Clipper Yatala c. 1865
|Port of registry|
|Builder||Thomas Bilbe, Aberdeen, Scotland|
|Fate||Wrecked on Cape Grisnez, France 27 March 1872|
|Length||215 ft (66 m)|
|Beam||35 ft (11 m)|
|Depth of hold||21.3 ft (6.5 m)|
Yatala, 1,127 tons, was a clipper ship built in 1865 for the Orient Line. She traded to South Australia from London for seven years until she was wrecked on 27 March 1872, near Cape Grisnez, France. Until the advent of Torrens, she was arguably the fastest on the route. Her only master was Captain John Legoe, previously of Celestial and The Murray.
The clipper ship Yatala, a composite ship of 1,127 tons, length 215 feet (66 m), breadth 35 feet (11 m), and depth 21.3 feet (6.5 m) was built by Thomas Bilbe of Aberdeen in 1865, for Thompson & Anderson's Orient Line of clippers.
On the eve of departure of Yatala for England after her second voyage to Port Adelaide it became evident that City of Adelaide, a similar though somewhat smaller vessel, was to leave on the same day, and would most likely make a race out of it. Crowds of spectators made their way to Port Adelaide; supporters of Captain Legoe and Yatala staying at one hotel and those of Captain Bruce and City of Adelaide another. Yatala got away at 6 a.m. on 27 December 1866 but City of Adelaide was delayed some five hours due to some oversight.
The pair were evenly matched, and at the Cape of Good Hope the difference had was only three hours, but the larger Yatala reached The Downs a day ahead of City of Adelaide which lost a further day getting to the docks. This was David Bruce's last voyage in command of City of Adelaide; he was succeeded by his son John Bruce.
|Year.||Left Plymouth||Arrived Adelaide||Days Out|
|1865||4 August||27 October||84|
|1866||2 August||14 October||73|
|1867||10 August||15 October||66|
|1868||9 July||24 September||77|
|1869||7 August||23 October||77|
|1870||11 August||26 October||78|
|1871||6 July||2 October.||88|
On 18 December 1871, Yatala left Port Adelaide in company with the Elder Line clipper Beltana, which she beat to Cape Horn by a day. Beltana arrived in London safely after a tedious light weather run from the line, but Yatala ran ashore near Cape Gris Nez shortly after midnight on 27 March 1872, when almost in sight of home. It seems that in the heavy weather that prevailed at the time Captain Legoe mistook the Cape Grisnez light for that of Beachy Head on the other side of the Channel. There were no deaths or injuries, the passengers sheltering at the nearby town of Audresselles. Much of the valuable cargo (mostly wool) was saved, but the ship subsequently broke up and was totally lost. The Board of Enquiry found Captain Legoe fully responsible but in view of his long and faultless service and high character, was given the relatively light sentence of six months suspension of his certificate.
Legoe supervised the construction of Hesperus at Greenock, Scotland, completed 1873, as a replacement for Yatala, subsequently serving as her master and commander.
Yatala was also the name of: