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Dean Barker to helm New York America's Cup entry

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 2 May 2018, 8:48AM
Dean Barker last raced for the Team Japan in last year's competition. (Photo / Photosport)
Dean Barker last raced for the Team Japan in last year's competition. (Photo / Photosport)

Dean Barker will have another tilt at the America's Cup, this time helming the New York Yacht Club's entry.

American Magic sailing boss Terry Hutchinson confirmed Barker would be on the wheel for the 2021 event in Auckland and other Kiwis Joe Spooner, Jim Turner and Sean Clarkson would also be in the crew.

"There's certain people that I've raced with, that regardless of the situation, I have a heap of respect for even though they're competitors. Dean is one of them,'' Hutchinson told sailing website Scuttlebutt.

"When we look at the opportunity that's in front of us, and the experience that's required to get one of these boats around the race course, there's not many people in the world that have Dean's level of experience.

"For the role as one of the helmsmen for the team, that person needs to have big boats experience, they need to have foiling experience, and they need to have event experience. There's maybe four people in the world that tick all three of those boxes."

Hutchinson said Barker would soon move to the NYYC's base at Rhode Island. Under the latest America's Cup protocol non-nationals must reside for 380 days in the country of their team between September 1 of this year through August 31, 2020.

"The primary, overriding goal is to win the regatta," he said, feeling they were in a race against time as well as major opposition and therefore needed to assemble as powerful a team as possible.

"All of our decisions leading up to the start of the American Magic team is, we have to circumvent the time component because all of the notable competitors have that advantage. Team New Zealand's an established team. Ben Ainslie is coming back. Luna Rossa, while not an established sailing team, they've been operating in some capacity, and they have the advantage of helping write the rule.

"So we have to circumvent time. We can't afford to waste time developing. You want to always have a good plan B, but at the same time you want to know that plan A can step right into it and not be concerned."

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