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AC36: Dean Barker (NZL) helming for NYYC's AC training team on QUANTUM in the TP52 Super Series

NEWPORT, RI – Dean Barker (NZL) will be on the wheel for New York Yacht Club's training team for AC36 when they race aboard Doug DeVos's QUANTUM in this summer's 52 Super Series in the Med. Terry Hutchinson, who heads up the sailing side as Executive Director of NYYC's AC team "Bella Mente Quantum Racing," will be calling tactics for Mr Barker as he did for Team New Zealand, skippered by Deano, in the 2007 America's Cup in Valencia, Spain.

Dean Barker (NZL) skippered Emirates Team New Zealand in the 2007 America's Cup at Valencia, with Terry Hutchinson (USA, middle) calling tactics. They have teamed up again, at least for this summer's Super Series racing in the Med. Photo courtesy of stuff.co.nz.

Mr Barker's involvement with NYYC was originally revealed by Sailing Illustrated last October. The formal announcement was made in a tweet by the Super Series earlier this week and confirmed by our friend Duncan Johnstone (NZL) in an article published on New Zealand's stuff.co.nz website yesterday.

One hears that Mr Barker has also recently been nominated for NYYC membership.

Quoting from Duncan's article:

Barker and Hutchinson will get to work early at the Ficker Cup on April 13-15 in the hope of qualifying for 2018 Congressional Cup. Barker will be on the wheel and Hutchinson his tactician, regatta organisers have confirmed. The top two teams from the Ficker Cup advance to the famous Congressional Cup in Long Beach, California in April.The Congressional Cup, contested by 10 boats, is labeled the "granddaddy of match-racing" and pioneered on-water umpiring. Barker won the event in 2000 and 2005 representing the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, and Hutchinson was victorious in 1992....Barker and Hutchinson have serious history as they led Team New Zealand to the 2007 America's Cup final in Valencia, eventually losing a tight contest to Swiss holders Alinghi. Barker helmed the Kiwi boat and American Hutchinson was tactician. Barker's long America's Cup involvement with Team New Zealand ended in a messy breakup following the heart-breaking loss to Oracle Team USA in the 2013 final in San Francisco. Barker was replaced by Peter Burling at the wheel of the next Kiwi challenge in Bermuda with Australian Glenn Ashby taking over as Team New Zealand skipper for the successful Bermuda campaign. Barker raced in Bermuda under the Japan flag and despite losing in the semifinals of the challenger series, the veteran said he hoped to keep active in the Cup game. New York appears to be his lifeline. His efforts this year will surely shape his hopes of being involved with their challenge in Auckland. His intimate knowledge of Waitemata Harbour and Hauraki Gulf as well as foiling skills would be a huge bonus to New York's quest to win back the Auld Mug which they have dominated down the long history of sport's oldest contest.

New Zealand's Hauraki Gulf is the likely venue for the 2021 America's Cup. Mr Barker was skipper of Team New Zealand when they lost the Cup to ALINGHI in the 2003 Cup also raced in the Hauraki. ALINGHI was skippered by Deano's mentor and fellow Kiwi Russell Coutts, who also skippered for NZL when they won the Cup 5-0 at San Diego in 1995 and successfully defended 5-0 for the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in 2000. Russell's back-up helmsman for the 2000 campaign was none other than Dean Barker, who RC kindly allowed to skipper the fifth and final race (RC stayed ashore) in the 2000 Cup match against Italy's LUNA ROSSA, sponsored of course by Prada and their team principal Patrizio Bertelli.

Coming full circle for 2021, the Challenger of Record is the Circolo della Vela Sicilia (ITA) represented by LUNA ROSSA/Prada. For the record, so to speak, who was the Challenger of Record in 2000? New York Yacht Club, the last time the Club had an entry in the Cup. The Challenger of Record in 2003? Yacht Club Punta Ala, then represented by LUNA ROSSA/Prada.