Lahloo (clipper)

Lahloo was a British tea clipper known for winning the Tea Race of 1870, and finishing second in the Tea Race of 1871. She sailed from Foochow to London with over a million pounds (500 tons) of tea in 1868.[2]

United Kingdom
Name: Lahloo
Owner: James Findlay
Builder: Robert Steele & Co., Greenock, for Alexander Rodger, Glasgow
Launched: 23 July 1867
Fate: Lost Sandalwood Island, 30 or 31 July 1872 16°35′S 179°11′E
General characteristics
Tons burthen: 799 tons, 985 83/94 tons OM
Length: 191 ft. 6 in.
Beam: 32 ft. 9 in.
Draught: 19 ft. 9 in.[1][2]


Lahloo was of the same class and sharpness as Ariel, "with more deadrise and tumblehome and a slightly fuller run".[3] She was designed by William Steele, had a composite hull, and carried Cunningham's roller-reefing topsails.[4]


Won the Tea Race of 1870

"The race of 1870 from Foo-chow to London was won by the Lahloo in 97 days, the other vessels being: the Windhover, 100 days; Sir Launcelot, 102 days; Leander, 103 days; Thermopylae, 106 days."[5]

Finished second in the Tea Race of 1871

"In 1871 the Titania won in 93 days; the Lahloo, 111 days, from Foo-chow to London; and from Shanghai to London the Thermopylae was 106 days; Cutty Sark, 110 days, and Forward Ho, 118 days. This was about the last of the tea clipper racing, for the combined competition of steam and the Suez Canal proved too powerful for sail. No more tea clippers were built after 1869; by degrees these beautiful vessels were driven into other trades; and so the Clipper Ship Era drifted into history."[5]

Sailing performance

According to Lubbock, the tea clippers Lahloo, Fiery Cross, Taeping and Serica performed at their best in light breezes, as they were all rigged with single topsails.[6]

Loss of the ship

Lahloo was wrecked on Sandalwood Island, Sunda Islands, on 31 July 1872 (photograph states 30 July), on a voyage from Shanghai to London with tea.[2]


  1. Lubbock, Basil (1919). The China Clippers (4th ed.). Glasgow: James Brown & Son. p. iv.
  2. Bruzelius, Lars (26 December 1996). "Sailing Ships: Lahloo (1867)". Lahloo. The Maritime History Virtual Archives. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  3. MacGregor, David R (1983). The tea clippers: their history and development, 1833-1875. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. p. 180. ISBN 978-0-87021-884-2.
  4. Lars Bruzelius (28 April 2003). "Cunningham's Patent Self-Reefing Topsails". Retrieved 19 February 2010.
  5. Clark, Arthur H. (1910). The Clipper Ship Era, An Epitome of Famous American and British Clipper Ships, Their Owners, Builders, Commanders, and Crews, 1843-1869. Camden, ME: G.P. Putnam’s Sons. p. 336.
  6. Lubbock, Basil (1919). The China Clippers (4th ed.). Glasgow: James Brown & Son. p. 155.

Further reading

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