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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.

First day at school: the trading ketch Ilen in her new role as the Ilen Marine School, getting under way on Bank Holiday Monday.
When the 56ft Conor O'Brien-designed trading ketch Ilen - built in Baltimore in West Cork in 1926 - was retrieved and brought back to Ireland by Gary MacMahon of Limerick from the Falkland Islands in November 1997, it was the…
Silver Service in a different world….back in the still relatively carefree times of early January, just for a spot of fun Olympic Sailing Silver Medallist Annalise Murphy took Olympic 5,000 Metre Silver Medallist Sonia O'Sullivan for a sail in the Laser in Melbourne
The process of intense training, endlessly learning, and continually practising in the hope and expectation of improving your game does not come easily to many Irish sailors. The fact of our being an island nation, and having a very long…
The Podesta family's First 45 looks set to make it two in a row in the annual Rolex Middle Sea Race
A strengthening breeze from the southeast has brought the key middle group of top handicap win contenders in the 41st Rolex Middle Sea Race from Lampedusa through the night and the early hours of this morning to the finish at…
The First 45 Elusive 2 (left) and the xP44 Expresso dicing for it shortly after the start of the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Their fates could not have been more different – Expresso was an early retiral with a broken forestay, while the Podesta family's Elusive 2 has just taken over the overall IRC lead at the Lampedusa turn
After an excellent Pantellaria to Lampedusa leg, Middle Sea Race defending champion Elusive 2 (Podesta family, Royal Malta YC) has just corrected into the overall lead, and up ahead the Volvo 70 I Love Poland (Konrad Lipski) has finally made…
There is mounting concern for the wellbeing of Fungie
Everyone in Dingle - and beyond too, in a much wider world of shared joy in his existence - everyone knew that some day, it was going to happen. Some day, the sad but inevitable feeling was going to take…
Middle Sea Race multihull handicap winner Mana (foreground) hanging in with the slightly higher-rated Maserati. Maserati's narrow win on the water converted into a handicap win for Mana by just 4 minutes and 23 seconds
If you know it's going to be a light airs Middle Sea offshore race, you'd reckon a stripped out and race-proven TP52 would be a good all-round bet, with her ability to comfortably outsail anything smaller, yet with an uncanny…
The Rolex Middle Sea Race mono-hull leader, I Love Poland, a Volvo 70, comes past Stromboli at a safe distance not to avoid volcanic eruptions, but to stay out of the notorious inshore calms
Racing offshore in the Mediterranean is usually quite a quirky experience, but although the 606-mile 41st Rolex Middle Sea Race has been in progress for just a few hours over two days, it is already excelling many of its predecessors…
Tacks-free zone……the R-P/Marteen 72 Aragon leads the Rolex Middle Sea Race start out of Valetta Harbour with Nin O'Leary on the helm in an exemplary tacking-free exit
Nice one, Nin. With a sailing rockstar recruited into your crew, it's reasonable to expect a 22-carat gold rockstar introduction to the on-stage performance. And Crosshaven super-helm Nin O'Leary certainly came up with the goods at the start of the…
Record smiles: Cat Hunt (left) and Pam Lee dockside in Greystones early this morning after setting a new Round Ireland record. See vid below
Female Two-handed Round Ireland Speed Record: The Iarracht Maigeanta Two-Handed Round Ireland Record Challenge by Pamela Lee and Cat Hunt of Greystones Harbour Sailing Club just got better and better through yesterday evening and last night as they swept – with…
The position at 2100. See live tracker below
Female Two-handed Round Ireland Record Day Four 2100hrs: The situation became transformed. It was like the clicking of a switch. Or so it seemed to those on the edge of their seats ashore, as they watched on screen as the Figaro…
Handsome is as handsome does – the uncompromising Lombard 45 Pata Negra – used for several Howth YC successes – has been chartered by ISORA's Andrew Hall of Pwllheli for today's (Saturday) 41st Rolex Middle Sea Race from Malta
People have been unobtrusively getting on with sailing in many places during the pandemic, determinedly maintaining social distance afloat and ashore, reducing their interaction with outsiders to such a minimum it's almost non-existent, and doing it all thoughtfully, with properly-located…
As merry as grigs – Cat Hunt and Pam Lee in cheerful mood early this morning as their Figaro 3 Iarracht Maigeanta rides on the flood tide with a good breeze past Rathlin Island, with Islay distant on the horizon
Female Two-handed Round Ireland Record Day Four 1500hrs:  The North Channel is one very unforgiving bit of water to go sailing on. It only gives you the gift of a fair tide for just long enough to begin to think that…
When the going was good - Iarracht Maigeanta seen crossing Donegal Bay in steady style yesterday morning
Female Two-handed Round Ireland Record Day Four 0900hrs: When Pam Lee and Cat Hunt entered Day 3 of their Magenta Project Round Ireland Challenge at 0745 hrs this morning (Friday), they were nearer the Scottish coast than they were to…
Magenta Project with Pamela Lee on the helm enjoying, the kind of sailing that has brought the Team of Two to North Donegal from Dublin Bay in record time
Female Two-handed Round Ireland Record Day Three 2000hrs: When the going is good, the good get going - and they get going fast. This has been the mantra of Pam Lee and Cat Hunt, who brought their Beneteau Figaro 3 in…
The Podesta family's First 45 Elusive 2 on her way to winning yesterday's 30-mile Malta Coastal Race in the buildup to Saturday's Rolex Middle Sea Race
The buildup to the 41st edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Offshore Race from Malta on Saturday (October 17th) continues in Valetta in muted style in line with pandemic restrictions, and while yesterday's traditional preview event, the Yachting Malta Coastal…
Cat Hunt (left) and Pamela Lee in Greystones Marina before their unique challenge began
Female Two-handed Round Ireland Record Day Three 0900hrs: At 0745 hours this morning, Pamela Lee and Catherine Hunt in the Beneteau Figaro 3 Iarracht Maigeanta had put County Mayo's northwest headlands of Eagle Island and Erris Head well astern, and were…
Speeding into the long October night – Cat Hunt and Pam Lee getting the performance from their Figaro 3 Iarracht Maigeanta. They could be nearing the coast of Connacht by midnight
Female Two-handed Round Ireland Record Day Two 1800hrs: As Pam Lee and Cat Hunt continue to make good progress on Ireland's west coast northwards towards Connacht with light to moderate winds in the easterly sector, the developing weather for their Round…
Phaedo 3, record breaking Round Ireland in an anti-clockwise direction in 2016, decides that the Great Foze Rock is not an Irish island, but is part of the Azores archipelago, and may therefore be left to starboard
Female Two-handed Round Ireland Record Day Two 1400hrs: The Great Foze Rock has come and gone well to starboard at 12.15hrs today in the lengthening litany of marks of the course as Pam Lee and Cat Hunt continue their impressive campaign…
The Fastnet Rock is the next turning point for Pamela Lee and Cat Hunt
Female Two-handed Round Ireland Record Day One 2000 hrs: The Round Ireland two-handed record challenge by Pamela Lee and Catherine Hunt, which started from the Kish in Dublin Bay at 0745 this morning, had been accelerating westward well out to sea…
Let's hear it for the Classics - the 55 metre schooner Elena – the re-creation of a 1910 classic – makes a cracker of a start with only a couple of "little" 15 Metres ahead of her at the weekend, close in off the harbour in the 22nd annual staging of Voiles de Saint-Tropez
You might well think that trying to stage the annual sailing classics megafest of the Voiles de Saint-Tropez without the usual razzmatazz is about as likely to succeed as an attempt to stage Wagnerian Grand Opera in a low key…
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