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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.

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…
Safely home and a clear winner - Jean–Luc van den Heede in the all-conquering "Little Snail”, his well-tested Rustler 36 Matmut
Jean-Luc van den Heede safely berthed his Rustler 36 Matmut in the Vendee Marina in Les Sables-d’Olonne shortly after 1100 hrs today to confirm him in first place in convincing style in the Golden Jubilee Golden Globe Race writes W M…
An Aladdin’s cave of boat gear, and a treasurehouse of useful local marine information – Pierce Purcell in Purcell Marine of Clarenbridge at the head of Galway Bay
With a working life in which sailing, business and friendship are so intertwined that it is difficult if not impossible to tell where one begins and another ends, it will be a sweetly sad bit of news for many folk…
Jean-Luc van den Heede: the veteran skipper has kept his cool - and his lead. He is expected to finish the 30,000 mile Golden Jubilee Race non-stop round the world tomorrow morning (Tuesday) at Les Sables-d’Olonne
France’s stellar senior sailor Jean-Luc van den Heede (73) is such an experienced long-distance racer that the last thing he’d welcome is a premature celebration of his expected victory in the Golden Jubilee Golden Globe Race tomorrow morning writes W…
Smoothly away. The Defence Forces’ crew in the J/109 Joker II going well at the start of the Volvo Round Ireland Race 2018 at Wicklow. But in order to be there, they’d to use military principles to fit their preparations into a very tight time-frame. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien
It was while crossing the Atlantic on the Sail Training Brigantine Asgard II during a celestial navigation module of his Naval Service education in 1999 that Barry Byrne had something of an epiphany writes W M Nixon. He’d been introduced…
The 2019 Figaro course features racing in Irish waters
The legendary Figaro URGO sailing show will be coming to Ireland and the Irish Sea big time for its Golden Jubilee season in 2019 writes W M Nixon, with a 20th visit to Kinsale being supported by a subsequent second…
Even with a damaged rig, Jean-Luc van den Heede’s Rustler 36 Malmut (aka “Little Snail”) now has a lead of more than 300 miles with just 700 miles to go to the finish of the Golden Jubilee Golden Globe Race.
Veteran French skipper Jean-Luc van den Heede (73) has been giving a strategic sailing masterclass in the final 1500 miles of the Golden Jubilee Golden Globe Race writes W M Nixon. A week ago, after enduring flukey and unfavourable conditions…
Onwards and upwards….the new Ship of Dreams for offshore racing hopefuls is making its debut at Dusseldorf Boat Show. A CGI of the new Pogo Classe Mini Proto Foiler, which will provide a potential access point for Mini-Transat, Figaro Solo, Class 40 and IMOCA 60 enthusiasts
In the Great Halls of Dusseldorf, where the colossal annual Boat Show opens today with its Golden Jubilee providing multiple opportunities for appropriate Wagnerian accompaniment for hyper-glossy boats on the grand scale, a specialised level of interest will focus on…
The 1913-built Colin Archer gaff ketch Sandefjord on which Tim Magennis sailed round the world in 1965-67
Tim Magennis, the doyen of the traditional and classic boat movement on Ireland’s east coast, and one of the main movers in many significant historic sailing events in Ireland and the Irish Sea, was acclaimed with elevation to Honorary Life…
Dun Laoghaire Marina is one of few Irish marinas offering petrol supplies
We’re all well aware of the difficulty for leisure boats in sourcing diesel on some parts of the Irish coast, but what’s the situation for petrol for large outboards? Can anyone help Afloat.ie powerboat enthusiast Pete with this query? I’m…
The “Founding Fathers” of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta in 20005 were (left to right) the late Owen McNally, (Rear Commodore Royal St George YC), Tim Goodbody (Rear Commodore, Royal Irish YC), and Ronan Beirne (Rear Commodore, National YC)
The sad death of Owen McNally a few days before Christmas deprived the Dun Laoghaire sailing community of one of its most active and devoted participants, an enthusiast who put even more into our sport than he took from it…
The jaunty look. Miraculous mid-winter calm for the first setting of Ilen’s new squaresail in the dock at Limerick
In ancient Greece, the Halcyon Days were a mythological seven day period of calm clear weather at the mid-winter Solstice writes W M Nixon. Down Limerick way, they’ve been making the best of the Halcyon Days, with the blue River…
Howth YC’s Conor Fogerty with his Sunfast 36000 Bam! starts the final 47-mile beat of the breezy RORC Caribbean 600 in February 2018, on his way to winning his class (for the second time) just a fortnight after he’d been declared Ireland’s “Sailor of the Year” in Dublin
Howth Yacht Club has become the latest winner of the Mitsubishi Motors “Sailing Club of the Year” Award primarily on the strength of its sailing successes through 2018 - major successes which began in February and continued until well into…
Wild Oats X1 approaching the finish in the heart of Hobart harbour to take line honours in the Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race 2018. Thanks to her speed, though the actual wind is from aft of the beam, she seems to be on a close reach
Hobart in Tasmania is a characterful port with a certain style to it, picturesquely located in handsome scenery on the estuary of the River Derwent writes W M Nixon. It’s home to a goodly fleet of sailcraft and motorboats of…
Maybird on the finish line at Wicklow in July, the first gaff-rigged boat to complete the Round Ireland Race since its inception in 1980
Darryl Hughes’ renowned 43ft ketch Maybird, built by Tyrrell of Arklow in 1937 and superbly restored in substantial works project-managed by the owner himself in 2009-2011, has had – at 81 years old - probably her best year ever for…
Ballivor go breach!!! Jim Cooney’s Supermaxi Comanche will be hoping for vigorous winds in next week’s Rolex-Sydney-Hobart Race. He maintains close links with his ancestral homelands in County Meath, and his crew will include renowned bowman Justin Slattery of Wexford and Kinsale
What would Christmas be like without sailing? Such a state of deprivation just doesn’t bear thinking about writes W M Nixon. But thanks to the wonders of modern communication - which at other times can be too much of a…
For the casual spectator, this is the kind of sailing that attracts attention – Alex Thomson’s IMOCA 60 Hugo Boss at full chat on the foils.
The sailing community’s notable diversity is dependent on how you’re trying to analyse it writes W M Nixon. For many, it’s the community aspect, the shared love of boats and sailing and interacting with sea or lake, which is the…
 Joan Mulloy, Irish Sailing President Jack Roy, and Tom Dolan at the Paris Boat Show
Paris is big enough and busy enough to accommodate the unrest of the Gilets Jaunes in one part of the city, and yet continue to run an International Boat Show in another part of town, a boat show which is…
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