Dean Barker, with wife Mandy, at the Emirates Team NZ AC72 Launch February 4, 2013
Emirates Team New Zealand's skipper, Dean Barker discussed the sailing issues and program with the teams new AC72, New Zealand Aotearoa.
Surprisingly he reveals that the team only have 13 sailors, and that they will be announcing a 'First Eleven' from that group. For most teams that would not even be a viable reserve bench.
That leads to the question as to what the Plan B is for many of the specialist positions on board, including what happens if the skipper has an accident and can't sail? He says the team doesn't have the budget to be able to afford a second helmsman.
According to Barker no decisions have been made on the First Eleven, and that will be decided while they are sailing in Auckland.
In this video he talks about the options for moding the boat - as to whether to sail high and slow or low and fast.
They are expecting to get a good work-out from an improved Luna Rossa when they start sailing again, next week, and that process will continue in San Francisco.
There are also a couple of key design options that have to be evaluated and signed off, but otherwise it would seem that the time for development is largely over.
Barker also gives his assessment of the other teams - particularly those based in San Francisco. He is expecting Oracle's second AC72 to be very similar to their first, relaunched model.
This interview is the second in a series of four, with view from team boss Grant Dalton http://www.sail-world.com/NZ/Americas-Cup:-Grant-Dalton-on-the-new-AC72---Aotearoa/106313!click_here to view; Kevin Shoebridge (shore boss and COO on the logistics of the AC72 campaign) and Technical Director, Nick Holroyd.