An unfamiliar position for Team New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling in the early stages of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Burling's Team Brunel sit in last place of the seven entries in the very early stages of the opening leg from Alicante in Spain to Lisbon.

Team New Zealand and Olympics teammate Blair Tuke is meanwhile at the front of the pack with his Spanish team MAPFRE leading the race.

Tuke is a trimmer and helmsman of the pre-race favourite which won the non-counting Leg Zero, a series of races before the Volvo Ocean Race.

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Both Tuke and Burling are attempting the claim the triple crown of sailing - winning Olympic gold, the America's Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race.

The opening leg is 1,450 nautical miles and sees the boats leave the Alboran Sea, round Porto Santo off the coast of Morocco before heading back towards Lisbon.