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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.

Reasonable conditions for a while on a volatile afternoon - HYC Vice Commodore Neil Murphy helmed the Puppeteer 22 Yellow Peril to a second after leading for much of the race in the Beshoff Motors Autumn League at Howth
The purple arrows were out in force on Day 3 of the Beshoff Motors Autumn League at Howth, though the heaviest of them passed to the north of the race area. The purple arrows are the ones that indicate squalls,…
Pat Lawless (66) of Limerick - the central tenet of Lawless Sailing Lore seems to dictate that you should sail no further than you need to
Pat Lawless (66) of Limerick may still have 24,455 miles to sail before he becomes the first Irishman to sail non-stop solo round the world. But in the Golden Globe Race 2022, he has been getting remarkably competitive performances out…
Fireballs in preliminary Worlds racing at Dromineer on Lough Derg, where the indispensable Andy Thompson of Larne won yet another Gold
September is a month of harvests afloat as it is ashore, and as we reach October with its inescapable sense of the change in the seasons, our bountiful new monthly list of no less than six different and distinctive September…
East Antrim Boat Club in Larne is a haven of peace and quiet in busy commercial town, manufacturing centre and ferryport
East Antrim Boat Club is a haven of almost rural peace and quiet on the point of land with the remains of historic Olderfleet Castle at the south side of this commercial town. For Larne is a bustling manufacturing centre…
The 2019 French-built Howth 17 Orla (Marc FitzGibbon & Daragh Gallagher) had a good day in the latest two-race outing for the Beshoff Motors Autumn League, moving herself up to second overall in class with a fourth and a first
The 40th Annual Autumn League at Howth Yacht Club – sponsored these days by specialist car company Beshoff Motors – enjoyed a bright and brisk northerly breeze with a touch of nor’east for its second weekend. “Brisk” with a mixed…
Home-from-home. Hoteliers John & Gwen Brennan took their Redbay Stormforce 1450 Dromquinna to Brittany, expecting to book into a hotel now and again, yet they spent every night on board in complete comfort. Thanks to John’s skills in manoeuvring, here at Saint-Marine in Benodet they have managed to get berthed beside the smaller craft with a minimal walk to the marina bridge
The Kenmare River where Kerry verges into Cork is one of Ireland’s cruising gems – it’s pure gold and then some. But we weren’t exactly cruising when the Nixon Tribe descended on the area precisely a year ago for a…
Ghost ship? Ilen anchored off Sandycove seems like a wraith-like image from the past
It was good to know of the sail training ketch Ilen lying serenely in the Scotsman’s Bay-Sandycove anchorage south of Dun Laoghaire Harbour last night, like a proper sailing ship of ancient times taking a useful break to await a…
“Like peas in a pod” – the TR3.6 fleet race-ready in Schull
When Rocco Wright of Howth – then 15 – pulled the All-Ireland Junior Title out of the hat in the final race at Schull, West Cork a year ago, his Houdini skills were widely noted, emphasised by the fact that…
Geological heaven….The 39ft ketch Teddy (Nick Kats) from Clifden on the Greenland coast in August this year at South Channel, Milne Land
Nick Kats of Clifden and originally America is always looking to the north for new cruises with his hefty 39ft Danish-built Bermudan ketch Teddy. And when we say “north”, we mean Arctic voyaging and a continuing fascination with Iceland and…
Winning every which way. The sun may be going into hiding and the wind may be fading, but Stephen Mullaney’s champion Sigma 33 is finishing the first race of the Beshoff Motors Autumn League Ruby Jubilee at Howth to find multiple reasons for special celebration in the après sailing
Back in July 1982, HYC’s new Marina opened for business. This meant that - come September - the club’s diverse cruiser and keelboat fleet, which in those days still included a goodly number of wooden craft, could safely and conveniently…
GP14s racing at Sutton DC, the class and venue for the new-look Champions’ Cup on October 8th & 9th
The Helmsman’s Championship? Crazy name. Surely it should at least have been The Helmsmen’s Championship? Yet in its quirkiness, it achieved brand recognition to die for. Everyone knew what it meant, so much so it could even be shortened to…
RORC Caribbean 600 inaugural winner in February 2009, Adrian Lee's Lee Overlay Partners (RStGYC), in her classically swift but unfussy Cookson 50 style. In this case, she's on her way to the overall win and a new course record in the November 2013 Dubai-Muscat Race
The up-grading of the RORC's annual Caribbean 600 race to what is effectively a two-week inshore/offshore festival in February 2023, when the sailing in the area is at its brisk but warm best, is a reminder that Irish boats and crews…
Pat Lawless's rugged Saltram 36 Green Rebel has shown well in a wide
variety of offshore conditions
Pat Lawless (66) of Limerick and Ballyferriter has been having good racing in the early stages of the Golden Golden Globe Solo Non-Stop Low-Technology Round The World Challenge. His hefty Saltram 36 Green Rebel has proven well able for the…
The 2022 1720 Sportsboat Champions  from Atara skippered by Ross McDonald at Baltimore Sailing Club prizegiving
The march of the revived 1720 Sportsboats goes on despite their design origins at least thirty years ago. But even with all the fresh talent in the class, it was as if you were in the weekend's Championship at Baltimore,…
Some Irish coastal towns almost ignore it. Others simply face it. But Kinsale embraces the sea
Where other Irish harbours face the sea, Kinsale embraces it. And this generous geographical reality helps to provide a genuine sense of community interaction when any initiative at the hospitable south Cork port is put together to help get young…
Hallowe’en at the Royal Irish YC in Dun Laoghaire. The late John Sisk was in the syndicate which kept this 70ft 1926 Fife classic in pristine condition
The death of John Sisk of Dun Laoghaire highlights the sailing achievements of a private yet remarkable family whose name is internationally-recognised on major building sites and civil engineering projects in several countries, while at the same time, they are…
The late John Sisk (right) with his brothers Hal (centre) and George (left) with their shipmates aboard the S&S 36 Sarnia in Crosshaven in 1970 after winning an RORC Race from the Irish Sea
Afloat.ie regrets to record the death of John Sisk of Dun Laoghaire, the youngest brother in a notably successful three-brother generation of a remarkable sailing family. After childhood sailing in the family setting, his successful racing career began with Team…
The new hotshots. The final one-race day of the J/24 Euros at Howth was so damp and grey that we all need a sunny image of the new Euro J24 Youth Champions and Open Division Bronze winner to cheer us up, and this is Kinsailor in a bright mood at her home port
The old salt who looked out at the weather this morning (Saturday) in Howth and remarked that in the west of Ireland this would be called “a high stool day” was echoing the feelings of most participants. But the J24…
Irish boats for one and two - the all-conquering Headcase (4247) hounds the Greystones boat Hard on Port on the way to her second victory of the day in today (Friday's) second race, in which Hard on Port held on to second
A distinct change in sailing conditions today (Friday) - from a sunny nor'easter to a grey sou'easter - seems to have suited the Irish contingent in the J/24 Euros very well indeed, with the afternoon ebb making for distinct delineations…
Putting the “sport” into Sportsboat…..SB20s revelling in a real breeze as other boats scuttle back to port
In 2002, the ingenious Laser SB3 was unleashed on an unsuspecting world by Performance Sailcraft as one of several innovative craft that enabled the leading Laser builders to offer loyal Laser sailors – already in their several thousands with the…
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