Gigs are elegant, exhilarating vessels, simple in structure but very graceful at the same time. They can be rowed at 6 knots in calm water, and sailing have been known to top 10 knots in a good wind. In operation they require 1st rate teamwork.
Gigs were widely used up until the early 20th century, mostly on naval ships in Russia, Europe and USA, by captains and commanders for transportation. Over the years they have gradually increased in size and were built with more durable materials. The gigs that we build are the replicas of the French vessel of the 18th century: 12 meters long, 10 oars, three masts and a 13-member crew. A beautiful vessel, it’s extremely interesting to manoeuvre and it really requires a high level of teamwork.
Nowadays gigs are built in various countries, but always to the same specifications as required by the international youth program “Atlantic challenge”. Every two years teams from 14 countries get together to take part in specialised sea festivals and regattas to demonstrate their maritime abilities as well as precise teamwork and coordinated effort. But also to meet, share experience and make friends with “colleagues” from all over the world.
So there are 6 Bantry bay gigs now in Russia, and the homeport for all of them is St.Petersburg. 4 boats (Mechta, Alpha, Bravo and Nati) belong to the "Shtandart Project”, two other ones (Dignité and Enchanté) – to our friends and permanent rivals “Atlantic Challenge Russia”.
All our boats are constructed by volunteers under the guidance and supervision of experienced shipbuilders, and every year they get under planned maintenance on our training shipyard to keep them in good state.
From April till October regular trainings for everyone are hold on Wednesdays and Sundays, regular sport trainings - on Tuesdays, also we make training camps and long-distance journeys (to the Finnish gulf and lakes Onega and Ladoga; the farthest point the gigs have reached ever is the city of Turku, Finland ).
And here is the list of our boats:
Mechta (2007, №62 worldwide) – her name means "the dream", but she's not only dreamer but also adventurer that took part in many long voyages. In 2008 she participated in international “Atlantic Challenge” competitions in Finland.
Alpha (2009, №64) – is named so in honour of Sergey Alfeevich Neustupov, our main carpenter. She is also known as “icebreaker gig” – for some reasons;
Bravo (2011, №69) – this is the racing boat of "Red caps" sports team of "Shtandart project", she usually takes part in local sailing races and competitions;
Nati (2015, №78) – the youngest and the most unusual gig in our fleet with her larch planking and ornamental carving. She is named so in memory of Natalia Shatrova, “Shtandart” crew member, who tragically passed away in 2013.
Everybody may join our team of boat builders and sailors – follow us to stay tuned!