Birth of modern yacht racing – clipper ships

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Despite the new ventures in India, small amounts of China tea were still being purchased for delivery into London and a new generation of faster, sleeker ships called ‘clippers’ brought the teas home much more quickly than ever before.
The Americans were the first to design and build these new style ships – which knocked months off the journey – and once Britain had followed suit with her own clippers, annual tea races had these plucky little vessels battling against dangerous currents and around treacherous reefs, fighting their way through storms and gales, and fending off pirates, until they sailed into the relative calm of the English Channel and, eventually, the safety of London’s docks. The crew of the winning ship earned a handsome bonus and their cargo sold for a higher price.
The History of Tea

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