Thursday, November 23, 2006

Victorian Clipper Ship 1869

One of the last clipper ships to be built, in Dumbarton, Scotland, and the only one surviving to this day, the Cutty Sark stands now in drydock in Greenwich.

The Cutty Sark was destined for the China tea trade. However, she did not distinguish herself. In the most famous race, against Thermopylae in 1872, both ships left Shanghai on June 18, but two weeks later Cutty Sark lost her rudder after passing through the Sunda Strait, and arrived a week after Thermopylae, for a total passage of 122 days. Her legendary reputation is supported by the fact that her captain chose to continue this race with an improvised rudder rather than putting into port for a replacement. She still managed to be beaten by only one week.

Hart Crane's The Bridge immortalized Cutty Sark.

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