27 Feb 2015

Dalton denies Barker's role was re-confirmed

9:55 am on 27 February 2015

Team New Zealand's managing director Grant Dalton says Dean Barker was never re-confirmed as helmsman after last year's America's Cup.

Emirates Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton

Emirates Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton Photo: Photosport

Barker said he was "gutted" he's been dumped as sailing director - and angry he heard about it through the media.

The team yesterday confirmed that its helmsman for 2017 in Bermuda will be either Peter Burling, 24, or sailing director Glenn Ashby, 37.

Dalton said claims Barker had been dumped were wrong, as nobody was assigned a particular role when members of the team signed back on after the failed Cup campaign in 2013.

He said he still wanted Barker to be part of Team New Zealand.

"My door is open, I've tried to contact Dean, we've asked for a meeting today to try and see if we can put this together.

"I'm not aware that we're not having a meeting, although it seems to me it's going to be a lot more difficult."

Dalton said he hoped the relationship between himself and Barker could be repaired.

Former New Zealand skipper, Chris Dickson, said it would be a loss if Dean Barker's experience was not passed on.

Dean Barker will no longer be at the helm of Emirates Team New Zealand.

Dean Barker will no longer be at the helm of Emirates Team New Zealand. Photo: Photosport

But he said Barker had been at the helm for 15 years.

"We all know, and Dean knows there's a point where that comes to an end, so I don't think that's any big surprise to anyone, but how it's happened is obviously a problem, so that's something they're either going to resolve or not."

Dickson said it was unfortunate the situation has played out in the public eye - but that was always the case when a top sporting team and public money was involved.

Barker 'absolutely gutted'

Speaking on TV3's Campbell Live last night, Barker said he first heard he might be replaced through a leak in the media last week but had had no communication from team management.

Barker said he had numerous offers from other syndicates but has always been loyal to Team New Zealand and did not know why he was being replaced.

"I am absolutely gutted in the way that I've been treated by Team New Zealand and the management, in this whole process. It's just been incredibly difficult to understand."

He was now unsure about his future and did not know if he would take up the role that was being offered to him.

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