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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.

Round Ireland veteran skipper with new boat – France’s Eric de Turckheim is headed for the Wicklow start on June 18th with his latest boat, the NMYD 54 Teasing Machine.
They’d seven entries in the first Fastnet Race of 1925, and seven entries started yesterday morning in the inaugural 240-mile Kinsale YC Inishtearacht Race - there and back from Kinsale, round the only lighthouse island of Ireland’s furthest west Blasket…
“The Special One” – the DB21 Geraldine arrives for restoration in Kilrush in July 2021. For members of the Queens University Belfast SC team of 1963, she holds cherished memoriest
The continuing restoration of the Mylne-designed Dublin Bay 21 class of 1902-1908 origins, undertaken by Steve Morris of Kilrush Boatyard for Hal Sisk and Fionan de Barra, has deservedly won several awards, including recognition for the project’s use of modern…
Royal Cork YC getting the best of a start in the 2021 NYYC Invitational
It's one of the hottest tickets in international Corinthian sailing, and invites to take part are like gold dust. It's the biennial New York Yacht Club Invitational, raced in Mark Mill-designed IC37s in the sacred waters off Newport Rhode Island.…
She may not have a lot of of accommodation, but she has all the sail area you could want - David Maguire's new Cape 31 Valkyrie in action off Howth this (Sunday) afternoon
The Mark Mills-designed Cape 31 is an uncompromising day-racing machine, but when two of them made their debut appearance off Howth this (Sunday) afternoon, their sheer style blew away any negative thoughts that if you're seeking any off-watch zizzes in…
“Which way would you lordship like the castle to face this year?” Over the centuries, Howth Castle (left) has faced in different directions
You need to be several different people at once in order to thrive in Howth sailing. A classic case in point is former HYC Commodore Brian Turvey. His current highest-profile role - ahead of other deeply committed personal involvements -…
Lt Sean Flood at the helm of the Erskine & Molly Childers ketch Asgard in 1961
Afloat.ie joins with his extended family and many friends in sailing and the business world in wishing Sean Flood of Howth a happy 90th Birthday this week. The very epitome of enthusiasm, energy and optimism both ashore and afloat, Sean…
Decks swept clean - Ilen in Baltimore after a
"Ilen came back from London so quickly we got ahead of ourselves" said Ilen Marine School Director Gary MacMahon in Baltimore today, where the Limerick trading ketch had prudently put into port yesterday (Monday)evening in acknowledgement of near-gale westerlies forecast…
The business of the City of London is business. Thus last week's visit there by the Limerick trading ketch Ilen saw many boxes being ticked in an efficient style, including a clear affirmation that The Dey of Kilcoe takes precedence…
Gerry O'Sullivan and his shipmates on the Formula 28 Animal capture the moment of sunrise in Howth Yacht Club's
There was much movement ashore and afloat pre-dawn on Saturday, with many groups and crowds all over Ireland gathering in preparation to mark the Pieta House-supporting "Darkness into Light" initiative. At HowthYC, the nautical version was "Sailing Into Light", and…
Paul Keogh (centre) speaks of what the Naomh Cronan project meant to the Clondalkin community after receiving the Jolie Brise Cup from Old Gaffers Association President Patrick Vyvyan-Robinson (right), with Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association Hon Sec Darryl Hughes (left) in  Ringsend's Poolbeg Y&BC in Dublin Port
The saga of the building and sailing of the traditional Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan by Clondalkin Community in west Dublin goes back nearly thirty years. And though the story has regularly featured in Afloat.ie,the various lockdowns had made it difficult…
Skinny, innit? The first Cape 31 in Ireland looks thin and deep
The camera does not lie, they say, but it depends on how you hold it and angle it, and which lens you use. If you see the Mark Mills-designed Cape 31 sailing, you'll reckon she's a reasonably beamy and sensible…
The ketch Ilen adds something exotic to the already complex London skyline
These past few days have been purest serendipity for historic Irish boatbuilders. Just two days after the 1926-vintage West Cork-built Limerick ketch Ilen was celebrated beside the River Thames in London on Wednesday, the 1937 Tyrrell of Arklow 43ft ketch…
The 60ft French alloy ketch Pen Duick VI may race Round Ireland in June
Fifty years after France's legendary Eric Tabarly was winning "just about everything" with his 60ft alloy ketch Pen Duick VI, his daughter Marie is "99% certain" to race the boat in the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Yacht Race 2022 from…
Any images of the award-winning restored Dublin Bay 21 Naneen show a traditional rudderhead which you'd assume to be the original, going all the way back back to first owner T. Cosby Burrows in 1905. But Afloat.iereader Richard Dixon wonders…
Total shelter. Ilen safely into the tidal lock at St Katharine Docks in
London today
The River Thames in the heart of London is a lively piece of intensely tidal water, so for vessels bound for the sea-locked haven of St Katharine Docks beside Tower Bridge, it can be restless enough lying inthe waiting berth…
Dublin Bay in all its eccentric high tide glory. Yet with the greater city area actually sinking at about 3 millimetres a year relative to much of the rest of Ireland, we could be in for some interesting times on the tidal front
If you’re a coastal Dub doing a Marie Kondo on the shoe cupboard, and you’re thinking of heaving out the Cuban heels and the platform soles, just hang on a minute. Despite their exotic fashion origins, that fancy footwear might…
The accelerating season of 2022 – the first “proper” sailing season for three years – has revealed even greater enthusiasm for Ireland’s classic classes, arousing hopes that even the Dublin Bay 24s might be brought back to life as a class. One of the highlights of their later years was the Dun Laoghaire Woodenboat Regatta of 1997, with the mood captured aboard the leading DB24 Harmony (Johnston brothers, left & right), with Dr Barbara O’Hanlon, widow of former owner Dr Rory O’Hanlon, in the hatchway, while the late Cass Smullen trims the sheets, and Tim Pearson supervises the Universe from the afterdeck.
We hear so much about the “New Normal” in everyday life ashore that it’s becoming difficult to remember what the Old Normal was like, as employers resort to bribery (“Special Bonuses” if you insist) to entice WFH employees back into…
The Falkland Islands postage stamp of 2001 featured an Irish tricolour to honour the origins of Ilen, while also revealing her very practical propellor installation
Following the departure last Saturday for her 700-mile Limerick-London voyage, the trading ketch Ilen under the command of Ilen Marine School Director Gary Mac Mahon was able to sail the track as far as Land's Endin Cornwall, which she rounded…
Fair winds and sunshine - Ilen departs on time down the Shannon Estuary on Saturday
Although she is now meeting easterly headwinds in the English Channel as she voyages towards London following her departure down the Shannon Estuary on Saturday, the 56ft Limerick Trading Ketch Ilen was able to lay the course from the Fastnet…
The 20-ton ketch Morna on Ballyholme Beach in September 1935 after a mooring gave way in a nor’east gale
Ballyholme Bay in Bangor on Belfast Lough is a Jekyll-&-Hyde sort of place. For much of the time, it’s serene, with excellent sailing waters off a neat urban waterfront above a tidy esplanade on its western shoreline, while the eastern…
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