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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.

Headsail trim on the Nixon Squib in the good old days of forty years ago, with taut forestays and wide slots…
A long time ago when I brought the first very second-hand Squib to Howth Yacht Club in 1979, things were different writes WM Nixon. After all, it was forty years ago (there’s another local class anniversary for you), and I’d spent…
New Date for Golden Oldie Round Ireland Show in Dublin
The unavoidably-postponed show in March by owner-skipper (and restorer) Darryl Hughes, of the classic 1937 43ft Tyrrell of Arklow ketch Maybird’s remarkable achievement in becoming (in 2018) the first gaff-rigged (and oldest) boat to complete the Round Ireland Race, has…
Special gathering – the four “Sailors of the Year” together in Sutton this week are (left to right) Conor Fogerty (2017), Annalise Murphy (2016) and Sean Waddilove & Rob Dickson (2018)
Annalise Murphy’s role in raising sailing’s profile in Ireland was brought home to us last weekend when The Irish Times ran a St Patrick’s Eve Quiz. Set by Eoin Butler, it aimed to test how truly Irish we who like…
Outgoing NYC Commodore Ronan Beirne
One of the most popular figures on the Dun Laoghaire waterfront, National Yacht Club outgoing Commodore Ronan Beirne, completes his two-year term of office this Saturday night with the traditional formal Commodore’s Dinner, which is only held when the role…
An eye-catching book cover…….having Winslow Homer’s famous 1899 painting “The Gulf Stream” - with its graphic suggestions of inevitable tragedy - superimposed by the chirpy title “Fun with Sailboats” may not be to everyone’s taste. But it certainly captures attention for American Pete Brennan’s book on his sometimes quirky sailing experiences on both sides of the Atlantic
Pete Brennan is an American of partially Irish ancestry who came originally from New Jersey, and now lives in Florida writes W M Nixon. For most of his life he has had steady jobs which had nothing whatever to do…
Memories of idyllic summer days of sailing – the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2017
In this week of meteorological mayhem exacerbated by an unsettling international political atmosphere, a reassuring and heartening mood of warm optimism was provided by getting together with Don O’Dowd, Chairman of the Organising Committee for Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2019…
Northabout returns from her Arctic circumnavigation to her home port of Clew Bay in Mayo with a welcome from the holy mountain of Croagh Patrick
Eight Irishmen and their 47-foot boat Northabout left Westport in June 2001 to sail the Northwest Passage north of Canada and Alaska. Nobody had ever sailed this in an East/West direction which is against the prevailing tides and winds. The…
Just the place to go on a cold night in March. The National YC in Dun Laoghaire tonight hosts the Annual Dinner of the Shannon One Design Association, with the overall award – the Transom Trophy - going to Andrew Mannion of Athlone, who sails with Lough Ree YC.
They’re the sometimes well-hidden glue that holds key elements of Irish sailing together writes W M Nixon. They’re a formidable power in our sport. They might seem to outsiders like secret societies. Yet each in its own way – for…
Over-canvassed, over-crewed, over-the-top…..the 1925 classic Yendys leads the vintage Sydney Harbour 18-footers
At the height of their fame, the unrestricted Sydney Harbour 18-footers worked on the theory that the more sail you could carry, then the faster you’d go writes W M Nixon. With serious betting going on among spectator crowds following…
Irish-Built Golden Oldie’s Round Ireland Achievement – All Will Be Revealed!
One of the most unusual achievements of 2018’s Irish sailing season was the veteran gaff-rigged ketch Maybird’s completion of the Volvo Round Ireland Race writes W M Nixon. Built by Tyrrell of Arklow in 1937, the 43ft Maybird was superbly…
The Water Club of the Harbour of Cork on fleet manoeuvres at sea in 1738, as recorded by Dutch artist Peter Monamy. Today, the flags may have changed, the boats may be different, and it is now the Royal Cork Yacht Club. But the spirit of 1720 lives on with its Tricentenary next year. Image courtesy RCYC
Sailing in Ireland is a sport of long-lived organisations, writes W M Nixon. It’s a vehicle sport in which a significant number of the sailing vehicles are cherished classics, sometimes passed down from one generation to the next. Like it…
Donal Walsh’s Ovni 385 Lady Belle from Dungarvan gets the best of the summer weather off Fingal’s Cave in the cliffs of Staffa in the Hebrides during a wide-ranging North European cruise which has been awarded the Irish Cruising Club’s premier trophy, the Faulkner Cup
Dungarvan in the west of County Waterford is in some ways one of Ireland’s best-kept secrets writes W M Nixon. It’s big enough to be considered a real town by Irish standards – it’s the County Town too - yet…
Charles Parsons’ steam turbine powered Turbinia starting to develop full speed in 1897
There was something about the look of the reverse stem of Safehaven Marine’s new 70ft Transatlantic record-seeker Thunder Child II in Afloat.ie this week which stirred a hidden memory of ships and speed writes W M Nixon. And then it…
The eternally youthful Curly Morris
Curly Morris of East Antrim Boat Club in Larne has sailed in a number of boats over a long period, but the GP 14 has always been the love of his life writes W M Nixon. And in the GP…
Summertime at Lough Ree Yacht Club at Ballyglass near Athlone, hospitable hosts for Ireland’s varied cruising interests on Saturday
Lough Ree Yacht Club at Ballyglass, where the spacious waters of the great Shannon lake start to narrow back to river size for the passage south through Athlone, is already well into planning for its Quarter Millennium in 2020. Founded…
The magic atmosphere of classic boat-building - the Dublin Bay 24 Zephyra under re-construction at the Apprenticeshop in Maine, USA.
Dublin Bay has an unrivalled continuous history of One-Design sailing and racing writes W M Nixon. It runs in a golden thread all the way back to 1887, when Ben Middleton launched his little class of Water Wag dinghies to…
No time to be nervous…..Class 3 in action at the OCRDA event in Torquay, with Team Power Marine of Malahide in foreground as Alan Power and Sam Jackson zap out of the turn
Most people on the inside track in cruiser-racer tuning in Ireland will know of Alan Power, who does magic things with the top Half Tonners and other sharp end boats in his fibreglass workshops in Malahide writes W M Nixon.…
In balance. The newly-honoured “Sailors of the Year 2018” Sean Waddilove and Robert Dickson achieving optimal windward performance with their Gold Medal-winning International Olympic 49er
There is no other event quite like the annual Afloat.ie Volvo Irish Sailing Awards writes W M Nixon. Ireland is small enough for most of the key people in sailing ashore and afloat to know each other personally. So it…
Once upon a time, this was a tired old Elizabethan 29, but Alchemy Marine of Doneraile in North Cork have worked their magic.
These days we hear so much understandable negativity about the frightening lifespan of plastics that it’s like a breath of fresh air to hear more about someone who has put its longevity to good use writes W M Nixon. Deep…
The heart of it all. The Corby 25 Fusion (Richard Colwell & Ronan Cobbe) in a club evening race at Howth
When time is spent with Richard Colwell, who was elected as the new Commodore of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association in November, you’re quickly reminded of the saying: “If you want anything done, and done well, then ask a busy…
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