THE build of a new fleet of boats for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race has been delayed after structural faults were discovered.

Hampshire race organisers the Gosport-based Clipper Ventures said work would be carried out at certain points in several of the new Clipper 70s’ hulls.

“After stringent surveys last week we are in a position to agree the solution, and this work is starting now,” explained Clipper Race founder and Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.

“Boat Number 1 is currently sailing and we are using her to assess the tune and performance of the new class. She will also be used to establish the stability data required for our coding. Indications so far are encouraging and the boat appears to be at least 10% faster upwind than the Clipper 68s.”

It is estimated the work to rectify the hulls will delay the commissioning process of boats 2-4 by 7 weeks, and boats 5 and 6 will not be ready before the end of June. However, the following six boats are being checked in China and any remedial work will be carried out there.

In the meantime, crews have been training for the 2013-14 race starting in summer on Clipper 68s, predecessors to the new yachts.