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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.

The Full Monty - a complete waterspout is more likely to be seen in tropical waters than off the Irish coast
Any young reader of the Arthur Ransome children's novel Peter Duck will know that waterspouts are - more or less - tornadoes over the sea which quite frequently occur in tropical waters, and they can build a mighty column of…
The last hurrah. Ted Crosbie’s X302 No Excuse on her way to victory by one point in the Royal Cork YC IRC Winter League 2017. Just as Ted had encouraged his own father Tom to keep sailing until well into advanced old age, so Ted’s son Tom encouraged his father to keep racing until he was eighty-seven
Ted Crosbie combined so many of the strongest threads of Cork life that he embodied an entire Munster universe of personal positivity. Family was everything to him, but so too was the unique and bustling maritime city of Cork and…
The ultimate crew view – Don Street of Glandore racing Gypsy at the International Dragon Class 90th Anniversary Regatta at San Remo, and an uncountable number of boats in his wake. Gypsy was the fleet senior, and Don is senior to her…..
Glandore in West Cork is a picturesque international melting pot of folk of all types from many backgrounds, and like all melting pots, it can occasionally boil ever, particularly if you have someone like Don Street stirring the heated mix.…
Classic ridge day at Howth on Saturday, as the afternoon draws on with continuing sunshine, even if the indicators in the sky of the slowly-approaching rain and southerly gales are spreading from the west. However, the sun prevailed for two races on this fourth day of the HYC Beshoff Motors Autumn League, and conditions were comfortably benign for the vintage Howth 17s to carry their jackyard topsails. In fact, the topsails make such a difference that most boats now carry a Hawk Wind Indicator on their topyard, but not all of these delicate items survive the fraught journey aloft. Despite that, Harriet Lynch’s Echo (No 8, built 1913 by Hollwey of Ringsend) recorded a 6th and 8th in a fleet of 15
The Howth Peninsula was buzzing with sailing sport at the weekend, with the top level of competition on its southwest side at the national Champions’ Cup raced in GP 14s at Sutton Dinghy Club, while there was competition at every…
Eternal youth - the Shannon Estuary's community-bult cutter Sally O'Keeffe (racing here in the RWIYC October Series 2022 at Kilrush) exudes a remarkable spirit of tradition allied to youthful enthusiasm
The 25ft gaff cutter Sally O'Keeffe, built by a community group at Querrin on the Loop Head Peninsula under the guidance of master shipwright Steve Morris of Kilrush, to a design by Myles Stapleton of Malahide as a miniature synthesis…
Pat O'Neill of Howth YC and his team on the J80 world championships podium. See vid below.
When bad weather hampered the final stages of preparation for the J/80 Worlds at Newport, Rhode Island last week, the pessimists wondered if it was stretching things too far, in an Autumn of unsettled weather, to have racing scheduled right…
Close racing, improving weather - first-class competition and conditions for the J80 Worlds, which concluded last night at Newport, Rhode Island with Ireland on the podium
As reported in Afloat.ie, the showing by Pat O'Neill and his Howth crew in the J/80 Worlds at Newport, Rhode Island during the past five days seemed to be improving in tandem with the improvement with the weather, and having…
Ted Crosbie of Cork who has passed away at the age of 91
Afloat.ie regrets to record the death last night of Ted Crosbie of Cork at the age of 91. A legendary helmsman in many forms of sailing, he was the most senior holder of the all-Ireland Helmsman's Championship - now the…
One of this week's better sailing days for the J/80 Worlds 2022 at Newport
Pat O'Neill of Howth is a seasoned international campaigner with his championship crew in the J/80 fleet. But until now, most of his successes overseas have been achieved on the European circuit. This week, however, Team O'Neill have made the…
Sutton at its summery best. The south-facing Sutton Dinghy Club - venue this weekend for the 75th All-Ireland and the inaugural Champions' Cup -is exactly at the centre of this image
The Race Officer In The Armchair is as big a pain as the Hurler On The Ditch, particularly when either is operating in hindsight. And they're only slightly less of a pest when they're throwing in their tuppence-worth of advice…
Busy times – Pam Lee in a multi-sail challenge on Kismet’s bowsprit
Multi-talented offshore sailor Pamela Lee of Greystones has been at the heart of it in the annual late season Classics racing on the French Riviera, crewing on Richard Matthews’ 1898-vintage 48ft William Fife-designed-and-built cutter Kismet in a notably successful programme…
The Brixham-style fishing cutter St Patrick was probably the largest of her type ever built, yet this super-trawler of her day wasn't built in Brixham in Devon, but in Ringsend in Dublin in 1887 by the Murphy family, who designed, built, managed, manned and fished this superbly seaworthy craft from their Ringsend base
Cormac Lowth of Dublin is a one-man Irish maritime history institute, the first and last port of call for anyone seeking the facts about some aspect of our seagoing history, whether it's obscure or supposedly well-known. Quite how he carries…
Reasonable conditions for a while on a volatile afternoon - HYC Vice Commodore Neil Murphy helmed the Puppeteer 22 Yellow Peril to a second after leading for much of the race in the Beshoff Motors Autumn League at Howth
The purple arrows were out in force on Day 3 of the Beshoff Motors Autumn League at Howth, though the heaviest of them passed to the north of the race area. The purple arrows are the ones that indicate squalls,…
Pat Lawless (66) of Limerick - the central tenet of Lawless Sailing Lore seems to dictate that you should sail no further than you need to
Pat Lawless (66) of Limerick may still have 24,455 miles to sail before he becomes the first Irishman to sail non-stop solo round the world. But in the Golden Globe Race 2022, he has been getting remarkably competitive performances out…
Fireballs in preliminary Worlds racing at Dromineer on Lough Derg, where the indispensable Andy Thompson of Larne won yet another Gold
September is a month of harvests afloat as it is ashore, and as we reach October with its inescapable sense of the change in the seasons, our bountiful new monthly list of no less than six different and distinctive September…
East Antrim Boat Club in Larne is a haven of peace and quiet in busy commercial town, manufacturing centre and ferryport
East Antrim Boat Club is a haven of almost rural peace and quiet on the point of land with the remains of historic Olderfleet Castle at the south side of this commercial town. For Larne is a bustling manufacturing centre…
The 2019 French-built Howth 17 Orla (Marc FitzGibbon & Daragh Gallagher) had a good day in the latest two-race outing for the Beshoff Motors Autumn League, moving herself up to second overall in class with a fourth and a first
The 40th Annual Autumn League at Howth Yacht Club – sponsored these days by specialist car company Beshoff Motors – enjoyed a bright and brisk northerly breeze with a touch of nor’east for its second weekend. “Brisk” with a mixed…
Home-from-home. Hoteliers John & Gwen Brennan took their Redbay Stormforce 1450 Dromquinna to Brittany, expecting to book into a hotel now and again, yet they spent every night on board in complete comfort. Thanks to John’s skills in manoeuvring, here at Saint-Marine in Benodet they have managed to get berthed beside the smaller craft with a minimal walk to the marina bridge
The Kenmare River where Kerry verges into Cork is one of Ireland’s cruising gems – it’s pure gold and then some. But we weren’t exactly cruising when the Nixon Tribe descended on the area precisely a year ago for a…
Ghost ship? Ilen anchored off Sandycove seems like a wraith-like image from the past
It was good to know of the sail training ketch Ilen lying serenely in the Scotsman’s Bay-Sandycove anchorage south of Dun Laoghaire Harbour last night, like a proper sailing ship of ancient times taking a useful break to await a…
“Like peas in a pod” – the TR3.6 fleet race-ready in Schull
When Rocco Wright of Howth – then 15 – pulled the All-Ireland Junior Title out of the hat in the final race at Schull, West Cork a year ago, his Houdini skills were widely noted, emphasised by the fact that…
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