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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.

The start of a stellar career. Peter Beamish (RStGYC) racing his new Mills 31 Aztec to success in the 1996 Lambay Race at Howth
With at least four Mark Mills-designed Cape 31s making their Irish class debut at the Wave Regatta in Howth from June 3rd to 5th, we will see one very important wheel come full circle. For it was a 31ft Mark…
Hal Sisk with the re-build of the record-breaking 1912 schooner Atlantic in Dun Laoghaire
Hal Sisk of Dun Laoghaire has tonight (Tuesday) received the International Classic Boater of the Year Award in London for his decades of inspired service to classic craft and sailing history, while his colleagues Fionan de Barra of Dun Laoghaire…
Quiet determination – Rachael Blackmore in winning form
The possibility that stellar jockey Rachael Blackmore, the winner of the Grand National in 2021 and the Cheltenham Gold Cup this year, might just be descended from a noted Dublin nautical family has emerged from traditional boat enthusiast and maritime…
Joe Woodward in 2004 with the William Van der Hagen 1738 painting of the Water Club sailing in Cork Harbour, which made for one of his most historic auctions.
Joe Woodward of Cork, who has died aged 90, was the very personification of the spirit of Cork city and harbour as a place where the good things in life are there to be enjoyed, and enjoyed in style. This…
Looking good – The Ilen team of Aodh, Eugene & Mike with their ship looking spic and span after her Spring refit at Oldcourt.
The restored 56ft trading ketch Ilen of 1926 vintage and Conor O’Brien fame has been blithely passage-making to and fro at speed – despite the unsettled weather – along the southwest coast in recent weeks, as Ilen Marine School Director…
The Volvo 70 Telefonica Black is in the latest group of Round Ireland entries which has more than doubled the fleet numbers
When this year’s SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race 2022 was top of the agenda on Afloat.ie a fortnight ago, it was in the context of Wicklow Sailing Club being in double celebratory mode. They’d already logged 18 high-quality early entries…
Volvo Cork Week in full cry – as normality returns, this is the sort of sailing Ireland does best
The past two years would have been difficult enough for Irish sailing as we navigated our way - usually with reasonable success – towards keeping our sport as active as possible through various manifestations of the pandemic regulations. But in…
The eye-catching sight of the restored International 15 Metres racing in the Mediterranean is to be replicated off Barcelona as the boats-of-choice for the 37th America’s Cup in 2024
As the dust settles on the global kerfuffle over the torrid venue selection process for the 37th America’s Cup Series in 2024 with Barcelona taking the prize, it emerges from leaked documents that the final big money agreement includes various…
After a three-year pandemic lay-off, the IUSA Keelboat Nats come back to colourful life in the club-owned J/80s at Howth
The last weekend of March in Ireland is usually not noted for an almost-dangerous amount of highly-radiated sunshine and light breezes. But Race Officer Scorie Walls had to cope with both at Howth in putting through the full 18-race programme…
St Katharine Docks in the heart of London – the Limerick
ketch Ilen will be taking up temporary residence here for a cultural
exchange visit early in May
The programme for the “cultural voyage” of the 56ft restored Limerick trading ketch Ilen to London in late April and through the first fortnight of May continues to take shape. The ship herself is now back in her birthplace at…
Barcelona waterfront
The revelation that the mighty Spanish sailing resort and port city of Barcelona has been secretly putting together a powerful hosting bid for the 2024 America’s Cup in the heart of vibrant Catalonia has been bruising news down Cork Harbour…
The master at work – the late Aidan Tyrrell effortlessly on the wheel in a brisk run back from West Cork, avoiding the irksome use of oilskins through his skill in ensuring that no white water breaks on board
Aidan Tyrrell of Cork was about as far as it was possible to be from the status of a nationally-known sailing figure. It was a situation that chimed well with his intensely private nature. Yet throughout Ireland, there were many…
Seasoned campaigners: The First 310 More Mischief (Grzegorz Kalinecki, Dun Laoghaire, left) and the J/122 Aurelia (Chris Power Smith, RStGYC, right) are Numbers 1 and 3 in the growing entry list for the SSE Renewables Round Ireland race from Wicklow on June 18th 2022
For most of us, the pandemic has been a matter of two years in limbo. And it maybe isn’t over yet, even if everyone is behaving as though we’re well into the end game. But for gallant little Wicklow Sailing…
Revised overall results have been issued for the DBSC Spring Chicken Series
Some people find saying "sorry" very difficult, but DBSC's Winter Wunderkind Fintan Cairns has given us a graceful example of how to do it with his re-setting of the final results for the latest Spring Chicken Series, which concluded at…
It’s prehistoric in Intervarsity racing terms – the winning IUSA Keelboat Nationals Team at Howth in March 2019 (the last time the event was staged) were (left to right) Ewan O’Keeffe, Mark Murphy, Morgan Knight, Harry Durcan (helm) and Grattan Roberts (Tactician), with HYC Commodore Ian Byrne and Race Officer Scorie Walls.
Time was when the Student Yachting Worlds in France was quite the thing, and never more so than in October 2008 when National Universities Champion Nin O’Leary of Cork Institute of Technology won it for Ireland from a very international…
“Keep calm and carry on….” Shannon One Design Senior Statesman Alan Algeo – a former Lough Ree YC Commodore – looking notably serene in the midst of a developing situation
While the sailing programme during the past two years has managed to be played out afloat in a truncated form whenever changing regulations permitted, anything which involved a significant shoreside element of socialising was either cancelled completely, or else moth-balled…
The late Dermot Burns of Crosshaven, longtime archivist to the Royal Cork Yacht Club
With Irish sailing life struggling to return to normality, we find we are facing it without someone who could put it all into perspective. Dermot Burns, Honorary Archivist to the Royal Cork Yacht Club for many years, passed away peacefully…
After more than a hundred years under the ice of the Weddell Sea, Ernest Shackleton's Endurance has been found
The search for the remains of Ernest Shackleton's Antarctic-exploring achieved success today with ghostly images of the remarkably well-preserved vessel being sent to the search expedition. Afloat has more on the story here
The first and very attractive custom-built Morning Cloud of 1971 vintage, now known as Opposition, heads the lists for the newly-introduced Classics Division in Volvo Cork Week 2022
It’s good news that a proper Classics Division is going to be included in Volvo Cork Week in July, and it’s even better news that one of the first to step up to the plate is Opposition, the gold standard…
Ireland's Olympic Silver Medallists of 1980 wasn't quite as alone as this report would suggest - it has emerged in recent days that the late Ken Ryan personally funded their Flying Dutchman
There have been many fond and favourable responses to our recent Appreciation of the late Ken Ryan, Ireland's sailing administration polymath who was the living embodiment of the old saying that if you want anything done, and done well and…
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