Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Polarised and non-polarised readers for sailors

America's Cup- Dean Barker reflects on the 34th America's Cup

by Richard Gladwell on 16 Dec 2013
Dean Barker on Day 8 of the 34th America’s cup © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz

In the first of two interviews, Radio New Zealand National spoke with the two opposing skippers in the 2013 America's Cup, Dean Barker and Jimmy Spithill.

Below are some of the key points from Dean Barker, including the link to the full 30minute interview. There is a lot, lot more in the full interview than is reproduced below:



On what has it been like since not winning the America's Cup

'We had poured everything into it over the past three years – never thinking past the last race – and there is a big void. The support at home has been very humbling.

'Now is still a time to re-gather, and look forward to the next event. We are not certain for the next event. We still have to wait for the next rule, or Protocol, which should be March or April next year. We need a lot of aspects of that to be favourable for our sponsors to be able to make a strong case for them to be back and involved in the team.

On the injection of Government backing

'We have been very fortunate as to the way the Government has got behind the team and enabled us to retain key people. It would have been very easy for the Government to step away from it all.

'The way that NZ was accepted into San Francisco has opened a lot of doors and avenues for New Zealand business. The Government funding is very necessary for us. We don’t have a billionaire backer who can roll us over and go straight into the next campaign, and a lot of the guys were under fire and very quickly.

'We have been allowed to buy some time. I was up in Europe with Grant Dalton recently, meeting with a number of different sponsors. They love the team and the values that go with it. They would very much like to be involved again, but they cannot commit until they know where it is and the timing.'


On the public support and undertanding now of the America's Cup and AC72's

'The (AC72) vision had a lot of doubters, and we weren’t sure ourselves as to how it would go. It was very complex, hard to maintain and hard to keep sailing. Over three years we went from being a monohull sailing team to racing AC72s at a top level. It was a unique challenge and I am proud of how our team adapted and achieved along the way.

Analysis of why Emirates Team NZ did not win the 34th America's Cup

'There is no one single factor. Before we started racing we were very nervous because we had done a lot of analysis on the American boat and felt it had quite good speed potential. We started the regatta against a team that was underprepared and off the pace. They weren’t sailing the boat particularly well, and their crew-work wasn’t hat great. So there were a lot of opportunuities where we were able to pass them, particularly on the upwind legs.

'Early on it became apparent that they were improving quickly. There were a number of delays and wind issues, the delays allowed Oracle to go back and analyse how they were sailing the boat, and look at what we were doing, and learn how to achieve more speed than we could ever do upwind.

'They managed to get on top of the foiling right at the very end. They had something on their boat that was better suited to enable them to foil up wind.

On Oracle's electronic foil setting and its legality

'We had looked at the option, but within the rules we didn’t think it was legal (to use the same type of foiling control device as Oracle ). These are very complex systems. There is a real grey area with stored power and manual power. We viewed the system they had in place as not being legal, but in the end it was cleared by the measurers and we had to abide by their decision. We weren’t happy about their decision, but we weren’t able to do anything about it.

'In the process of the last month before the America’s Cup, there was a lot going on. The Oracle cheating scandal – the Jury were dealing with that and the Measurers tied up in that as well.

'So it was hard to be as fully focused on some of the other issues that we would have liked dealt with in a better way. But in the end you have to go and race. We felt we had led all the way – from launching in July 2012, first to foil and master all the techniques that go with that – and the other teams were playing catch up all the way. And unfortunately for us, in the end it was just two weeks too late. Oracle were able to watch everything we were doing and then with the resource they had were able to try and develop and get we were and then improve on that.

On whether more money would have made a difference to Team New Zealand

'More money doesn’t always mean better performance or results, because it can create more issues or not. But where money in this type of thing can help is to take on special projects. Everything we did had to end up on the boat, or have a good chance of ending up on the boat. With more money you can do special projects off to the side, with the hope that one or two of those might actually end up on the race boat itself, and give you the advantage that need over the competition.

'It is not so much money, but the partnership with a technology based company that allows you to keep on developing.

On his relationship with Jimmy Spithill:

'It is fair to say that I haven’t caught up over a beer with him (Jimmy Spithill), and I don’t intend to either.

'I have a healthy respect for Spithill’s sailing ability and everything else. People can think what they like about the mind games. I have been around the (America’s Cup) game for quite a while, and you have to deal with a lot of pressure at times and the Press Conferences are exactly that – an opportunity for people to say what they think. We were very happy going into the Finals and the Cup itself.

'The momentum started to swing well before it was 8-1, but they just kept on making mistakes. As the event went on they made less mistakes and got better performance and that translated into results. There certainly wasn’t a moment in a Press Conference when we threw in the towel, and rolled over.

On the New Zealand effort in San Francisco:

'Losing is not something you want to be good at. But my belief is that we put in everything we could have. Unfortunately the other guys were a little bit better when it counted. It is very hard to swallow that. As long as you can walk away knowing that you have done everything you possibly can. You can have pride in what you have achieved and everything else, it doesn’t help the disappointment. The other option is to pack it in and walk away – and that is not a New Zealand attitude.

Barz Optics - Kids rangeBakewell-White Yacht DesignMackay Boats

Related Articles

A Q&A with US Sailing’s Malcolm Page about the Sailing World Cup Miami
I spoke with Malcolm Page, US Sailing’s Olympic chief, about the team’s performance at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Miami I talked with Malcolm Page (AUS), a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the Men’s 470 class and the chief of Olympic sailing at US Sailing, to get his pulse on the team’s performance at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Miami and discuss some recent coaching changes within the Olympic-sailing program.
Posted on 20 Feb
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ give first look at the pedaling AC50
Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. The team has been sailing for the previous two days making news headlines after it was revealed in Sail-World.com that the AC50 would become only the second yacht in America's Cup history to use pedal power.
Posted on 16 Feb
America's Cup - Kiwis sign Olympic Cyclist for the Tour de Bermuda
Ttop cyclist Simon van Velthooven, a 2012 Olympic Bronze cycling medallist had been signed by the America's Cup team Emirates Team New Zealand put in a second foiling display on Auckland's Waitemata harbour ahead of the official launching of their AC50 tomorrow. With brighter skies the cycling team took their places on the pedalstals and used leg power to provide the hydraulic pressure necessary to run the AC50's control systems for the foils and wingsail.
Posted on 15 Feb
A Q&A with Shawn Macking about the StPYC’s Sailing Center and OD fleet
I talked with Shawn Macking, the StPYC’s waterfront director, to learn how the club is getting more people out sailing. I caught up with Shawn Macking, waterfront director of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, via email to learn more about the club’s Sailing Center, its hefty investment in a new fleet of ten J/70s, and how the StPYC is using this infrastructure to expose more people to the sport we all love.
Posted on 13 Feb
A Q&A with Karen Angle about the 2017 Conch Republic Cup race to Cuba
I caught up with Karen Angle, executive director of the Conch Republic Cup, to learn more about this exciting event. If you’re like me and have arrived at saturation with winter’s cold rain and snow, imagine racing to Cuba as part of a 13-day cross-cultural event that’s designed to lower barriers of entry at a time when some Americans see a need for taller walls. I caught up with Karen Angle, executive director of the Conch Republic Cup, to learn more about this exciting event and the adventures it affords.
Posted on 23 Jan
A Q&A with Anna Tunnicliffe about her return to competitive sailing
I talked with Anna Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing. Anna Tunnicliffe won gold at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in the Laser Radial before shifting her sights to the Women’s Match Racing event for the London 2012 Olympics. Here, she came up shy of expectation and left sailing for the CrossFit Games, but now she is returning to her roots. I talked with Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing.
Posted on 23 Jan
A Q&A with Dick Neville, Quantum Key West Race Week’s RC chairman
I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for the Quantum Key West Race Week, to learn more about the event. For the past 30 years, international sailors have gathered in Key West, Florida, each January for Key West Race Week, a regatta that has achieved legendary status due to its calendar dates, its location, and the impressive level of competition and racecourse management that this storied event offers. I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for this year’s Quantum KWRW, to learn more.
Posted on 16 Jan
A Q&A with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Race’s new deputy race director
I talked with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Round The World Race’s new deputy race director, to learn more about his role. I was fortunate to sail with Daniel Smith [36, SCO], skipper of “Derry~Londonderry~Doire” for the 2015/2016 edition of the Clipper Round The World Race, when the fleet reached Seattle last spring. Now, Smith has been hired as the event’s deputy race director-a job that will test many of the skills that he polished as a skipper. I caught up with Smith via email to learn more about his new job.
Posted on 9 Jan
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Suck it up, sunshine!
The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour, another two million watching on TV, and the constant buzz and whir of media helicopters overhead. 88 boats, from Australia, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Japan, Korea, China, oh and New Zealand, had lined up on three start lines.
Posted on 31 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - More merriment on the airwaves
Here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and Hobart Race Control So on December 29, 2016, after the River Derwent had let just three boats home (Perpetual Loyal, Giacomo and Scallywag, all inside the old race record, she went to sleep for a lot of the day. This made it frustrating for the sailors, some of whom saw the lighter side. So after seeing some of those in Dark & Stormy, here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and HRC
Posted on 29 Dec 2016