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White Wings Vol I. Fifty Years Of Sail In The New Zealand Trade, 1850 TO 1900


Old residents in Christchurch, discussing which sailing ship made the fastest passage to Lyttelton would say the New Zealand Shipping Company's Otaki. This is not the case, however, What the old folk have in mind is probably the famous run of the Otaki from Port Chalmers to London in 1877. On this occasion the Otaki raced Home with the Crusader (Captain Llewellyn) and Rangitiki. the Crusader sailed from Lyttelton on March 10, and the Rangitiki from the same port on the following day. the Crusader and the Rangitiki were
the Otaki At The Wellington Wharf.

the Otaki At The Wellington Wharf.

becalmed off Banks Peninsula until the evening of the 12th. the Otaki left Port Chalmers on March 11, in command of Captain Sotham, and was also becalmed for five days before getting a fair start.

the Crusader was reported in the Channel on May 16, and the Otaki on May 17. the Otaki, however, docked in London on the same day as the Crusader. the Otaki made a phenomenally fast run from land to land in 63 days—beating all records—and the Crusader in 64 days.

the Rangitiki made a good run of 80 days, port to port, but on this occasion was quite overrun by the other two ships. Mr. Basil Lubbock, referring to this passage of the Otaki, says: "She made the run to the Horn in 22 days, and reached the Lizard in 63 days. During the passage, after being becalmed on the New Zealand coast, she had only eight hours of head winds."