Atlantic Challenge International

Atlantic Challenge International was formed in 1984 and the first two gigs were built at the Rockport Apprenticeshop, Maine, USA.   The first Contest was held between the USA and France at the Centennial Celebrations of the Statue of Liberty in 1986.

The boat chosen for the Atlantic Challenge is a replica of an 18th century captain’s gig, similar to the one in the print.  Dimensions were taken from a gig that was captured in 1796 when an invading French fleet attempted to land at Bantry in dense fog.   This gig is now in the National Maritime Museum of Ireland.

Old print

Atlantic Challenge has grown through the need of young people to experience the feelings of comradeship and endeavour, and the pleasures that come from accomplishment of good seamanship skills and a job well done.

Atlantic Challenge Contests now include crews from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Italy, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Quebec, USA and The Basque Country.

Atlantic Challenge GB

In 1990 the late John Kerr, Boatbuilder, met Lance Lee, President of ACI, at a Small Boat Conference in Nova Scotia. Following that meeting, the UK was invited to join Atlantic Challenge International. The invitation issued the challenge to raise funds, build a gig, and train a crew to take part in the next Contest of Seamanship.

Lance Lee and John Kerr
Lance Lee (left), founder of Atlantic Challenge, with John Kerr (right), who brought Atlantic Challenge to the United Kingdom and built our gig Intégrité.

Under John’s leadership, funds were raised and by 1992 work started on the building of Intégrité.   A crew was recruited from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and took part in its first Contest of Seamanship in the summer of 1992 in Douarnenez, France.

Atlantic Challenge GB is a non-profit making limited company and a Registered Charity.

Chairman: Jane Kerr

Trustees: Jane Kerr, Mary Byatt, Tony Golden, Ben Heaney, Gavin Sim, Jade Colton, Reuben Thompson

All Trustees are volunteers and ACGB is funded entirely by voluntary contributions from fundraising events, personal donations, and grants.