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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.

Hal Risk in the Dragon documentary Setting Hearts on Fire
The International Dragon One Design has been an important of Irish sailing since the 1930s, writes W M Nixon. This classic boat’s good looks and excellent performance continues to provide rewarding racing for sailors of all ages worldwide. Indeed, a…
Although the 12ft Wagtail is intended for day cruising rather than racing, the crew of this boat - currently on the market with Leinster Boats - are well aware that getting their weight efficiently amidships gives a much more rewarding sailing performance
The recent announcement that Nordic Clinker or Clench Timber Construction - as practised by several classic boat-builders in Ireland - is now receiving UNESCO Heritage Recognition has caused understandable pride among those who own one of those beauties, craft such…
The dream starts to become reality. Molly Claire at Lanzarote, having sailed out from Ireland before her Transatlantic passage
The French ocean sailing pioneer Bernard Moitessier became famous for trying not to be famous. In the Golden Globe challenge of 1968 with his Colin Archer-style steel ketch Joshua, he was very much in contention in the non-stop circumnavigating contest…
Irish Sailors of the Year 2021
Who gets your vote for Afloat Irish Sailor of the Year 2021? Afloat Sailors of the Month in 2021 kept our sport going through adversity is the view of Winkie Nixon in his review of 24 individual sailors, pairings and crews (below)…
Shannon One Designs in close racing at Lough Ree Yacht Club. In 2022, the Shannon ODs are celebrating their Centenary, while the 1770-founded Lough Ree YC will be marking its pandemic-postponed Quarter Millennium+
Lough Ree Yacht Club and the Shannon One Design Association are sharing this year’s MG Motors Sailing Club of the Year Award. It’s the well-deserved honouring of a dynamic combination that provides a core contribution to the Athlone area’s reputation…
Sydney-Hobart Race winners three times in a row - Ichi Ban’s Matt Allen & Gordon Maguire with the Tattarsall Cup
When Gordon Maguire of Howth won his first Sydney-Hobart Race in 1991 helming Atara with Cork’s Harold Cudmore as skipper, he can scarcely have dreamed that thirty years later, he would proudly be holding the coveted Tattersall Cup for the…
Ichi Ban making knots in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race as she approaches the final stage in to the Hobart finish
Matt Allen’s Botin/TP 52 Ichi Ban, with Gordon Maguire of Howth as Sailing Master and a crew including Sean O’Rourke and Dublin-born Noel Drennan, has received the benefit of a remarkable reversal of fortune in the current Rolex Sydney Hobart…
The Botin 52 Ichi Ban (Matt Allen, Sailing Master Gordon Maguire) at the Organ Pipes in outer approaches to Hobart
Matt Allen’s TP 52 Ichi Ban, with Gordon Maguire as Sailing Master, was first of all the TP 52s into the finish of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race 2021 at 4:45:29 pm local time December 29th. But as she had…
In the calm of the night…..Black Jack crossed the Hobart finish line at 01:37
The Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race must be one of the most intensely-analysed offshore racing events in the world, providing four or five days of close-fought competition to be looked at every which way while the Northern Hemisphere is largely in a…
Ichi Ban settling to her work in open water in the race to Hobart, with the seas built by the fresh southerly wind steepened by the south-going East Australia Current. The Botin 52’s carefully-calculated hull sections minimize wetted area at this optimal angle of heel
The south-going East Australia Current off the coast of New South Wales can vary in its strength. But if there’s power in it at its strongest streams about ten miles and more offshore, even a moderate to fresh southerly wind…
The Transat Jacques Vabre Class40 winner Redman has been in mid-Atlantic December storms with Pamela Lee of Greystones
With the three named Atlantic storms of Arwen, Barra and Corrie already logged and leaving behind trails of varying degrees of disruption in Northwest Europe, we in Ireland don’t need to be told that the winter of 2021-2022 has been…
A Classic. The Rolex Sydney-Hobart fleet leaders sweep seaward in perfect style shortly after the traditional in-harbour start.
For many years now, the annual 628-mile Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race on 26th December has played a special role in reviving the mid-winter spirits of the dark and gloomy Northern Hemisphere, with the glitzy sunlit start out of one of the…
Laser and RS Aero neck-and-neck in a brisk and bright nor’easter in Howth Sound during the 2021 KeyCapital Frostbite Series
In ancient Greece, the mythological Halcyon Days at mid-winter were the calm and bright time around the Winter Solstice. In Ireland, a calm at midwinter (the Solstice is at 3.59 pm this (Tuesday) afternoon) tends to bring grey days, and…
The Cape 31 Vulcan crew enjoying Wednesday Night Racing in Cape Town. See video below
The Mark Mills-designed Cape 31s have been stretching their limbs and muscles at the Royal Cape Yacht Cub in South Africa for long enough now to attract much interest elsewhere, and by next year they’ll be coming to a club…
The late Jimmy Furey of Lough Ree was an award-winning builder of clinker-built boats, and best known for his exquisite Shannon One Designs. But he showed equal skill in creating this superb Dublin Bay Water Wag Mollie II for Olympic sailor Cathy Mac Aleavey
Now hear this, all you sailors or rowers of Greencastle Yawls, Dublin Bay Water Wags, Foyle Punts, International 12s, Shannon One Designs, Castlehaven Ettes, Strangford Lough Clippers, Coastal Hobbler Rowing Skiffs, Dublin Bay Mermaids, Mayfly-Fishing Lakeboats, IDRA 14s, Ballyholme Insects,…
Never happier than when afloat – Neville Maguire aged 93 heading seawards from Howth in his final boat, the Seaward 23 Two Much
Neville Maguire (1927-2021) was a devotedly local sailor whose racing was at world standard. Yet any civilised sailing enthusiast would wish to be as he was, for although Neville’s racing was important, it was only part of a lifelong love…
“Well lads, how’s the GDP going this week then?” The very special 1954-vintage George Bushe-built Crosshaven skiff Lorelei moves sweetly past the Central Bank on Dublin’s River Liffey, rowed by the Stella Maris club of Ringsend in last weekend’s All In A Row Charity Challenge
When we revealed the background to the Crosshaven-built George Bushe rowing skiff Lorelei of 1954 vintage, many sailors of traditional outlook could have been forgiven for reckoning this innovative craft would still stand out as decidedly unusual in any gathering…
“The quiet charm of a self-effacing Power Couple” – Rosemary and Jack Roy in Kinsale
When we published a comprehensive overview of Jack Roy’s achievement-filled career ashore and afloat on 14th July 2017, it was in light of his recently-elected position as President of Irish Sailing. With someone who lived life a hundred per cent…
The late Nevile Maguire rowing designer/builder John B Kearney and his fellow crew members to the shore in Mavis’s dinghy in Schull in 1945
Neville Maguire of Howth has died much-mourned today (Monday) at the age of 95. The father of international ace Gordon Maguire, Neville himself was one of Ireland's most accomplished and popular sailors inshore and offshore, whether racing or cruising and…
Race On…this club-owned J/80 helmed by Johnny Sargent and crewed by Declan Byrne, Bill Staunton and Paddy Coyne finished sixth in the final race and fifth overall, and - more importantly - beat Johnny’s father David racing another J/80
For casual observers, conditions looked miserably grey for yesterday (Saturday’s) final race of Part 1 of Howth YC’s annual Brass Monkey through-winter series. But those bustling cheerfully ashore afterwards were full of enthusiasm for a great racing breeze from the…
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