Stuart Jackson and his team aboard Barclays Adventurer have taken control of the first leg of Global Challenge

Stuart Jackson and his team aboard Barclays Adventurer have taken control of the first leg of Global Challenge. Twenty-seven-year-old Jackson from Scotland snatched the lead from Amedeo Sorrentino and team on Vaio who had, until last night, held the upper hand.

By staying east of the line for longer, Barclays Adventurer and Samsung (now in second place) anticipated the wind shift from behind and, with a fresh breeze at present, they are maintaining reasonable boat speed.

Sorrentino’s decision to go west and ‘hug’ the coast of Brazil was thwarted during a major windshift forcing him and his team to lose their comfortable 24-mile lead. They are currently in third place, two miles behind Samsung.

Since the Equator the fleet has been enjoying reasonable conditions downwind but the new headwind will undoubtedly mix things up as the fleet contemplates its last 1,000 or so miles to the first leg finish at Buenos Aires.

The current weather situation shows the wind remaining from the south for the next 24-hours before it shifts north again for more interesting downwind racing.

News from Greig Taylor, crewman aboard seventh-placed SAIC La Jolla, shows that the change in weather system created “a real mother of a humdinger of a storm!” Chatting from the boat yesterday afternoon Taylor said: “Its blowing its bits off out there (technically largest gust of 42 knots seen with averages around 30). Its not the intensity of the wind or rain that struck us, but the quickness with which it arrived.” He continued: “This change in weather had been predicted by Slippers of course, but events appear to have forced themselves on us somewhat earlier than planned. It should last 36 hours and one redeeming feature is that the other boats near us must be experiencing something similar. All good preparation for the next leg.”

Team Save the Children, lying in 12th place at the rear of the fleet, are still currently enjoying the south-east Trade Winds and have made up some serious ground as a result. They are now hoping that by the time they move out of the Trades, the secondary high pressure system may have already shifted sufficiently eastwards, giving them a relatively unobstructed path south.

Interestingly, although the 12-strong fleet are spread over 500 miles, the top seven boats are exceptionally close – just 98 miles after 5,000 miles between them which means that they could finish within 12 hours of each other. The current estimated time of arrival in Buenos Aires is next Thursday/Friday.

Positions at 13:44 Friday

1 Barclays Adventurer

2 Samsung 17 miles behind the leader

3 VAIO 30 miles behind the leader

4 BP Explorer 47 miles behind the leader

5 Spirit of Sark 56 miles behind the leader

6 BG SPIRIT 79 miles behind the leader

7 SAIC La Jolla 98 miles behind the leader

8 Team Stelmar 153 miles behind the leader

9 Imagine It. Done. 194 miles behind the leader

10 Me To You 249 miles behind the leader

11 Pindar 333 miles behind the leader

12 Team Save the Children 555 miles behind the leader