The seven boats navigated around five marks in the harbour of the Spanish port before pointing their bows at Gibraltar and the Atlantic Ocean.

From the start, the crews got their strategies up and running with a short circuit around the bay, with Brunel holding off Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing by dropping their speed to keep their rivals at a distance.

The Dutch team led through all five opening markers despite the attention of Abu Dhabi and used the last downwind leg to extend their advantage.

Brunel led by 111 metres as they began the journey towards Cape Town on leg one, with a route around the southern tip of Spain ahead of them before they reach the Gibraltar Straight.

MAPFRE followed the pair past the leaving marker in third place with Team Alvimedica, Dongfeng Race Team, Team SCA and Team Vestas Wind bringing up the rear.

As they bid farewell to the Spanish port, the teams set sail for a 6,400-mile journey to South Africa, with their expected arrival due in 24 days' time.