1. ITV Report

Major technical problems for Clipper team

The Switzerland team in action Photo: Clipper

We're in one of the hottest parts of the world, just north of the Equator. We're having to drink litres of water each day to avoid dehydration and keep our boat Switzerland racing. And then we noticed the bilges - the storage areas beneath the floorboards - were beginning to fill with water.

The bilges do usually get a bit damp but this was much more. And it was clear seawater, not the usual mucky stuff that gathers in there.

Our engineers eventually traced the source of it to our watermaker, the device that turns seawater into drinkable H2O. It had developed a leak which sent water spurting out whenever we turned it on. Not only was it filling the bilges, it also meant we were getting less and less to drink.

Despite a massive repair shift by our engineers, the problem was too severe to fix at sea. So the decision was made to take some water from another Clipper Race team, Team Garmin. We rendezvoused with them on Wednesday, threw a rope across, attached a dinghy and spent an hour pulling jerrycans of water from their boat to ours.

The team transports water from another yacht Credit: Clipper

We stored that water in anything we could find, including huge drybags made of thick plastic. If handled correctly, we should have enough water to get us to our destination Rio De Janeiro. The water exchange cost us time in the race - under the rules of sailing, a team can't get time back if they have a technical problem (though Team Garmin will get time back for helping us).

At the moment, we are sailing slowly southwards in the Doldrums where a good wind is hard to find. But once we pass the Doldrums, we should accelerate towards Rio. Where a large drink will be the first thing to get.

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