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Sailing on Saturday with WM Nixon
The 48ft 1968-built classic Carina (Rives Potts NYYC) on her way to a class win in the 2011 Fastnet Race. She was designed by Jim McCurdy, whose family have connections to Rathlin Island at the other end of Ireland
You could over-analyse the many attractions of a round Ireland cruise. Apart from being a romantic yet manageable act of homage to our island home, it appeals equally to the adventurous - in that you are always outward bound –…
Mike and Richie Evans new J/99 Snapshot was an instant success with victory in the 2021 Sovereigns Cup in Kinsale
Ever since Fintan Cairns of Dun Laoghaire and the late Jim Donegan of Cork brought the Irish Cruiser-Racer Association into being twenty years ago, ICRA’s Annual Conference & AGM has provided a fascinating overview of the state of play in…
Alfred Mylne lives anew. The modern build classic-style schooner Naema is a contemporary amalgamation of design concepts used by Alfred Mylne in two of his large schooners
We’re accustomed to thinking of successful and long-lived local One-Design keelboat classes as being a distinctive feature of Irish sailing. Thus we tend to overlook the fact that one particular Scottish designer created more of these Irish boats than anyone…
Valentine’s Day with a difference – the new-build of Conor O’Brien’s global pioneering Saoirse steps out in style under sail for the first time at Baltimore on Tuesday February 14th 2023
The magnificent pioneering voyage round the world south of the Great Capes in 1923-1925 by Conor O’Brien (1880-1952) of Foynes, sailing his new-built engine-less 42ft Baltimore ketch Saoirse, was of such heroic proportions that any attempts at a re-enactment to…
“We’re on our way….” Eve McMahon after clinching Gold in mid-July 2022 in the Youth Worlds at the Hague in The Netherlands
Eve McMahon is “Irish Sailor of the Year 2022”, making it into the top national position for the second successive year after the ILCA 6 sailor’s international performance was of such a standard that she even managed to better her…
The essence of Irish sailing – participant sport at the Fastnet Rock during Calves Week at Schull, with Brian Heffernan’s Aisling in the foreground
Be careful what you wish for - it might just come to happen. This was the feeling that emerged in much of the rest of Ireland’s sailing community a year or so back, when “America’s Cup Venue Mania” was taking…
The genesis of a successful idea – early days of the RC35 concept in 2018
There are cruiser-racing enthusiasts in Ireland who dream of living in a world of non-stop activity in 2023, making the most of a dedicated traditional schedule in which they swing into action with the Scottish Series - back on Loch…
The Spirit of 2022 – the 44-strong and rapidly reviving 1720 Sportsboat Class celebrated its 30th Anniversary with some great racing at Cork Week, and a “Sailor of the Month” nomination for the winning multi-club crew on Atara
You can tell a lot about someone’s personality through the way in which they react generously – or not – to the fact that for 2022, the Post-Pandemic Year in which Life Afloat With All Its Apres Sailing Ashore Was…
The One and Only….the original 35ft Ruffian slicing her way through the haze, on her way to overall victory in the 1971 Ailsa Craig Race
Time was in sailing when the Golden Jubilee of any One Design Class was a matter of extra-special celebration. But it’s now more than fifty years since glassfibre construction became mainstream. Thus instead of fleets dominated by timber boats which…
Howth Yacht Club’s 2022-2024 Commodore Neil Murphy racing his co-owned Puppeteer 22 Yellow Peril in a brisk breeze off the Fingal coast. First sailed in 1978, the Puppeteer 22s are the numerically largest among Howth’s successful location-specific One Design classes, and in 2022 the winner of the Class Championship was Paul and Laura McMahon’s Shiggi-Shiggi
The selection of Howth Yacht Club as Ireland’s latest MG Motor “Sailing Club of the Year Award” represents a remarkable harmony of achievement between the competition winners and the sponsors, with Howth Yacht Club becoming “Sailing Club of the Year…
A hundred years and still going strong – Peter McCutcheon racing his veteran Shannon OD in one of the class’s special Centenary Regattas, in this case at Lough Derg YC
We reach the end of 2022 with sailing in Ireland in good heart. Weatherwise, it was by no means a perfect season. For sure, there were periods of heatwave, but heatwaves can be bad news for good steady sailing breezes.…
Punching above her weight. The Volvo 70 Willow (Jim Cooney & Samantha Grant) giving the 100ft Super-Maxi Black Jack a hard time of it during this month’s Solas Big Boat Race in Sydney Harbour. Both boats are racing to Hobart, and though the four Super Maxis are expected to be favoured by initial northerlies, if the Volvo 70s can be snapping at their tails, they too can manage to be in the frame
If you’re looking for somebody Irish on the biggest fastest boat racing to Hobart from Monday’s traditional start in Sydney Harbour, then you got it – the hugely experienced big boat racer Justin Slattery of Wexford and Cork is on…
Work in progress. The Australian Reichel/Pugh 69 Moneypenny started life as a 65-footer, but charismatic owner Sean Langman and his shore and on-water crew – which now includes multiple Hobart Race winner Gordon Maguire – are constantly tuning and modifying in the countdown to the annual 628-mile Sydney-Hobart Race in nine days time (26th December), when she will start as one of the favourites in the 114-boat fleet
With a chest-clogging cold snap of soul-sapping frozen fogs likely to be replaced here this weekend by roof-lifting wet and windy gales, the very thought of sun-dappled Sydney Harbour and its sublime sailing will be a spirit-raiser for yotties throughout…
Big country. The MOD 70 Phaedo 3 (Lloyd Thornburg) flys past Inishtearaght in the Blasket islands during her record-breaking round Ireland circuit in 2016
When you sail west past Mizen Head in the deep south, or Malin Head in the far north, you know you’re getting into the real Atlantic territory, where they do things differently afloat and ashore. For although the hundreds of…
Irish sailing as we’d like to think it usually is – the final day of the 505 Worlds off Cork Harbour on 13th August 2022
With November just ended, today’s assessment at the beginning of December for the latest “Sailors of the Month” listings would normally include at least one of our young sailors who starred to such good effect in the European Sailing Championship…
The start of the 2019 National YC Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race, with eventual overall winner Rockabill VI (JPK 10.80, Paul O’Higgins RIYC) just ahead of Mick Cotter’s 94ft Windfall, which took line honours and established a new course record. The 30th Anniversary D2D starts in Dublin Bay on June 7th 2023
Did we really manage it? Did we really cram all those major special and routine regular sailing events into the one season of 2022? And all that despite its three main months afloat experiencing decidedly mixed weather? And also despite…

William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago