The Great Race, 1866 - Ariel & Taeping

The Great Tea Race of 1866 was an unofficial competition between the fastest clipper ships of the China tea trade to bring the season's first crop of tea to London in 1866[1].
 
Fierce competition existed year round to be the vessel first back to London with the new shipment of tea; extra incentives were added in 1866, when heavy bets were made in England on the winner.
 
The tea clipper races had by this time become a tradition in the tea trade between Britain and China. The winning vessel was awarded an extra pound sterling for every ton of freight delivered, and the captain of the winning tea clipper was given a percentage of the ship's earnings. (accessed from Wikipedia 6/13/09: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Tea_Race_of_1866)
28'' x 36''
oil on canvas