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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 Fireball Worlds 2022 at Lough Derg YC in August will be one of the season’s international highlights. In 1995, the event was staged in Dun Laoghaire, and the winners were John Lavery and David O’Brien of the National YC, whose boat of 26 years ago is seen here being put through her paces at Lough Ree YC in 2021 by Eoghan Duffy & Conor Paul.
(First published 11/12/2021) Four World Championships. Two Europeans. The super-staging of our defining offshore race. A major new offshore challenge. Regattas galore. A very significant Centenary. An important Golden Jubilee. At least one new One-Design class. Established OD classes finding…
Shine kindly lights - the Limerick ketch Ilen’s new take on Christmas tree lighting for Galway Docks has come through Storm Barra with style
The imaginative use of the 1926-vintage 56ft Trading Ketch Ilen’s mainmast as a brightly-illuminated Christmas Tree for Galway Docks was switched on as recently as Sunday evening. Yet within 30 hours, the entire setup was being severely tested for many…
The Sea we Share……Sunday sport at Howth: Pat O’Neill’s J/80 Mojo chases the Quinn family’s J/97 Lambay Rules (sailed by Holly Quinn) past the Thulla in Howth Sound, while in foreground Dave Kirwan (Malahide) races his Laser for the finish
With the shortest day of the year only a fortnight away, winter leagues at a number of centres in Ireland can already look back on a satisfying collection of good races which somehow hit on magic days between storms such…
Eve McMahon on her way to Gold on Lake Garda. She is probably the only World Champion involved in the recent school exam programme in Ireland.
So many 50th Anniversaries in international sailing are being celebrated these days that you could be forgiven for thinking that all these major events - such as next week’s opening of the event’s Golden Jubilee celebration, and the staging of…
Conor Haughey (right) skipper on board Hibernian, a Moody 54DS with some of his crew, an Irish entry in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers that has arrived first in the cruiser division at Grenada in the Caribbean
Conor Haughey of Malahide’s handsome Moody 54DS Hibernian swept into the finish of the ARC 2021 in Grenada this morning to chalk up a notable international success for Ireland. Hibernian - which sailed the longer ARC + course to take…
Conor Haughey’s Hibernian is proving to be a swift sloop on the open ocean
Conor Haughey of Malahide’s handsome silver-liveried Moody 54DS Hibernian is having a very good Transatlantic race with the ARC+ division of 70 boats, which has taken in the transoceanic hop in two stages with a stop in the Cape Verdes.…
Admiral Beaufort - his method of measuring the real strength of wind might be of relevance in assessing the progress of COVID-19
The Navan-born Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort KCB FRS FRGS FRAS MRIA (1774-1857) was a man of very many interests, some of them a little startling. His work as the Hydrographer of the Navy is remembered in the name of the…
Philip Watson’s take on a colour scheme for the Watson & Jameson sails for the dB2s Decibel, which he co-owned with Joe Reynolds and John Marrow. He is seen here in the middle of the crew at the start of the 1989 Fastnet Race, in which Decibel placed third in class.
In November 1971, Malahide sailing enthusiast Gerry Watson journeyed with his son Philip from their comfortable home down the slow Irish roads of half a century ago to Crosshaven, where the son had signed up to join a new sailmaking…
The sailing weather of 2021 was decidedly mixed, and recollections will depend on the focus of each significant event. The Puppeteer 22s recall only idyllic Mediterranean weather for their Annual Championship at Howth, won by the McMahon family’s Shiggy-Shiggy for the second year running
(First published 27/11/21): The 2021 programme for Irish sailors is still in action with winter series underway at several centres, while next Wednesday a junior squad departs for Oman and the Youth Sailing Worlds which get fully underway on December…
The now-almost-mythical Cork One Tonner Golden Apple racing in 1974
In 1974, Ireland - and particularly Cork - leapt to a new level of international sailing prominence as the fresh combination of the design talents of Ron Holland, the sailmaking skills of Johnny McWilliam, and the boat-building talents of the…
The AC 75 American Magic in the preliminaries for the 2021 America’s Cup at Auckland. The essence of the contemporary America’s Cup is that it should be sailed in unique boats
The 170-year-old America’s Cup is global sailing’s Sacred Mystery. To be most true to itself, it should be raced in boats - or more accurately sailing machines - that are about as different as possible from the craft used by…
Selfless courage – the Dunmore East Lifeboat heads seaward
Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association invite participation in their next Zoom session “Dauntless Courage: The History of the RNLI Lifeboats, their crews and the Maritime Heritage of the Dunmore East Community,” which will be given by David Carroll on Thursday…
November Atlantic sunset on Galway Docks Marina, with the traditional rig of the Limerick ketch Ilen in marked contrast to modern craft. Photo: Gary Mac Mahon
The Ilen Marine School of Limerick’s 56ft traditional trading ketch Ilen has been making the best of a sojourn in Galway City and the gentler periods of late Autumn weather in November, with last weekend’s ideal conditions being used for…
Done it! Yannick Lemonnier at the MiniTransat finish in Guadeloupe
Galway sailmaker Yannick Lemnnier finished the Eurochef MinisTransat yesterday (Monday) in Saint-Francois, Guadeloupe at 20:37:47 UTC in 16th place in the Proto Division in his 2004-vintage Manuard design Port of Galway tracker here  To achieve this, he overcame a dismasting…
Pierre Le Roy’s Teamwork in winning form for the Eurochef Minitransat 2021
Pierre Le Roy’s super-scow Teamwork finished the MiniTransat 2021 in Guadeloupe on track on Friday with a good lead on the water of almost 12 hours from Fabio Muzzolini, and at noon Sunday the first seven boats of the Proto…
Even at Barcelona, the best of the summer is long gone in November, but it still provided “an energetic variety of conditions” for the Laser Worlds 2021, and Finn Lynch (centre) emerged from melees like this to record a great scoreline
While everyone in Irish sailing and beyond shares in the joy of seeing Finn Lynch emerge so spectacularly from a performance drought to take Silver at this week’s Laser Worlds in Barcelona, it is really only those who have fully…
Scow’s That! Teamwork has built up a clear lead in Eurochef Ministransat 2021, and is 200 miles from the finish in Guadeloupe and Line Honours in the 86-boat fleet
Pierre Le Roy sailing the uber-scow Teamwork has a good lead in the Euorochef Minitransat 2021 as he closes towards the finish at Saint-Francois in Guadeloupe 200 miles away, where he is expected to cross the line tomorrow (Friday) evening.…
A Jac de Ridder-designed High Tension 36 to the One Ton Rule. The late Johnny Morris took line honours in the first Round Ireland Race in 1980, racing sister-ship Force Tension

John Morris 1933-2021

9th November 2021 ISORA
At first light on Saturday 5th July 1980 off Wicklow, Johnny Morris of Pwllheli - who has died aged 88 - secured himself a permanent place in the story of offshore racing. In command of Force Tension, a One Tonner…
Tom Kneen's JPK 11.80 Sunrise winning the 2021 Fastnet Race at Cherbourg. As a loyal Royal Western YC member, he had voted in favour of retaining the traditional Fastnet finish at Plymouth, but it's possible that it was the extra distance to the Cherbourg finish which played a key role in Sunrise's clear win
Would Tom Kneen's JPK 11.80 Sunrise have still won the Rolex Fastnet Race 2021 if it had been sailed on the old course, with Plymouth rather than Cherbourg as the finish? Imponderable it may be, but it's a question of…
This is not a Set Proposal for the next James Bond movie…On the contrary, the Stad Ship Tunnel in Norway is for real, and construction starts next year.
Alex Blackwell of Clew Bay is always buzzing with ideas, and his latest notion is that the destination for a future Cruise-in-Company by some seagoing club or other (he's involved in several) should be the pioneering Ship Tunnel that the…
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