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Ariel and Taeping in The Great Tea Race of 1866 — Jack Spurling, 1926
Nine of the fastest clipper ships of the China tea trade laden with the first crop of the season left Fuzhou between 29 May and 6 June, of which four competed for the prize: the Fiery Cross, the Ariel, the Taeping, and the Serica. The race took over 3 months, crossing the South China Sea, through the Sunda Strait of Indonesia, across the Indian Ocean, around the Cape of Good Hope of Africa, and up the Atlantic Ocean to the English Channel. This was the fastest route for one ship to take, as the Suez Canal was still under construction.
"The Great Tea Race of 1866", Daily Telegraph, 12 September 1866

… leaving China at the same time, sailed almost neck-and-neck the whole way, and finally arrived in the London docks within two minutes of each other. A struggle more closely contested or more marvellous in some of its aspects has probably never before been witnessed. The Taeping, which won, arrived on the Lizard at literally the same hour as the Ariel, her nearest rival, and then dashed up the Channel, the two ships abreast of each other. During the entire day they gallantly ran side by side, carried on by a strong westerly wind, every stitch of canvas set, and the sea sweeping their decks as they careered before the gale.

Ariel and Taeping in The Great Tea Race of 1866 — Jack Spurling, 1926

Nine of the fastest clipper ships of the China tea trade laden with the first crop of the season left Fuzhou between 29 May and 6 June, of which four competed for the prize: the Fiery Cross, the Ariel, the Taeping, and the Serica.

The race took over 3 months, crossing the South China Sea, through the Sunda Strait of Indonesia, across the Indian Ocean, around the Cape of Good Hope of Africa, and up the Atlantic Ocean to the English Channel. This was the fastest route for one ship to take, as the Suez Canal was still under construction.

"The Great Tea Race of 1866", Daily Telegraph, 12 September 1866

… leaving China at the same time, sailed almost neck-and-neck the whole way, and finally arrived in the London docks within two minutes of each other. A struggle more closely contested or more marvellous in some of its aspects has probably never before been witnessed. The Taeping, which won, arrived on the Lizard at literally the same hour as the Ariel, her nearest rival, and then dashed up the Channel, the two ships abreast of each other. During the entire day they gallantly ran side by side, carried on by a strong westerly wind, every stitch of canvas set, and the sea sweeping their decks as they careered before the gale.

Tagged tallship painting art sailing ship ship sea tea clipper 19th century 1920s race