Emirates Team New Zealand update

Photo: Ricardo Pinto / ACEA
Dean Barker brings us up to speed
For Nice this week Dean Barker has once again passed the reigns of the Emirates Team New Zealand Extreme 40 back to the Kiwi Cup team’s latest recruit Pete Burling. Burling, current no1 in the 49er class with crew Blair Tuke, has already scored two third places on the Extreme Sailing Series this year. However he has a tough act to follow after Barker steered the Kiwi Extreme 40 to victory in Istanbul three weeks ago, finally ending the unbroken string of victories by either Alinghi or The Wave, Muscat that has lasted since 2012. “Pete is no stranger to it,” says Barker of Burling’s ability as a multihull helm. “He did events last year and the year before with Team Korea, so he and Blair have slotted in really well with the guys, which is good. And it’s good for our sailing team as a whole to be able to switch around. But the fleet develops through the season with all the momentum, which makes it hard when you try to transition back into it.” It is now just over a year since the Kiwi calamity in the 34th America’s Cup, when Emirates Team New Zealand was at match point, on 8-1 against Oracle Team USA, only for the defender to change gear and fight back, turning what appeared to be near certain defeat into one of the greatest come backs in sporting history. “It was such mixed emotions,” admits Barker looking back at it. “It was such a fantastic environment and team to be part of and the team achieved a lot of its objectives along the way. We did everything we set out to do and hit the ground running and when the match started we were sailing at full tilt. Oracle didn’t kick off as well as