The Dromineer Literary Festival recently described Irish maritime journalist, author and historian, W.M. “Winkie” Nixon as:
“…a sailing journalist who writes like a poet and whose love for his subject is apparent in his writing.”
Winkie’s blog at Afloat.ie is essential Saturday breakfast reading. Recently he treated us to this fascinating examination into the first recorded circumnavigation of Ireland by a yacht. And, Winkie being Winkie, he strays beautifully off topic now and again.
The biggest question though continues to offer great argument: does one leave Ireland to starboard, or to port?
Which begs the further question… would it stir up renewed public interest in the biannual Round Ireland Yacht Race to offer competitors the choice?
Many of Glasgow, Scotland yacht designer G.L. Watson’s earliest clients for state of the art and ground-breaking racing yacht designs were from Ireland, reflecting the strength of aquatic and often genealogical links across the Sea of Moyle/ North Channel. Martin Black’s biography, G.L. Watson – The Art and Science of Yacht Design, recalls some fiercely competitive “cross-channel” matches – especially in the c.30ft (9.14m) long 5-Tonners of the 1870s – between Irish and Scottish owners, with the Irish often the ones to take a risk on the young, relatively unknown Watson against Scottish-owned William Fife (Senior and Junior) designs.
~ Iain McAllister ~