International Contests

The Next Atlantic Challenge International Contest

The next International Contest of Seamanship will be held in Belfast, Maine, USA in July 2024, bringing together crews from Denmark, Belgium, the Basque Country, France, Ireland, Italy, N. Ireland, Canada and the USA.
ACGB will be taking a crew of 20 young people to compete in this friendly Contest, to represent Great Britain.
Events will include rowing and sailing races, ropework and navigation competitions. On shore, crews will have opportunities to mix together and make new friends.

Contests of Seamanship: The Bantry Bay Gig World Championships

Every two years, teams representing the countries of Atlantic Challenge – Basque Country, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain,  Ireland, Italy, Northern Ireland, Quebec and the USA – meet to compete in a week-long friendly International Contest of Seamanship in a host nation.

The locations of the previous Atlantic Challenge Contests, more information in each Contest and ACGB’s participation in them is included in our Archive.

The boats used in the Contests are replicas of an 18th century captain’s gig.   The vessels are 38ft long and powered by three masts and 10 oars. Contest events include traditional rowing and sailing races, as well as events more specific to Atlantic Challenge, such as the oars and sails race, passage race, man overboard, rudderless slalom and jackstay transfer. Crews from each nation are also tested in their ability to navigate and undertake ropework.

The Contest takes place over 7 days. Crews will develop close ties, understanding and friendship with other nations through the great discipline of the sea. Social events are organised ashore and there is time to spend mixing with other crews.

The next Contest will take place in Belfast, Maine, USA in July 2024.