Five years after Cutty Sark was ravaged by fire, the much-loved sailing ship re-opened in Greenwich last week following a $78 million restoration project.
The sleek-lined clipper was built in 1869 in Scotland for the tea trade, an intensely competitive race across the globe from China to London.
But the opening of the Suez Canal and rise of steam shipping cut short the age of the great China tea clippers.
In 1883, Cutty Sark began a new phase of her career, finding an edge in transporting wool from Australia to Britain.
Taking a dangerous southerly course to catch the strong westerly winds of the Roaring Forties, Cutty Sark dodged icebergs and fought gales to achieve her extraordinary times. In 1885 she set a record of just 73 days for the passage from Sydney to London.
As the last of the tea clippers, Cutty Sark is a unique reminder of the fastest sailing ships once famous around the globe. As people in Britain celebrate her renewal, it is serendipitous that Ships That Changed The World should wrap-up this month with a superb silver coin commemorating her legendary status and important role in Australian history.