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4 November 2004, 02:34 pm
Barclays Adventurer Wins Leg One
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Global Challenge 2004/5
Buenos Aires

After a mammoth overnight fight, Barclays Adventurer, skippered by Stuart JACKSON, took leg 1 line honours of the Global Challenge 2004/5 on the 33rd day of racing. After 6,000miles they were a mere 15 mins in front of VAIO, skippered by Amedeo SORRENTINO
After a mammoth overnight fight, Barclays Adventurer, skippered by Stuart JACKSON, took leg 1 line honours of the 2004/5 Global Challenge on the 33rd day of racing. After 6,000miles they were a mere 15 mins in front of VAIO, skippered by Amedeo SORRENTINO.

At 09h 23m 00 GMT Barclays Adventurer crossed the finish line and the exhausted crew collapsed into one another's arms in sheer delight. VAIO crossed the finish line at 09h 38m18, disappointed not to have pipped their rivals to the post, but equally thrilled to have taken second place after such a momentous fight in the first leg.

The yachts were racing for over 760 hours but it was just two miles and 15 minutes that separated the front two yachts, making it the closest and most competitive leg in the event's history. Samsung has just crossed the line in 3rd but the fight is stil on between fourth, fifth and sixth with just 27 miles between these yachts at just before midday.

It was a rough night for the whole fleet with the wind at around 35 knots from the South and then back to the South East. This would have made for a big sea due to the shallow waters of the River Plate, also meaning that the leaders finished sooner than originally envisaged.

Eero LEHTINEN, Skipper of SAIC La Jolla seems to be secure in 7th position. But further back, it looks like there is going to be another multiboat tussle for eighth place - involving Team Stelmar, Imagine It. Done. and Me To You.

Roger DAVIS, Chief Executive UK Banking, Barclays said: "It is a phenomenal achievement for the Barclays Adventurer to win the first leg of the Global Challenge and is testament to the skill, grit and determination of the hardworking crew. They have gone through horrendous conditions and sleepless nights in a very competitive field which makes the feat all the more impressive.

"They have inspired us all and I know are grateful for the interest and support they have received from everyone at Barclays. Please join me in wishing the Skipper Stuart and his crew the very best of luck for the remaining legs of the race."

Sir Chay BLYTH, CBE BEM sent the following message to Barclays Adventurer: "Well done to Stuart JACKSON and his crew - what a leg! Barclays Adventurer made a number of strong tactical decisions throughout the leg and for the youngest skipper in the race, Stuart kept his cool the whole way, which has paid off remarkably well. He will be a yachtsman of the future to watch." Sir Chay will be flying out to congratulate the team in person next week.

Barclays Adventurer's first leg round up

After the start in the Solent off Southsea Castle and Gunwharf Quays, Barclays Adventurer left the Solent through the Needles and into the teeth of a gale. Apart from suffering badly from seasickness onboard, the biggest problem experienced was the loss of six weeks supply of sun cream rations on Day 2!

Technically, they have mentioned few issues. They had the inevitable watermaker problems on day three, but they had it fixed by Day four, to the crew's obvious relief!

In the second rough weather patch on day six, off Portugal, they reported a severe lightning storm, but escaped without being hit. By Day eight they were in sight of Stelmar and pulling away, although they dropped down to 7th during the west/east fleet split through the Canaries, whilst making what proved to be a decisive move west to join the western pack.

By Day eleven the yacht was in fairer weather, with the two watches, Baywatch and Crimewatch, reporting sightings of dolphins, squid and a turtle. By now they were reeling in the leading trio. However, by Day 13, they reported they were 'feeling the heat' as they approached the tropical latitudes.

However, they never took their eye off the ball, and by Day 16 they reported they had 'Samsung on the radar.' It was then that they took second place. Their celebrations were short lived however when they hit the doldrums and dropped down into third place on Day 19. Two days later they crossed the Equator, reporting that "Spirits are high and the yacht is moving well". Fighting hard, it took them four more days and a move into the tradewinds to get themselves back up into second place.

Now the yacht was moving well and, as they passed the oilrigs of the Brazilian coast, Barclays Adventurer took the lead from VAIO.

After a brief spell of upwind sailing, the winds shifted again, and out came the spinnakers once more. On Day 29 they shakily reported a tense watch onboard, as a medium weight spinnaker broke away during a drop, leaving it attached to the yacht by just one rope and flapping away in the water metres off the side of the yacht. After a breathless recovery, they were still in the lead, once again.

A fight at the end with VAIO kept the pressure on all the way to the finish. When news came to the dockside that they had won, Stuart's parents both broke down in tears, with Stuart's father commenting, "I'm just so incredibly proud of my son."

Fleet positions are provisional pending the outcome of the protest hearing on the 10 November.
Rachel Anning (As Amended by ISAF)
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