- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Former Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker has been named skipper and CEO of America’s Cup challenger SoftBank Team Japan.

Barker was forced out earlier this year as skipper of Emirates Team New Zealand, which blew an 8-1 lead in the 2013 America’s Cup and lost 9-8 to Oracle Team USA.

He calls the appointment Wednesday “an incredible opportunity to build a new team from the ground up.”

SoftBank Team Japan is a late entry for the 2017 America’s Cup in Bermuda.

Barker has sailed in four America’s Cup matches, all for his native New Zealand. As Russell Coutts’ understudy, he steered Team New Zealand to the fifth and clinching race in the 2000 match against Italy’s Luna Rossa. He was skipper when the Kiwis lost in 2003, 2007 and 2013.

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