Ainslie and Barker confirmed for NZ Match Racing

Does it get any better than this? America’s Cup helmsmen Ben Ainslie and Iain Percy (GBR), both 2008 Olympic Gold medalists congratulate the young BlackMatch crew after their Semifinals win in the King Edward VII Gold Cup

Dean Barker and Ben Ainslie are amongst the 12 confirmed skippers competing for the New Zealand Match Racing Championships. The Open entry list comprises 10 men and two womens crews.

Dean Barker was skipper of Team New Zealand in the 2003 and 2007 America's Cups. Ben Ainslie, while better known for his three Olympic Gold medals, he was the backup helmsman for Team New Zealand in 2007, and was the skipper of Team Origin in the Desafio Trophy last weekend.

Last night Ainslie was named as the male Sailor of the Year at the ISAF Annual Conference in Madrid.

The following competitors have been confirmed for the upcoming NZ Match Racing Championships:

Dean Barker
Josh Junior
Laurie Jury
Adam Minoprio
Ben Ainslie
Jessica Smyth
Rueben Corbett
Jonathan Rankine
Jan Dawson
Adrian Short
Rod Davis
Phil Robertson

The NZ Match Racing Championships are running in Auckland 26 – 30 November 2008.

The event is managed by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.


Some quick Facts about the NZ Match Racing Championships:

• Open to men and women

• Top sailors in NZ attend; many Emirates Team NZ members have competed over the years

• ISAF Grade 3 event

• The event has run for 22 years

• Previous winners include Ken Davern, Brad Butterworth, Chris Dixon, Rod Davies and Dean Barker
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