Bantry Bay yoles and the Atlantic Challenge

ATLANTIC CHALLENGE TEASER from Betel Studio on Vimeo.

Thanks to legendary boat designer François Vivier for spotting this one!

Every two year Atlantic Challenge International sponsors a friendly contest of seamanship in Bantry Bay gigs. They are held in a different host country each time. The events began in 1986, when gigs from France and the USA competed under the Statue of Liberty – now 12 nations and involved and 55 Bantry Bay gigs have been built worldwide.

The gigs are wooden replicas of late 18th century longboats, and are modelled after an existing original gig left behind in Bantry Bay Ireland by the invading French fleet of 1796,. The boats are said to have exhilarating performance.

Read more here: Atlanticchallenge.org.

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Lyme Regis to be the new home of Bantry Bay gig Intégrité

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Lyme Regis is to be the home of the 38ft Bantry Bay gig that represents Great Britain in the two-yearly Atlantic Challenge.

In addition to the Atlantic Challenge, Intégrité will also take part in a new venture, Atlantic Challenge England.

The sail and oar-powered boat was built by the late John Kerr, boat builder and founder of Atlantic Challenge GB, in his workshop in Llandysul, West Wales in 1992.

Real greyhounds of the sea, the Bantry Bay gigs are wooden replicas of late 18th century longboats, and are modelled on an existing original gig left behind in Bantry Bay, Ireland by the invading French fleet of 1796 – if, like me, you don’t remember the story of the French attempt to invade Ireland in that era, there’s a page of information at the Wikipedia.

Some 55 of the boats have been built, often by communities.

Taking care of Intégrité and racing her is to be  sister project of the town’s Gig Club, an will have its own committee who will undertake fundraising and oversee the storage, maintenance and management of the gig in partnership with Lyme Regis Development Trust. I understand local boat builder Gail McGarva is very much involved, and that the project is also supported by the Lyme Regis harbour master.