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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.

Newest boat in the oldest class – the 2017-built Orla (Mark FitzGibbon & Donal Gallagher) shows ahead at the South Rowan Buoy in the three-way sail-off for the Howth 17s' Studdart Cup on Bank Holiday Monday
The vintage Howth 17 Class have registered Annual General Meetings every year since 1898. But although 124 summers have passed since their first season of 1898 - which thereby counts as Year One and not Year Zero - they can…
Yannick Lemonnier in Palma in the Canaries after finishing the first stage of the Eurochef Minitransat 2021
Despite being battered by storms and whales off northwest Spain, 87 boats of the originally 90-strong fleet which started from France in the Eurochef Minitransat 2021 completed the first stage to La Palma in the Canary Islands. There, life was…
Doomed ships of the Spanish Armada at the Blasket Islands in September 1588. Four vessels sought shelter in the lee of the Great Blasket Island, and while two succeeded and eventually got safely back to Spain, two – the Rosa and Ragusa – were wrecked.
DBOGA invites you to join their 2021-2022 Winter Monthly Zoom Sessions, opening with "The Spanish Armada in Ireland", which will be given by Cormac Lowth on Thursday 28th October at 20.00hrs. In 1588, one hundred and thirty heavily armed ships…
America's Cup contenders at Auckland – it's an abiding and evocative image, but at what cost?
According to one usually reliable line of information, yesterday was to be the day in Auckland when Team New Zealand and the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, as Trustees and Holders of the America's Cup, were due to confirm the…
Squibs and Flying Fifteens picking up speed as the breeze builds at Dromineer, with FFs Triggers Bush (3896, Lee Statham & Andy Paul, Waterford Harbour SC) and Duff Extra (3737, Gavin Doyle & Dave Sweeney, National YC) keeping their wind clear
The annual October Freshwater Keelboat Regatta at Dromineer, (hosted by Lough Derg Yacht Club and staged last weekend) has been no stranger to hyper-strong winds in times past. But in 2021's unusually gentle Autumn, it provided two to three days…
Mixed action in the weekend's final race of the Howth Yacht Club Beshoff Motors Autumn League, with Kevin Darmody's X Class Viking crossing safely ahead of Stephen O'Flaherty's Spirit 54 Soufriere
When the Autumn League started as a regular part of the programme at Howth Yacht Club thirty-nine years ago after the Marina opened in July 1982 (making for two significant anniversaries coming up next year), it was thought fairly normal…
The restored trading ketch Ilen floodlit off the modern section of the Limerick waterfront to launch Mental Health Week in her home city
The Ilen Marine School's 56ft-restored trading ketch Ilen of 1926 vintage is already renowned for her good work when taking part in the Sailing Into Wellness programme. It's one of the ship's many interests that were vividly high-lighted at her…
Neck-and-neck in IRC3 at Howth on Saturday – the J/24 Kilcullen (HYC-U25), the Laser 28 Alliance II (Vincent Gaffney) and the 2021 Irish Sigma 33 Champion Insider (S & D Mullaney)
In 1905, mutineer Ivan Beshoff made good his escape from the Imperial Russian Battleship Potemkin after he and his shipmates had taken over command in the Black Sea, and he set out walking west. Knowing of the long reach of…
Yannick Lemonnier in Galway Docks with Galway Bay SC Commodore Johnny Shorten
Solo sailor Yannick Lemonnier racing Port of Galway finished the first stage of the Eurochef MiniTransat 2021 at 16th in class this afternoon (Saturday) at Palme in the western Canaries, having moved up a couple of places during the final…
The The 1938-founded Ballyholme Bay Class when still going strong in 1970, with Bobby Swanston's Eileen leading from Frank Humphreys' Penelope. While the class in Bangor is now largely defunct, an active sister-ship has emerged in Isle of Wight ownership
Coming as it does from David Tasker - an Afloat.ie reader from the Isle of Wight - a typically Autumnal query received a day or two ago from this new owner of an interesting and much-loved vintage boat is one…
You win some, you lose some….with some interesting Galician rock structures convenient for study, Black Mamba is going no further in the Mini Transat 2021
The Minis Transat fleet was emphatically divided by hundreds of miles when the leaders managed to get themselves well south past Cape Finisterre in northwest Spain before ferocious weather and aggressive killer whales forced a significant section of the fleet…
Calendar girl….the classic Irish yawl Mavis (Ron Hawkins) has received the ultimate accolade of being both the cover star and the November feature of photographer Benjamin Mendlowitz's 40th Annual Calendar 2022 of Wooden Boats
American sailing photographer Ben Mendlowitz of Maine has been recording classic and traditional wooden boats and their world with an unerring eye for forty years and more now. Apart from regularly contributing to leading magazines, he has had ten books…
The way of a ship at sea….
While everyone else was staring goggle-eyed at rapidly-changing and decidedly hostile weather charts last Thursday, and wondering whether the weekend's racing was going to be possible at all, in typical style the always-amazing Gary MacMahon was at sea off our…
Successful end to the summer season – the crew of Woofer who came through in the last race to win the ECHO Division in the Galway Bay SC Aquabroker Series are John Preisler, Nigel Moss, Ronan O'Conghaile and Professor Michael O'Sullivan
Flexibility has been the keynote at Galway Bay Sailing Club as they wind down their traditional season at a time when activity generally is seeing a stepping-up of the pace as the pandemic recedes. Thus when the time-honoured Junior Regatta…
Summer runs into October – IRC 1 getting down to work at Howth on Saturday with (left to right) Half Tonner Mata (Wright/deNeve), J/109 Indian (Simon Knowles), J/99 Snapshot (Mike & Richie Evans), Half Tonner Checkmate XV (Dave Cullen) and J/80 Red Cloud (Nobby Reilly)
Anyone doing a crew call last Wednesday to firm up arrangements for Saturday's Day 4 of the Beshoff Motors Autumn League at Howth might well have been greeted with a brief but thoughtful silence from the shipmates, as the wind…
Safe for the moment - Yannick Lemonnier aboard his Mini 650 Port of Galway in Baiona, northwest Spain
While the leading boats in the fleet of 90 racing the Mini Transat 2021 are now passing Madeira and well on their way to their planned stopover in the Canaries (where they may well find that volcanic activity interferes with…
Close finish at Schull - new All-Ireland Junior Champion Rocco Wright of Howth (left) and his crew Nathan van Steenberge
Fresh back from being the youngest participant in the NYYC Invitationals racing ILC 37s at Newport, Rhode Island, 15-year-old Rocco Wright of Howth reactivated his well-proven dinghy-racing skills in jig time to emerge as the 2021 Junior All-Ireland Sailing Champion…
Peter Lawless’s Rival 41 Waxwing in Tenerife today (Tuesday)
Limerick solo sailor Peter Lawless has had further setbacks to his hopes of being the first Irishman to sail round the world non-stop and alone, as he has experienced renewed difficulties with his steering gear and rudder, which necessitated putting…
At the start of Sunday's Kish Race, the keenly-raced vintage Nich 31 Saki (third left, Michael Ryan & Paget McCormack) has her spinnaker up and drawing to perfection, powering her along on a perfect sailing day for the second race of the DBSC Cruiser 3 Championship.
Two days of sunny Dublin Bay perfection, with light easterlies on Saturday and an initially brisk westerly on Sunday, provided the notably sociable DBSC Cruisers 3 with an ideal launch pad for their new style championship, which produced an oven-ready…
In at the wall - the Classic Half Tonner Checkmate XVIII (Nigel Biggs) has logged another win in the Beshoff Motors Autumn League at Howth
With distinctly brisker weather forecast for this coming weekend, it may well be that Saturday’s second contest of the six weekend Beshoff Motors Autumn League at Howth was the Last of the Summer Wine, with just enough power in the…
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