Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

WM Nixon

WM Nixon

Email The Author

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.

First into the ring…Rupert Barry’s JOD35 Red Alert from Greystones was the first fully-confirmed entry for the Fastnet 450 in two weeks’ time
It’s called the SCORA Fastnet 450 which is a zinger of a name, whatever it means, and right now it’s taking shape as we go along in best pop-up style, having come centre stage after the Round Ireland Race was…
If we were to title this photo “Traditional west of Ireland gaff rigger sails past Macdara’s Island off the shores of Connemara”, even in Ireland quite a few people would buy it as the truth. But the rugged little gannet-laden island of Ireland’s Eye off Howth really does looks as if it belongs somewhere in the far west of County Galway. And the thought that they still sail boats of this antique appearance in such a setting within ten miles of the centre of a modern capital city is also clearly absurd….Yet this is the Howth 17 Sheila ( Dave Mulligan) in Howth Sound in training for this weekend’s National Championship, and it’s all happening on the Irish Sea within ten miles of Dublin city centre
The Howth 17s have been racing in their “little piece of Connemara that’s somehow in Leinster” for 122 years. And when some years ago they decided to make their annual championship into something special, they re-titled it the Howth 17…
Ilen enjoys a breeze, and can safely deliver cargo in an environmentally-friendly way
When the restored 56ft ketch Ilen of Limerick gets worthwhile wind conditions, she can give a good account of herself in terms of sailing speed. Yet no-one would claim that her rate of knots on passage afloat remotely compares to…
Brian Black was a noted Arctic sailor and environmentalist who was profoundly concerned by the deterioration of climate conditions globally, and particularly in high latitudes
Brian Black, the multi-media communicator, Arctic sailor, and environmentalist, died today (Tuesday) after a tragic accident at noon when his car plunged off the pier at his home village of Strangford in County Down. Originally best-known as a presenter with…
Escape to the islands…..late evening sunshine in Kilronan in the Aran Islands yesterday (Friday) evening as Galway Bay SC cruisers on their way to Roundstone and Inishbofin meet up with the Quinlan-Owens family in their Transatlantic-voyaging Danu. The lilac-pink banners indicate participation in the GBSC “Lambs Weekend”.
After spending much of the past two months on her own in the Atlantic making her way home from the Caribbean via the Azores, the Quinlan-Owens family’s 43ft ketch Danu found her crew being swept up into a socially-controlled welcome…
Denis Doyle’s new Crosshaven-built Moonduster makes her debut off Cork in 1981, the year after the first Round Ireland Race was sailed from Wicklow. The following year, when her owner was already 62 with a lifetime of offshore racing experience and success behind him, he brought Moonduster to Wicklow for the new biennial Round Ireland event, and remained loyal to it for the rest of his long sailing career
“What would The Doyler do?” That was the question we asked here when writing with resigned sadness on 11th April about the pandemic-induced two-month postponement - from 20th June - of the Wicklow start of the SSE Renewables Round Ireland…
A bit weather-beaten, and some haircuts needed, but the Quinlan-Owens family on Danu are feeling fine and glad to be home
Last night (Wednesday) the 43ft steel ketch Danu made her way round the end of the breakwater at Kilronan in the Aran Islands in the evening light, with the day’s rain clearing away to the northeast. The Quinlan-Owens family of…
A handsome ship with a mighty spread of canvas – the 18-ton 1896-built Gull in Harry Donegan’s ownership
Irish boats come, Irish boats go. And while some will always be remembered, others leave barely a twirl of wake in the communal memory. The best-remembered has to be Conor O’Brien’s world-girdling Saoirse. Yet it could reasonably be claimed that…
Telling it like it is: Glandore greetings for 90-year-old Don Street on Saturday as he apparently sails vintage Dragon Gypsy single-handed………..
Much of the rest of the sailing world may be whirling in coronavirus confusion, but in serene and elegant Glandore in West Cork. the strong local division of classic and modern International Dragons went smoothly into their 14-race Dragon Derby…
 The Quinlan-Owens family’s ocean-voyaging Roberts 39 ketch Danu of Galway is expected shortly back in the familiar waters of Connacht
The Quinlan-Owens family of Kinvara are expected home in Galway Bay within the next day or so with their 39ft steel ketch Danu of Galway, a 1993-built ocean voyager which Marine Institute scientist Vera Quinlan and her husband Peter Owens…
The 2018 Round Ireland Race start off Wicklow. August's 2020 race has been cancelled due to Covid-19 concerns
In a decision which will resonate with the national and international sailing community, and following intensive meetings all day, organisers Wicklow Sailing Club in concert with their many stakeholders have decided at 1845hrs today (Monday) that the circumstances of the…
Glory days. George David’s mighty Rambler 88, overall winner and course record breaker in 2016. A Round Ireland race in 2020 will inevitably be a much less flamboyant affair
With just four weeks to go to the proposed re-scheduled start of the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Yacht Race 2020 on August 22nd, the word is that a final decision as to whether it is going ahead – and indeed,…
Is proper sunshine sailing a "Mission Impossible" in this woeful summer? Not so. Paul Reilly and Davy Howard find extra-luminous sunshine on Saturday afternoon, racing the HYC-owned J/80 Mission 43 in the Aqua Two-Hander Challenge off the Fingal coast
When your dad and your brother are out having a ding-dong against each other in a couple of J/80s in the popular annual Aqua Restaurant Two-Handed Challenge from Howth up round Lambay and back, the dutiful daughter and loving sister…
The new and the traditional – Clifden Boat Club is saluted by classic Galway Hookers
Clifden Boat Club is the primary sailing and boat sports access point for the picturesque town of Clifden, the natural capital of Connemara, the “Land of the Sea” on Ireland’s far west Atlantic coast. While the club’s history goes much…
Second in the Drheam Cup - After a cold cold night at sea, for once masks were welcome on board. The crew of Smurfit Kappa - Concarneau Entreprendre (Francois Jamboux (left) and Tom Dolan pictured heading south-east, in the direction of the La Trinité-sur-Mer finish where they finished second in the Figaro Duo class
Tom Dolan of Meath and longtime colleague Francois Jamboux of Concarneau revived the spark of previous joint successes with a scorcher of a race with Smurfit Kappa in the 400-mile Drheam Cup from Cherbourg to La Trinite sur Mer via…
Nick Kats’ 39ft ketch Teddy in gentle waters at Inishbofin off the coast of Galway. Having been at sea for several days on passage to Iceland and Greenland, Teddy’s skipper has decided that his crewing arrangements were unsuitable for what would have been his third cruise to Greenland, and he has returned to an Irish port at Tory island off Donegal
The pressures of assembling an ocean-going crew on-line in the highly-constrained times of Coronavirus may have been a factor in experienced Arctic voyager Nick Kats’ decision to cut short what would have been his third cruise from Ireland to East…
Mullaghmore Regatta this Weekend Celebrates Great Irish Tradition
They’ve been holding annual regattas at breezy Mullaghmore on Sligo’s northwest coast for a very long time. Probably way beyond 1885, but that’s the oldest regatta poster they’ve managed to unearth. And though it’s just about possible to decipher it,…
A clear statement: the Royal Ulster Yacht Club’s prototype insignia facemask ironically disguises the wearer very effectively, but leaves no doubt about his club.
If we need any further indication of the longterm seriousness of the current public health precautions in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, then we’re told everything by the fact that sailing and yacht clubs are finally responding through acquiring…
Seasoned campaigners. Robert Dix and brother-in-law Richard Burrows combined 50 years ago to see the former win the Helmsmans Championship of Ireland in one of the highlight events of the Royal Cork YC Quarter Millennium celebrations in 1970. They’re still at it, as seen yesterday (Saturday) when they raced Dixie’s J/80 Jeannie to second in class in the Aqua Restaurant Two-Hander at Howth
When in doubt, send ’em round Lambay. That seems to be the feeling among Howth Yacht Club’s race officers as this uncertain semi-season gradually cranks into action. And with Saturday’s early-start Aqua Double-Hander Challenge seeing a greyish morning giving a…
“Every summer Saturday is Regatta Day” The Howth 17s Isobel (Turvey brothers) and Deiliginis (Massey, Twomey & Kenny) demonstrating their Saturday style. They try to maximize crew numbers, and thus have declined involvement in today’s Two-Hander at Howth.
A while back, the off-the-wall idea was mooted of creating a line of quality face-masks, tastefully printed or even embroidered with sailing and yacht club logos. The world of high fashion was already on to the idea of designer-labelled COVID-contesting…
Page 3 of 38

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton dob
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2020

Wave button for Afloat new dates

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

quantum sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating