Team News Corp lost her rudder yesterday while competing in the fourth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race

Team News Corp lost her rudder at 0230 GMT yesterday, reports co-skipper Ross Field (pictured), some 1,200 miles from Rio de Janeiro where the fourth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race will finish.

At the time the boat was sailing at speeds of up to 22 knots on a shy spinnaker reach with full mainsail, when all of a sudden the rudder sheered off below the hull. There was no other damage, than a blown out spinnaker. There are no injuries.

There is no apparent cause for the failure, but hitting a growler in the Southern Ocean may have contributed to the failure. Obviously the crew of Team News Corp is very disappointed, particularly as they were in line to charge into third place with the increased pressure from the west.

With the forecast weather, Team News Corp expects to be in Rio within eight days. They continue to race with a jury rudder fitted and are pushing the boat as hard as possible.