Tag Archive | "Dean Barker"

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Three-way shoot out at the top as Oman fly the flag on British waters

Posted on 25 August 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: Extreme Sailing Series] Cardiff Bay saved the best for last for the 11-boat Extreme 40 fleet, where Alinghi, The Wave, Muscat and J.P. Morgan BAR battled it out until the bitter end for the top positions, in one of the closest – and most exciting – three-horse fights seen in the Series, which resulted in a three way collision and three consecutive penalties too boot in the final race. You couldn’t have scripted a better final, with the three leaders leaning on each other hard as they tried to gain the upper hand and The Wave, Muscat took advantage of the tussle to sail away with the win at Act 5 presented by Land Rover – and importantly homing in on Alinghi on the overall 2014 Series leaderboard as a relieved McMillan commented: “We’re on track this season, there’s nothing more we can do that’s for sure. The competition is very tight and Alinghi have been really slick this year and have brought in some unbelievable performances. To get one over on them here kind of brings it back down by a point and if we are going to keep pushing them hard, and they do the same to us it’s going to go down to the crunch.”

That left Ben Ainslie and Morgan Larson in a straight shoot out for second, but the British skipper couldn’t break the domination of Switzerland’s Alinghi, with Larson snatching it from the grasps of J.P. Morgan BAR. Alinghi’s Olympic champion tactician Anna Tunnicliffe talked through the final race: “We were waiting for Leigh to tack and he drove us right into the boats rounding the mark and boats started coming at us head first. We ended up above the mark so we couldn’t bear away and at the same time, Ben (Ainslie) was coming round into the side of us and it all turned into a mess. All three boats were tangled on each other. It’s very frustrating, but hopefully we can learn from our mistakes, we’re still on top which is good – the damage could have been worse. We need to move on to Istanbul and refocus for that event.”

Ben Ainslie’s J.P. Morgan BAR were on fire and threatening all day, posting a steady stream of consistent results and slowly chipping away at the leading pack to put themselves in the running. Despite just missing out on second place, the team’s four-times Olympic champion skipper Ainslie was satisfied with the final position, who this week were joined by local lad, Bleddyn Mon. “It has been a great improvement to see us on the podium and great to challenge with the top teams today. It’s a big step forwards and hopefully we can continue this for the rest of the Series. Sailing with Paul Campbell-James was fantastic, he has taught us a lot about these boats and Bleddyn was a great addition, he worked incredibly hard. We are looking forward to sailing with Paul Goodison in Istanbul and as we develop further in the event.”

In traditional UK Bank Holiday style, the day started with an onslaught of rain, before the clouds lifted, the breeze picked up and the fleet played out the final races in a beautiful 15 knots of breeze, with lots of ducking and weaving, hitting top speeds of 20 knots. In a programme of eight races on the final day, Red Bull Sailing Team made a late surge with their best results of the week, including a pair of wins on the tight racecourse, to upgrade their overnight position from eighth, to fourth at the close of play. Their double Olympic champion skipper Roman Hagara commented: “We found out how to start well on the racecourse which was key. We had good boat work and were good at approaching the marks; we did almost everything right. We finished the Act in fourth so that’s a really good result for us, and looking ahead to Istanbul, we need to start the first day as we finished it here.”

A further four points back in fifth place is the Swiss Realteam – and significantly for them, a disappointing 11th place for Emirates Team New Zealand, has seen Jerome Clerc and his Swiss team leapfrog up the Series leaderboard, to third place.

The battle in the bottom half of the leaderboard was just as fierce, with only three points separating eighth placed Gazprom Team Russia to 11th placed Emirates Team New Zealand – and with Act 6, Istanbul less than three weeks away, you can bet that the there will be some stern locker room debriefs, before the teams meet again.

Cardiff has once again delivered an outstanding event, with 90,000 spectators getting front row seats to the action, as part of the Cardiff Harbour Festival. Act 6 Istanbul takes place from the 11-14 September, and with news of a local team entry in the coming days, it will be a packed startline of 12 teams, as the fleet head to the city where East meets West.

Cardiff Harbour Festival hosts Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 5 Cardiff, presented by Land Rover standings after Day 4, 33 races
Position / Team / Points
1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan 210 points.
2nd Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, 205 points.
3rd J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, 203 points.
4th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, 186 points.
5th Realteam by Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, 182 points.
6th Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Ted Hackney, 175 points.
7th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner,  174 points.
8th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, 154 points.
9th Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, 154 points.
10th GAC Pindar (AUS) Nathan Wilmot, 153 points.
11th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker, 151 points.

Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 overall standings
Position / Team / Points
1st Alinghi (SUI) 47 points.
2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 45 points.
3rd Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 34 points.
4th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 33 points.
5th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 25 points.
6th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 22 points.
7th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 20 points.
8th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 18 points.
9th Oman Air (OMA) 16 points.
10th Groupama sailing team (FRA) 15 points.
11th GAC Pindar (AUS) 5 points.

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Dean Barker flies in to join 52 SUPER SERIES

Posted on 04 March 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: 52 Super Series] Barker, who steered Emirates Team New Zealand to TP52 circuit overall wins in 2009 and 2010, is reported to be relishing the opportunity to deputise at this 2014 52 US SUPER SERIES second event for Interlodge’s owner-helm Austin Fragomen who sustained a skiing injury two days ago. The boat which was runner up in Key West in 2013 finished with a flourish there last month, narrowly missing out on a podium finish at Quantum Key West in January.

Interlodge’s tactician Andy Horton explained:
“ To Austin’s credit there was never any talk of not doing the regatta. He wants to support the class and all the guys had put in all the work and so he said ‘let’s see how good the boat is, let’s get someone good. The boat captain Kris started calling around and Dean was really keen and said he could be on a flight and be here in the morning and so that is cool.”

Barker’s imminent arrival and the recruitment of Kenny Read as tactician on Hooligan, the winning potential of Vesper which is well optimised, were the hot topics on the dock at 52 SUPER SERIES’ Miami Beach Marina as the 52 teams put in their final preparations and training before Tuesday’s practice race. America’s Cup winner Ed Baird resumes helming duties on Quantum Racing and Azzurra’s ebullient tactician Vasco Vascotto has just underlined his form by winning the Melges 32 Miami regatta on the same waters this past week.

Terry Hutchinson, tactician on 52 SUPER SERIES champions Quantum Racing, winners in Key West in January summarises:
“ There is good step up in the fleet with Vesper here and with Kenny Read on Hooligan and Dean coming in and sailing on Interlodge, I suspect it will be different. In Key West we had Doug (DeVos) steering the boat and that was awesome for us all, but he had not been on the boat for 11 months and there were challenges there, and so I am still scratching my head a little how we did it. Did we do it with smoke and mirrors? But in some ways Key West was just a great representation of our team. It was great Ed to have slide into his role as strategist and Doug in his role and still achieved a great result. Here we are back into our Mediterranean set up. We have some great teams here to race against and that will be great challenge.”

Quantum Racing had the edge at the first regatta of the season in January, but most consider this event might be more open. Chris Larson, who sailed three seasons on the circuit, was watching the warm up racing today:
“I think we might see a ‘sleeper’ winning here. Azzurra are very well prepared and are really in a good place, out to win. Vesper have the potential and with Dean on Interlodge they can do well.”

Azzurra’s Vascotto and strategist Francesco Bruni raced this past week on this South Beach race course on different Melges 32s. Bruni declares his admiration for Vascotto’s regatta winning calls:
“ Vasco has just sailed a great regatta here, very very good and so that gives us confidence too.”

The official practice race starts at 1300hrs local time (UTC MS 5 hrs) with the points scoring racing scheduled Wednesday to Sunday.

Quotes

Francesco Bruni (ITA) strategist Azzurra (ITA): “We thought that the boat was not as fast as it should have been in Key West and so we have made some changes, nothing radical, some easy things with the sails and rig, but we made some mistakes in the afterguard, some wrong choices which cost us many points. It is good that Vasco and I have sailed here with the Melges for four or five days with the Melges 32s and so we have, I think, a good idea about the race course. It was mainly light winds, up to 13kts. I think there will be a little more wind middle to end of the week. We will start the championship in light to medium airs. The baot can go well, we can sail well. We have no reason not to go out and get good results.
It is important to start the championship well, we need to start on the right foot. Vasco has just sailed a great regatta here, very very good and so that gives us confidence too.”

Nacho Postigo (ESP) navigator Hooligan (USA): “We have a new tactician with Kenny Read and Tony Rey on strategy, so we have had a little more time to prepare the boat and practice. Really at Key West the boat had just arrived and so hopefully now the little changes we have made will pay off and we will get a little bit better result.
For the owner it is still just his second regatta with the boat and with the tiller, and so it is still not easy to make good tack, by comparison with the rest of the fleet, in these wide boats. We are getting better. The rest of the fleet have everything perfect and so you just have to keep working away at tactics, boat handling, boat speed.
I am very curious to happen what will happen with Interlodge because with Dean Barker the boat will be flying when the breeze is up, it is a really quick boat but maybe not in the light stuff at the beginning of the regatta.”

Terry Hutchinson (USA) tactician Quantum Racing (USA): “There is good step up in the fleet with Vesper here and with Kenny Read on Hooligan here and Dean coming in and sailing on Interlodge, I suspect it will be different. In Key West we had Doug steering the boat and that was awesome for us all, but he had not steered the boat for 11 months and there were challenges there, and so I am still scratching my head a little how we did it, did we do it with smoke and mirrors but in some ways Key West was just a great representation of our team. It was great Ed slide into his role as strategist and Doug in his role and still achieved a great result. Here we are back into our Mediterranean set up. We have some great teams here to race against and that will be great challenge. It is a new evolution because of course we have lost Jordi calafat as strategist, for the year because of the weight change. I am nervous about the challenge ahead because the other teams are really, really good.
My biggest memory is that it is streaky, shifty, patient type of race course and you can’t be afraid of the corners, and I am always afraid of the corners because they are high risk, high reward.”

Andy Horton (USA) tactician Interlodge (USA): “Austin had a skiing accident and has a couple of bruised bones. It was really cool because there was never any talk of not doing the regatta. He wants to support the class and all the guys had put in all the work and so he said ‘let’s see how good the boat is, let’s get someone good. The boat captain Kris started calling around and Dean was really keen and said he could be on a flight and be here in the morning and so that is cool. It is great for all of us who have sailed the boat, and it will be good to see how good the boat really is and what the next step. Dean is a good guy and pretty nice with it. We will just have the practice race with him and then be into it, but he has done this a couple of times before and he is not too bad at it!”
“ We need to keep to doing what we are doing. We were not that quick in the light and so we need to reach parity at least there, we have a little more righting moment and so maybe sailing with a bit more heel when it is light, and making sure we keep it powered up should be better for us.”

Ross MacDonald (CAN) tactician Sled (USA): “We are in good shape. After Key West we were pretty happy. We have Jared Henderson here helping us out as coach. If we can improve our percentage here, getting across the starting line, up to a respectable level we can be in the mix. That is what we are looking for. That is down to consistency in our manoeuvres and communication from the bow all the way to back of the boat, so we are making it really simple for those who have to make the decisions.
For me personally here I will be happy here to just be mixing it up with the good teams. The more time we get to spend alongside them, holding our own, just makes us that much stronger. There will be a few frustrations when we will lose the battles but in the long term, winning the war, this will be our last chance to be up against the best boats who are heading back to Europe.”

52 SUPER SERIES 2014 Event Calendar:
Quantum Key West Race Week, Key West, Florida, January 20 – 24
52 US Championship, Miami, Florida, March 5 – 9
Rolex Capri Sailing Week, Capri, Italy, May 20 – 24
TP 52 World Championship, Porto Cervo, Italy, June 10 – 14
Copa del Rey, Palma, Spain, August 4 – 9
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain, September 17 – 21

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Photo gallery: Emirates Team New Zealand train in Singapore

Posted on 19 February 2014 by Valencia Sailing

Team photographer Chris Cameron captures Wednesday’s light-air action as the Kiwi team trains on the eve of the opening event of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series:

Emirates Team New Zealand train on the eve of the opening event of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 19 February 2014. Photo copyright Chris Cameron / Emirates Team New Zealand

Emirates Team New Zealand train on the eve of the opening event of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 19 February 2014. Photo copyright Chris Cameron / Emirates Team New Zealand

Emirates Team New Zealand train on the eve of the opening event of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 19 February 2014. Photo copyright Chris Cameron / Emirates Team New Zealand

Emirates Team New Zealand train on the eve of the opening event of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 19 February 2014. Photo copyright Chris Cameron / Emirates Team New Zealand

Emirates Team New Zealand train on the eve of the opening event of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 19 February 2014. Photo copyright Chris Cameron / Emirates Team New Zealand

Emirates Team New Zealand train on the eve of the opening event of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 19 February 2014. Photo copyright Chris Cameron / Emirates Team New Zealand

Emirates Team New Zealand train on the eve of the opening event of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 19 February 2014. Photo copyright Chris Cameron / Emirates Team New Zealand

Emirates Team New Zealand train on the eve of the opening event of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 19 February 2014. Photo copyright Chris Cameron / Emirates Team New Zealand

Emirates Team New Zealand train on the eve of the opening event of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 19 February 2014. Photo copyright Chris Cameron / Emirates Team New Zealand

Emirates Team New Zealand train on the eve of the opening event of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 19 February 2014. Photo copyright Chris Cameron / Emirates Team New Zealand

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Emirates Team New Zealand: Back to the Extreme Sailing Series

Posted on 21 January 2014 by Valencia Sailing

ETNZ: Back to the Extreme Sailing Series

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Emirates Team New Zealand return to the Extreme Sailing Series

Posted on 21 January 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Extreme Sailing Series] Emirates Team New Zealand have today been confirmed as the tenth team on the Extreme Sailing Series™ starting blocks for 2014, with legendary America’s Cup skipper Dean Barker. With a further Series team announcement in the coming weeks, a full grid of 11 teams will embark on the eight stop global tour, which starts in Singapore in just over four weeks, with the first starting gun on the 20th February.

London 2012 silver medal winning 49er duo Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, who last week were announced as part of the Kiwi development squad for the 35th America’s Cup, will join Barker. While the pair are currently campaigning for the Rio 2016 Olympics, Barker and Burling will share skipper duties, as Barker explained: “I will skipper five. We will rotate sailing squad members through the other crew positions. Between the two of us we will be able to field competitive crews through the year.”

Barker will be at the helm at the first two Acts, to be staged in Singapore and Muscat, Oman, in March. Burling will then take over for the following two in Qingdao, China in May and a brand new stadium in Saint Petersburg, Russia in June. The remaining Acts will be confirmed throughout the year.

Emirates Team New Zealand are back in the Extreme Sailing Series. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Emirates Team New Zealand last competed in the Series in 2011, and after an unforgiving introduction to the world of elite level multihull racing, the team soon got to grips with the high-performance catamaran, as Barker recalls their first Act. “It was at Almeria, Spain, and we were last. Extreme 40 racing is unlike any other; the teams are very competitive, races are short, the action non-stop and split-second decisions are needed.”

Burling and Tuke sailed in three Extreme 40 regattas last year with Team Korea, quickly getting to grips with the Stadium Racing formats before going on to win the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in September. The final crew members are still to be confirmed.

Commenting on the number of teams on the starting grid in 2014, Mark Turner, Executive Chairman of organisers OC Sport said: “We don’t have a need or even want to grow the fleet massively – eight boats is our optimum to deliver top level stadium racing. We want the best sailors – we need to maintain that. Our model is commercial model and we attract commercial brands. It has been a conscious decision to take additional teams in 2014 as the next Cup cycle gets going again, and in 2015, it certainly wont be a failure to have eight boats again.”

Singapore will host the curtain-raiser to the 2014 Series, where the fleet will race on the ultimate city-centre Stadium on Marina Bay. The question everyone wants to know, is will the experience of an existing team or a new team win through?

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CNN Mainsail: What does it take to win the America’s Cup?

Posted on 18 January 2014 by Valencia Sailing

After failing to capitalize on an 8-1 lead in 2013, Team New Zealand are attempting to find the missing ingredient.

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CNN Mainsail: Can Team New Zealand return stronger in 2014?

Posted on 17 January 2014 by Valencia Sailing

After coming tantalizingly close in 2013, can Team New Zealand recover from their dramatic loss in 2014. Shirley Robertson reports from Auckland on what lies ahead for the Kiwis in the America’s Cup

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CNN Mainsail: Australia return to the America’s Cup

Posted on 17 January 2014 by Valencia Sailing

In 1983, Australia II broke the American stranglehold on the America’s Cup. Can they recreate that magic over 30 years later? Shirley Robertson reports from Sydney on the 35th America’s Cup Challenger of Record

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