TOP Hampshire yachtsman Rob Greenhalgh has been snapped up by Spanish crew Mapfre to compete in his fifth Volvo Ocean Race.

It will be the second time Greenhalgh, 39, from Hamble, will have raced with the Spanish outfit after their fourth-place finish in 2015.

Greenhalgh will be hoping his new team can recreate the success of his ABN AMRO crew in 2006 when they won the round the world race, formerly known as the Whitbread.

"We have a good boat and we will have a good team,” Greenhalgh said.

Spanish Olympian Xabi Fernandez will skipper the crew, fresh from helping Sir Ben Ainslie in his bid to win the America's Cup.

"Rob has a lot of experience," Fernandez said. "He has already won a Volvo Ocean Race, has been second in another one and has sailed with so many different people and in all types of boats.

"He is strong, determined and does not compromise. It is always good to have a sailor with the experience Rob has in an important position like watch captain."

The Volvo Ocean Race starts from Alicante on October 22 and the teams will race more than 45,000 nautical miles around the world in a gruelling test of sailing skill and endurance.