Barker ‘exodus’ returns to America’s Cup with Japan

image17Japan, within a week, will announce its participation in the 35th America’s Cup. The skipper? Along with a Japanese name, there will also be Dean Barker’s name.. Precisely that Barker “dumped” by the New Zealanders (who preferred him to Australian Glenn Ashby and rising star Peter Burling), but with his 20 years of Cup experience and foiling-related know-how he is a definite asset. The team will be sponsored by Softbank and will race under the colors of the Kansai Yacht Club.

DOES THE CHOICE OF AC48 WORK?
So, after Luna Rossa’s abandon ment stemming from the choice by the organizers and most of the teams entered in the 2017 America’s Cup to abandon the running AC62 for a smaller boat, the AC48, with lower costs, comes the first new team. The “cost-saving” strategy criticized by Bertelli and advocated by the Oracle defender appears to be starting to pay off. The Japanese will join the other five teams (Artemis, Team France, Ben Ainslie Racing, Emirates Team New Zealand, and Oracle, the defender), and according to Russell Coutts, more surprises could be on the way.

JAPAN IN THE CUP
Japan has already sailed in three editions of the Cup, in 1992, 1995 and 2000, often relying on New Zealand sailors. Chris Dickson, for example, was the skipper in 1992, the year the Japanese union reached the semifinals of the Louis Vuitton Cup. In 1995, John Cutler, also from New Zealand, was at the helm of the Japanese boat, which again reached the semifinals.

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