Friday, 14 January 2011

Dean Barker on the End of an Era in the IACC ver. 5 boats and monohulls in the America's Cup

by Dean Barker (extracts from his blog on the Kiwi Yachting Consultants website)

My association with the [IACC] class began in 1993 when I first did some sailing with Team New Zealand before they went on to San Diego in 1995 and won the America's Cup. Since then I have sailed my entire career on the IACC yachts in the Team New Zealand campaigns spending time on NZL 32 & 38, NZL 57 & 60 in the successful defence in 2000, NZL 81 & 82 in the loss to Alinghi, and NZL 84 & 92 in the loss to Alinghi in 2007.

The LV Trophy events were born out of the need for teams to have something to compete in while the crap shoot of legal battles between Alinghi and Oracle raged from 2007 thru until 2010 when they finally raced in Valencia. We have now had 5 events (2 in Auckland, 1 in Nice, 1 in La Maddalena, and now 1 in Dubai). ETNZ has been incredibly consistent being in the final of all 5 events and losing only once to Azzura in Nice in November 2009...

After 2 incredibly close races we came out the victors [over Oracle in the finals in Dubai, November 2010] 2-0 in what I would describe as our best and most satisfying win. It marks an era of dominance of our team where we have won 4 of the 5 Louis Vuitton Trophy events, and 2 Audi Medcup Circuits.

I am so proud of the team and what we have acheived. It is very special to be part of a group that has been so successful and dominant and an experience in life which will be hard to match. Our focus now must change to multihulls and all that goes with that, but I will forever savour the memories of what ETNZ has achieved in the last 4 years.