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Monday, October 15, 2018

Richard du Moulin attempts to break clippership record in the China trade route - 154 years later

In the 1840s, in the China Tea Trade, the speed of the majestic clippers meant faster cargo delivery, fresher tea, and higher prices to a shipowner. From Hong Kong to New York, the fastest was Sea Witch, sailing 15,000 miles in 74 days 14 hours.

Former INTERTANKO Chairman Richard du Moulin, together with skipper Rich Wilson, sailing the 53 foot Great American II, will challenge Sea Witch's great record 154 years later.

This ‘Ocean Challenge’ begins on 16 March following the China Trade Route.

  • Depart Hong Kong, sail south through the South China Sea, past Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, transit the 5 mile wide Sunda Strait and enter the Indian Ocean.
  • Sail WSW across the Indian Ocean, downwind using SE Trades; sail near Madagascar, carry the Agulhas Current south toward the Cape of Good Hope; cross current to hug South Africa before current meets west winds of South Atlantic, creating waves that can break ships in half
  • Round the Cape of Good Hope, head NNW into the South Atlantic, hug the coast of Namibia, staying on the east side of South Atlantic High (rotates counter clockwise), catch SE trades near the Equator; cross into the North Atlantic Ocean
  • Work the doldrums north of the Equator, catch NE trades, cross Horse Latitudes, and head NW for New York; pass Bermuda, cross the turbulent Gulf Stream; cross shipping lanes coming out of New York; enter New York Harbour and finish at the Statue of Liberty on 29 May to break the 154 year old record.

Link to the China Trade route – Hong Kong to New York – Spring 2003

Link to the ‘Ocean Challenge’ website: Click here.

INTERTANKO will be following the journey and will be sent daily e-mail reports from Sea Witch including Richard du Moulin’s reports on the tanker sites and traffic and maritime environment.

These reports will be published on our website from the ‘Ocean Challenge’ banner on our home page

Bon Voyage Richard!

Contact: Sally Woulfe, on e-mail: