally think of sailing vessels, where beauty is created by a sweet harmony of the hull lines with an elegantly restrained sheer, combined with a rig which is all of a piece…
HYC Commodore Ian Byrne on the winch and Lea O'Donoghue maintaining social distance on the helm aboard the Commodore's Sunfast 32 Sunburn, all within 5 kilometres of home in the weekend's revival of sailing at Howth
We'll put aside for the moment the fact that Bono's father, the late Bob Hewson, lived out his days in Howth, a place he adored. We'll let it go for now that U2 drummer Larry Mullins lives in an elegantly-restrained…
The Irish-German Bee-Fenix family’s Hanse 455 Saoirse making lots of well-controlled knots under her downwind Transatlantic rig
When your name is Wolfgang Bee and your boat is a top-of-the-line Hanse 455, the smart money would say you’re German. But when your wife is a Fenix from a family with roots in Tippperary and a couple of other…
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