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History

Carolus Quinto is a Bantry Bay Yawl, a replica of a rowing and sailing gig from 1796.

In December 1796, France sends an armada to Ireland to support the patriots in their struggle for independence from Great Britain. The fleet consists of 15 ships and is commanded by admiral Morard de Galles on board of the flagship Fraternité. During the voyage a number of ships get separated from the main fleet. La Résolue takes command and decides to sail towards Mizen head in Ireland. But a storm gets her off course and she collides with another ship. The crew has to abandon ship and boards the small captain’s gig to row towards the shore. But the weather is too rough for the gig. She capsizes and strands near the village of Bantry.

Richard White, al local from Bantry, finds the gig on the beach and takes it to Seafield Park, where it was conserved for over 150 years. In 1944, the gig is brought to the national museum in Dublin, where she is stored in a basement and soon forgotten.

In 1977, de boat is rediscovered by Cyril Chisholm, an architect. He carefully compiles a new set of construction drawings, based on the remains of the hull. But the real revival of the gig is in 1985, when the French magazine on maritime history - Le Chasse-Marée - publishes an advertisement to find a suitable boat type for their new concept: Atlantic Challenge. Atlantic Challange was conceived by Bernard Cadoret and Lance Lee as a contest between youngsters, teams from accross the world. Besides the rowing and sailing challenges, the coming-together of nationalities is an equally important part of the project. In 1986 the first two replicas are built in France and in the USA. In the same year the first Atlantic Challenge takes place in New York underneath the statue of liberty. By 1992 there already are 8 gigs competing in the second Atlantic Challenge in Brest.

Bernard Cadoret launches a new challenge in his magazine: “20 Boats in existence by the year 2000”. What is deemed impossible becomes truth. In just 3 years, the number of gigs increases to 30. In July 2000 they all come together in Douarnenez for a Défi des Jeunes Marins.

One of the new boats in this contest was Carolus Quinto. Founding father Charles Leten was present during the 1998 Atlantic Challenge in Roskilde by chance and was immediately charmed by the project. He was attracted by both the gig and the philosophy of the Atlantic Challenges. Back in Ghent, Charles Leten sought a group of youngsters to join him in creating the first Belgian team and contacted seascouts De Wilde Eend. And the rest is history…

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