Ireland to starboard, or port?

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 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?

WMN RI Afloat 040114


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 ~

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About Peggy Bawn Press

496pg biography of Scottish yacht designer, George Lennox Watson (1851-1904). Significant book on the history of yacht design & the development of modern yachting. Beautifully illustrated. Many photographs previously unpublished.
This entry was posted in America's Cup, book, Dublin Bay - The Cradle of Yacht Racing, humour, Irish yachting, journalists, other yacht designers, yacht clubs, yacht design, yacht racing, yachting history and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Ireland to starboard, or port?

  1. Martin Black says:

    I don’t collect books on cruising. However, following the write-up by Winkie I bought “The Log of the Olivia” from Amazon.

    It is a delightful reproduction of a yacht’s log covering voyages around Ireland, the UK, cruises on the West Coast of Scotland and a voyage to Norway between 1859 and 1867. The writer of the log was William A Power, a Dublin based yachtsman. It is illustrated with really nice pen and wash drawings and at £3.49 is an absolute steal. I promise you that you won’t be disappointed.

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