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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.

Last gasp victory – the Ultime 32 Gitana XVII aka Maxi Edmond de Rothschild (left) snatches a 58 second victory from Macif to establish a new Mulithull Course record in the Rolex Fastnet Race 2019
The great George David’s Rambler 88 – holder of the Round Ireland monohull record – finished the Rolex Fastnet Race at 0955 this morning to take mono-hull line honours, but the final run into Plymouth from the Scillies put paid to a…
The Maxi Edmund De Rothschild, has won multihull line honours in the 48th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race
The new breed of Ultime 32 trimarans have lived up to their name and reputation with the leading pair of Gitana XVII and Macif slashing more than four and a half hours off the record time for the 608-mile Rolex…
Conor Doyle’s handsome Xp 50 Freya from Kinsale (her crew including Olympic campaigner James Espey) was in the limelight as overall leader at one stage
With the leading Fastnet Race multihulls well round the Fastnet Rock this morning (fleet leader Gitana 17, the Ultime 32 aka Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, was first at the turn at 0633 BST) the bulk of the fleet are still…
The 100ft Ultime 32 Maxi Edmond de Rothschild seems to have emerged unscathed from a close encounter with the Shingles Bank in the early stages of the Rolex Fastnet Race 2019, despite all those vulnerable appendages
For most sailors a fair wind from well aft of the beam is welcome. But if you happen to be a 100ft trimaran which three hours ago was registering 38 knots on a beam reach, the fact that the wind…
The 48ft American sloop Carina (Rives Potts) rounding the Fastnet Rock in 2011, when she won her class. A successful veteran of the 1979 Fastnet Race, Carina made her debut in the 1969 race, and today she starts in her Golden Jubilee Fastnet Race
The maritime pageantry which is the sequenced start of the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race gets underway in time-honoured fashion at 12.30 hrs off Cowes today. And in the almost ludicrously varied 390-plus fleet, there are some sailing machines which are…
Summer in Greenland is brief but spectacular – the Limerick ketch Ilen in idyllic conditions off the majestic coast near Nuuk
The traditional 56ft Limerick trading ketch Ilen will shortly begin her long return voyage from west Greenland to the Shannon Estuary, following the successful completion of the several strands of research and exploration in the Ilen Project’s Salmons Wake programme writes…
Jonathan & Carol O’Rourke (NYC) on their successful Mermaid Class Tiller Girl in happier times
The eagerly-awaited national Mermaid Championship getting underway today in Crosshaven with the Royal Cork YC has experienced two shoreside setbacks which have served to underline what a close-knit community is to be found this very special class. Senior skipper and…
A veteran of the Fastnet Storm rescue of 1979, the Watson 47 Class lifeboat The Robert has been restored by Jeff Houlgrave, and is currently in Crosshaven before heading for her 1979 home port of Baltimore on Friday
It was when the Baltimore Lifeboat was called on the evening of Monday, August 13th 1979 to the assistance of the yacht Regardless that the outside world began to realize that something exceptional was happening to the record 303-boat Fastnet…
The Shannon Estuary in the perfect mood for racing – WIORA Class 1 IRC competitors Jaguar (left, J/92 S, Gary Fort, Tralee Bay SC), with overall runner up Stonehaven Racing (foreground, Corby 25, Glynn/Griffin/Callanan, Royal Western of Ireland YC), chasing the J/109 Joie de Vie (Glen Cahill, Galway Bay SC)
With the full programme of nine races for the IRC Classes and seven for the two White Sail Divisions very comprehensively completed in the four day 28-boat WIORA Championship 2019 hosted by Foynes Yacht Club, the word in the west…
The Fastnet Rock as it can be………
This weekend forty years ago, I was the chirpy co-skipper of the smallest boat in the Cruise-in-Company fleet as we closed in on Glengarriff in far West Cork for the Golden Jubilee party of the Irish Cruising Club in the…
Ilen in gentle conditions in Greenland’s Umanap Surdlua fjord this week, when the opportunity was taken to set every sail in the ship
While the restored 1926-built 56ft traditional trading ketch Ilen of Limerick may have arrived in the Greenland capital of Nuuk last weekend in harsh weather – albeit with a favourable southerly wind – since then conditions have become much gentler,…
Co-skippers Ari Huusela (left) and Mikey Ferguson on the former’s IMOCA 60 Ariel2
Bangor sailor Michael Ferguson (36), whose CV includes both dinghy and major offshore racing success, has been signed on to co-skipper the IMOCA 60 Ariel2 (formerly Dee Caffari’s Aviva) in the record 67-boat Transat Jacques Vabre fleet from Le Havre…
 They’re on their way – the Galway-Lorient fleet in Hughtown on St Mary’s in the Isles of Scilly on Wednesday, with Cormac Mac Donncha’s J/35 Lean Machine on left. This evening (Saturday) they’ll be formally received in the Breton port of Lorient, which is twinned with Galway.
Even the most experienced amateur sailors will always feel a certain nervousness mingling with the anticipation in starting a cruise writes W M Nixon. This is particularly so when the cruise will take them out of sight of land, and…
Ilen's crew on their arrival at Nuuk late this morning (Friday) - Gary Mac Mahon on left, Paddy Barry second right
After a swift but cold 26-hour run up the Labrador Sea along the southwest coast of Greenland from Paamuit, Limerick’s restored 1926-built 56ft ketch Ilen reached her primary destination, the Greenland capital of Nuuk, late this morning (Friday) writes W…
The Ilen in Paamuit in Greenland, where she found perfect shelter while a southerly gale blew itself out in the Labrador Sea
The restored 56ft 1926-built traditional ketch Ilen lingered in the southwest Greenland port of Paamuit for the past couple of days while a vicious southerly gale blew itself out in the Labrador Sea writes W M Nixon. It was an…
It’s southwest Greenland. It’s big. And it has icebergs. But at least the rough conditions of Cape Farewell are now well astern for the 56ft Limerick ketch Ilen as she coast-hops towards Greenland’s capital of Nuuk on her Salmons Wake Educational Voyage.
The restored 1926 Limerick trading ketch Ilen continues to make steady progress on her Salmons Wake voyage to the Arctic writes W M Nixon. She is now port-hopping along the southwest coast of Greenland towards Nuuk, with the rough conditions…
Ian & Judith Malcolm’s 1898-built Aura has emerged as Howth 17 Champion from the VDLR 19
The Howth Seventeens have survived and prospered for 121 years by doing things their own way, so for the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2019, eight of them packed a lot of sailing miles into a compact programme by racing across…
The 121-year-old Scoter (Eddie & David Warden-Owen, Treardur Bay SC) had a clean sweep in Dublin Bay after discarding a third from the first race.
While the ancient Howth 17s may have started racing in 1898 a year earlier than the Seabird Half Raters on the other side of the Irish Sea, the Warden-Owen family of Treardur Bay reckon their Seabird class Scoter is all…
Colm Bermingham's Elan 33 Bite the Bullet
We knew that Colm Bermingham's Elan 33 Bite the Bullet from Howth was already winner of Non-spin 1 going into today’s Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta race, but he won it anyway and with a discarded 2nd he thus finishes on…
Beneteau First 8 F’n Gr8 from Carrickfergus Sailing Club
It was the Quarter Tonners and associated sparring partners in IRC 3 which really got their moneys worth with ten races completed at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, but with 18 boats and white-hot competition, understandably there were times when the race…
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