Designed as a so-called 'extreme clipper', Crest of the Wave was built for Brice, Friend & Co. of Liverpool by William Pile at Sunderland in 1853. Constructed of white oak throughout, she was registered at 924 tons and measured 180 feet in length with a 32 foot beam. With her distinctively long projecting bow and half-round poop, she cut quite a dash in the China trade although her maiden passage, in 1854, was actually to Melbourne (Australia) which she made in a fast 73 days. From there she sailed for Shanghai where she loaded a capacity cargo of 920,000lbs. of tea before returning to Liverpool in 120 days. Her first master, Captain Steele, kept her until 1863 and amongst several good passages home, her best was his last, in 1862-63, when she made the run from Shanghai to Liverpool in 108 days. Sold to Wright Bros. of London in 1867, she turned in her best-ever passage in the winter of 1871-72 when she raced home from Canton to London in a remarkable 99 days. This record run proved to be her final outing in the China tea trade and she spent the remainder of her career as a general trader. Bought and sold numerous times and successively renamed Gurli and then Tomaso T., she ended her days sailing out of Gothenborg (Sweden) until condemned as unseaworthy at Trieste (Austria) in 1892.