Blair Tuke and the Mapfre team clinched the official warm-up event for the Volvo Ocean Race as their ideal preparations continue.

Mapfre were sitting in third place on the fourth leg, a shot from St Malo in France to Lisbon in Portugal, however light winds abruptly ended the race.

Third was enough to secure spoils in the Leg Zero series, used as an essential trial for boats and crew ahead of the iconic event which begins in October.

Read more: Blair Tuke: Volvo Ocean Race will be long nine months


Mapfre have put a target on their back as their Olympic-heavy roster of sailing stars flexed their muscles over the last few weeks.

Kerikeri's Tuke also got one over his Olympic and America's Cup teammate Peter Burling, who with fellow Team New Zealand member Carlos Huisman crossed the line in fifth in stage four. That was good enough for third overall.

Mapfre skipper Xabi Fernandez said halting the leg short was a good decision irregardless of the wind.

"I think it was a good decision [to shorten the stage] because this Leg Zero was already becoming quite long," he said.

"It's been very interesting. We've done a lot of training over the winter and I think we've seen that we sail very well.

"I think the racing is going to be tight and you have to push all the time. Even tonight and yesterday afternoon, sometimes we were dead, then we pass the competition again.

"We have to push and sail well every watch. We knew all this but again this has been a reminder then you cannot 'put your hands down'."

Tuke is gunning to become the first New Zealander to complete a triple crown of sailing: Olympic gold, the America's Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race.