Barker’s treatment frustrated Spithill
Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle Team USA skipper, has broken his silence on Dean Barker’s split from Emirates Team New Zealand.
Barker severed ties earlier this Spring after rejecting an offer to take on the position of Performance Manager/Coach and Executive Team Member offered to him after Team New Zealand underwent a major shakeup.
Relations between Barker and his bosses soured after reports surfaced in the media suggesting he had been dumped as the team’s skipper without being officially notified. Barker accused his former colleagues of leaking the report but team officials denied any wrongdoing.
Spithill, who beat Barker at the previous America’s Cup Match for the “Auld Mug” in San Francisco, believes the matter involving his rival skipper could have been bettered dealt with.
“I was pretty frustrated myself for the way how he was treated after how loyal he’s been to his team,” Spithill said. “Twenty years of service and for it to end the way it did I thought wasn’t right.”
Barker’s fortunes have since taken a turn for the better with the Kiwi sailor being appointed this week as skipper and CEO of late America’s Cup entry Softbank Team Japan.
“It’s great to see him have the opportunity to get back there and I’d love nothing better than to see him go back out there and beat Dalton,” said Spithill.
Barker got a first-hand look of the Great Sound — venue for the 35th America’s Cup — while sailing with Spithill on Oracle’s AC45 development catamaran this week.
• The first major title of the 2015 Comet Class season goes up for grabs tomorrow with the staging of the annual Flagpole to Flagpole Race.
The course will see the fleet in the double handed one-design dinghy set sail from Hamilton Harbour and finish in St George’s Harbour.
Stevie Dickinson and crew Pat Young are the defending champions of the race hosted by the East End Mini Yacht Club.
Tomorrow will also see St George’s Dinghy & Sports Club host the traditional Bermuda Fitted Dinghy season opener in St George’s Harbour.
Royal Bermuda Yacht Club’s Contest III is the holders of the Heritage Trophy, Anniversary Cup and Leon D Fox Cup going up for grabs.