Sailors left twiddling their thumbs after the last leg of the Clipper Race was halted earlier this week are using their time sailing under motor to learn good old fashioned navigation techniques.

The 12 teams competing in the race from Singapore to Qingdao in China have been forced to abandon the competition after concerns that faults in the identical yachts could endanger the competitors. They are now heading for Hong Kong using their engines rather than sails.

But the crew of Switzerland, which includes former Southampton City College principal Lindsey Noble, are reportedly using their spare time to learn how to use a sextant, which uses the sun and stars to navigate. Most sailors these days use satellite technology to navigate.

Meanwhile Isle of Wight based Olly Cotterell, skipper of OneDLL, said his team has set up to do maintenance and drills over the next few days.

He said: “We want to arrive as ready as possible into Hong Kong so that we can start Race 9 as close to the other yachts as possible.”

It is hoped the race will be restarted to Qingdao on Sunday.