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What is the meaning of "It would be good to beat the White Cloud" in the following sentence,

The Rainbird sailed away from New York Harbor, bound for California. Captain Murdock stood by the wheel giving orders to the crew. Mrs. Murdock stood beside him. "Pray for good weather, Mary Elizabeth," the captain said. "It would be good to beat the White Cloud." Jamie and Meg said good-bye to their home in New York. "Maybe we will find gold in California," said Meg. (Source: CLIPPER SHIP BY THOMAS P.LEWIS)

Does "It would be good to beat the White Cloud" mean "He predicted the weather. He said that white cloud is likely to occur"?

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    Without having read the book, I can only guess that White Cloud is the name of another ship that the captain would like to beat in a fair-weather "race" to California. Jun 7, 2018 at 1:33

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Given the context, and the fact that it is capitalised (and therefore a proper noun), it would appear that White Cloud is the name of another ship. The captain of the Rainbird would like his ship to beat the other ship, the White Cloud, to their destination - which is to say, get there before they do.

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