RYA Northern Ireland recognises unsung heroes in newly launched Hall of Fame - James Nixon

RYA Northern Ireland inducted the first four people to its new Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame was set up to recognise the contribution of people to the development of sailing in Northern Ireland. During an event at the Crowne Plaza, Belfast, on Thursday 23 March, the guests were presented with the awards by Lady Mary Peters and RYA’s Chair Chris Preston. Today’s special feature is James Nixon.
31 Mar 23
James Nixon being inducted into the RYANI Hall of Fame, standing with Dame Mary Peters and RYA Chair Chris Preston

James Nixon grew up in Bangor where he started sailing as a young boy with his brothers in the “Insect” class. His achievements at this stage were while at school helming Bangor Grammar school boat to 2nd place in the British Schools Keelboat Championship 1961.

At university in Trinity College Dublin in 1963 he won the IDRA Team Racing Championships and helmed the college crew to win the Universities Keelboat Championships. He then went on in 1966 to win the all-Ireland Helmsman Championship.

His sailing career continued after university to include successes in both Dragon and Squib championships. In 1971 he was a crew member in the Irish Admirals Cup team. As well as these championship successes James has also cruised extensively around Ireland to the Faroe Islands and Norway. In 2005 he won the Irish Cruising Club award for his article on the voyage he took in his own boat Scilla Verna following the route taken by Lord Dufferin in 1856, from Ireland to Iceland, Svalbard Islands and Norway.

He is now the co-owner of the classic 1921 Alfred Milne designed River Class “Faughan”. This class celebrated its centenary year in 2021 for which James undertook extensive research to write a wonderful book on the history of the River Class over their 100 years.

RYA Northern Ireland’s Chief Operating Officer Greg Yarnall said: “I am delighted that to recognise four very special people in our sailing community. We are proud to have welcomed the first inductees to our newly established Hall of Fame. 

“People are at the heart of our sport and it is fantastic to be able to celebrate some of those who have made such a hugely positive impact over many years.”