Champion of the Seas


Champion of the Seas

"Champion of the Seas" was the second large clipper ship destined for the Liverpool, England - Melbourne, Australia passenger service. "Champion" was ordered by James Baines of the Black Ball Line from Donald McKay. She was launched April 19, 1854 and was abandoned January 3, 1877, leaking badly off Cape Horn.

"Champion of the Seas" is credited with one of the fastest day's run in 24 hours: convert|465|nmi|km|0 noon to noon December 10-11, 1854 under the command of Captain Alexander Newlands. This record stood until August 1984, nearly 130 years.

Statistics

"Champion of the Seass figurehead was the full figure of a sailor "with his hat in his right hand, and left hand extended...It was certainly a most striking figurehead, the tall square-built mariner, with dark curly hair and bronze clean-shaven face" as quoted from Some Famous Sailing Ships"' by Richard C. McKay.

History

James Baines, owner of the Black Ball Line of Liverpool, ordered "Champion of the Seas" from Donald McKay of East Boston in the U.S.A. She was similar in appearance to McKay's other clippers, "Lightning" and "James Baines", but set no sails above the royals. She holds the record for the fastest noon to noon run, convert|465|nmi|km|0 on December 10-11, 1854 on her maiden voyage from Liverpool to Melbourne.

From her launching to 1868, "Champion" served in the passenger trade. During the Indian Mutiny of 1857, the British government chartered the three Black Ball clippers to carry troops to Calcutta. Before embarking about 1,000 troops, she and "James Baines" were reviewed by Queen Victoria. In 1868 she entered the general shipping trade, until January 1877 when she was abandoned leaking badly and with a load of guano off Cape Horn.

References

Some Famous Sailing Ships by Richard C. McKay.

External links

* [http://college.hmco.com/history/readerscomp/ships/html/sh_019100_championofth.htm Ships of the World: "Champion of the Seas"]
* [http://www.bruzelius.info/Nautica/Ships/Clippers/Champion_of_the_Seas(1854).html Sailing Ships: "Champion of the Seas"]
* [http://www.bruzelius.info/Nautica/News/BDA/BDA(1854-05-20).html The Boston Daily Atlas, Vol. XXII, No. 274, Saturday, May 20, 1854] Newspaper article w/extensive details of spars, rigging, etc.
* [http://www.eraoftheclipperships.com/page52.html First voyage of the Champion of the Seas]
* [http://www.fossettchallenge.com/html/press_archives/24Hour31May03/24HourNews.html Steve Fossett Challenges]


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