Watch: 'We're really excited to get home!' Blair Tuke hoping for big Kiwi welcome after Volvo Ocean Race leg

Kiwi sailor Blair Tuke has some added motivation heading into the sixth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race as the finish line happens to bring him home to Kiwi shores.

Tuke's team Mapfre along with the rest of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet set sail from Hong Kong yesterday to begin the challenging leg - a 6,100 nautical miles adventure that takes crews across the South China Sea and into the Pacific Ocean.

But Tuke says overcoming the challenging will taste that little bit sweeter if there's a warm Kiwi welcome to greet them in Auckland at the end.

"Myself and all the other Kiwis in the race are really excited to get home," he said.

"As we come in to the Hauraki Gulf, looking forward to seeing as many boats as we can and a big welcome for whichever one of these boats come in first."

In the first 16 hours of racing, Tuke's America's Cup teammate Peter Burling and his crew on Team Brunel currently hold the lead, with Mapfre sitting third.