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Clipper: Facing the tropical heat

The team are operating carefully with the spinnaker sails Photo: Chris Paxton

Things are heating up here on Switzerland. A few days ago, we crossed the Tropic of Cancer on our way to Rio De Janeiro. The temperature on deck is in the high-20s while it's above 30 below. The crew are on strict instructions to drink lots of water to avoid sunstroke, there's regular doses of Factor 50 suntan lotion and my shirts have a general smell of sweat (no washing machine on board)!

The team in action Credit: Chris Paxton

For the last week, we've been racing along in 10th place out of 12 as our skipper Vicky Ellis took the cautious approach to ensure we learned how to use our tricky spinnaker sails. News has reached us that some of the other boats have been regularly breaking their sail equipment so we have been careful how we operate. But after a team meeting on deck, we agreed to step up the pace and have begun to close in on the opposition.

The sea has been giving a few things back though in the shape of flying fish. They have habit of leaping out of the sea around the boat but a few have misjudged and crashlanded on our deck. We have quickly thrown them back but it's a reminder of what an ocean life can throw at us.

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