The contest between Arthur Phillip and Jean-Francois Laperouse to get to Botany Bay first and to claim rights to sovereignty of either Britain or France over the Australian continent.
Margaret Cameron-Ash rewrites the history of the founding of modern Australia. It tells how the French had a jump start in the race for a Pacific empire, but English officials then launched their own pursuit around the globe. The contestants finally met in Botany Bay, with the French just five days too late. Behind the scenes, American explorers, spies and a future US President made contributions that assisted the winners and prevented the continent becoming a French possession.
Listen to Margaret talk about her book: