Clipper given right to catch up

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THE Capital’s entry in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race has been given special permission to use its engine so it can catch up with the rest of the fleet and sail in convoy through seas where there is a risk of pirate attack.

Edinburgh Inspiring Capital is trailing 200 miles behind the other nine entrants during the seventh race of the event after being caught in a series of wind holes.

The race committee allowed the yacht to use its engine to catch up with the others so it can join them for safety. Racing has been suspended as the fleet passes through the Celebes and Sulu Seas, and will resume when they reach the South China Sea.

Referring to the boat by its nickname, skipper Gordon Reid said: “We are doing what it takes to maximise our boat speed, even in the frequent wind holes we are encountering all sail permutations are tried in a valiant effort to get the Purple Beastie moving.”

The area is also thought to be risky because it is so poorly surveyed, with many charts dating from the days of Captain Cook.