America’s Cup: Barker officially replaced as Kiwi skipper

Published on February 25th, 2015

Auckland, NZL (February 26, 2015) – Emirates Team New Zealand announced today it had completed the restructuring process that came out of the team-wide review after the 2013 America’s Cup, and Dean Barker will no longer be at the helm for the team.

Wing trimmer in 2013 Glenn Ashby has been appointed Sailing Director and he and Peter Burling will take on helming duties. Ashby is a multiple world and Australian champion in three multihull classes and Burling is current world Moth and, with Blair Tuke, 49er world champion.

Barker, who has led the team since the 2003 America’s Cup, has advanced three time to the America’s Cup finals before losing each match.

Emirates Team New Zealand wants to retain Barker’s services as Performance Manager and Sailing Coach with a place on the executive committee. The team has now made a formal offer to Dean which he is still considering.

“We’re hoping to retain Dean’s 20 years of America’s Cup experience in Emirates Team New Zealand but we also acknowledge it is time for new blood to be given the chance at the helm of the country’s challenger,” CEO Grant Dalton said.

When rumors of the change leaked last week, the team denied that Barker had been replaced on the helm. However, now that the review period is complete, the team is ready to reveal the change.

The team, which relies heavily on government and sponsorship funding, also revealed that as a result of Bermuda being named the venue for the next America’s Cup series, it has had a serious impact on the team’s finances and sponsorship funding, reducing the budget by some $20 million.

As a result, the team has had to reduce its remuneration budget and each team member has, as a result, taken a significant pay cut.

Additionally several million dollars has been axed from the operations budget leading to the scrapping of one of the foiling AC45s that we had planned and, consequently, the elimination of one of the planned helmsman positions.

The Halsey Street, Auckland, base will be fully operational from Monday, March 2, with 50 people signed on to begin working full time.

Work will start immediately on modifying an AC45 catamaran to foil in time for the first America’s Cup World Series regatta that is scheduled to take place at Cagliari, Italy in June.

Source: Emirates Team New Zealand

MORE: Dean Barker spoke exclusively to John Campbell of 3 News about how he learnt of his position within Team New Zealand and he is “absolutely gutted” about the way Team New Zealand management has treated him: CLICK HERE

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