Dean Barker: His America’s Cup, past and future
Published on April 5th, 2015
Team New Zealand went on to successfully defend the 2000 Cup 5–0, with skipper Russell Coutts relinquishing his position to Dean Barker in the last race. After Coutts left the team after that victory, Barker has skippered the team to defeats in 2003, 2007, and 2013.
The 42-year-old now shares his thoughts to the Times of Malta on the event and his future…
Losing in the Finals
“The America’s Cup represents some of the best yet toughest experiences in my career… it’s always tough to fathom defeat and when you fail to reach an objective in life. The America’s Cup is a massive race… you are in a big team that sometimes includes 100 people. Unfortunately, it has been frustrating for us a couple of times.
“In 2007, New Zealand lost to Alinghi 5-2 but each race was very close and it could have gone either way. However, the last edition (2013) was a huge disappointment. Having opened such a big lead (8-1) but then failing to get that one race win needed to lift the trophy was a huge upset.
“Our management’s decision not to race in one of the lay days ended up costing us the win as it shifted momentum towards Team Oracle who got stronger and stronger. In the end, there was no way for us to beat them.”
Leaving the Team New Zealand
“Yes, I’m no longer part of the America’s Cup team. I made the decision based on how I was treated. The NZ management made an announcement through the media that I was no longer part of the team. Nobody had informed me of the decision… after that there was no way we could work together again so I decided to leave.”
“America’s Cup racing is in my blood It is more than just racing… the research, design, development. Working in a team environment makes it something special and a huge experience for any sailor.
“Obviously, it will take me some time to get involved with another syndicate but I’m confident that I will get another opportunity in future… I have no plans to give up on my dream.”
Source: Times of Malta, April 5, 2015