Engine problem forces fleet to divert

Mechanical failure has forced a change of route for the second time in the Clipper round the world race. Bristol Clipper, skippered by Bob Beggs, had a generator failure after leaving Singapore for Mauritius. They now have a problem with the main engine and, with no means of charging or making water, are heading for Christmas Island, a small Australian dependency 180 miles south of their route.

The rest of the fleet has also been instructed to divert to Christmas Island, where they will arrive tomorrow and Bristol Clipper’s engine can be repaired. If this is done quickly it is hoped that the race can restart from there on Saturday so that they can reach Mauritius on 27 May, a day later than originally expected.