American Magic helmsman Dean Barker joins the Mike Hosking Breakfast following his team’s exit from the Prada Cup on Saturday.
Barker and his American Magic team were knocked out of the Prada Cup semifinals following a 4-0 defeat to Luna Rossa.
The Italian syndicate will now race British entity Ineos Team UK for a spot in the America’s Cup against Team New Zealand.
American Magic struggled to recover from a capsize in the Prada Cup round robin action after impressing in the World Series regatta in December where they defeated Team New Zealand on the opening day.
“Until two weeks ago, we thought we were tracking pretty well,” Barker told the Herald this week. “But a week is an eternity in this development class.
“[After December] we knew there was a long way to go and we had to keep getting better. I have been very strong right from the start within the team, [that] what is good enough today will not be good enough in a month. We had a real ethos of continuous improvement.”
Barker has been braced for criticism, as the helmsman of a team that didn’t fulfil its potential.
“I’ve learnt to get some pretty thick skin over the years,” said Barker he told the Herald. “If you listen too much to what other people have to say, you would probably find yourself in a pretty dark space.
“People that know you can vouch for the contribution that you make, you are just one part of a big team. Obviously my role is very visual and it is kind of natural you end up being pinned with a lot of it.
“But I take full responsibility for the results we achieve in any of the teams I have been involved in.”
His priority now is to invest some quality time with his wife Mandy and their four children, after the intense three-year campaign. But there was a hint that the door remains open.
“I still love the racing, love the competition,” said Barker. “I’m going to enjoy a bit of downtime now to reflect and decide what the future holds. It’s been a long time in the game and who knows what happens. I’ve got a lot more grey hairs than when I first started, but I would like to be able to continue if I can.”
Heading into the Cup racing?
• Give yourself plenty of time and think about catching a ferry, train or bus to watch the Cup.
• Make sure your AT HOP card is in your pocket. It’s the best way to ride.
• Don’t forget to scan QR codes with the NZ COVID Tracer app when on public transport and entering the America’s Cup Village.
• For more ways to enjoy race day, visit at.govt.nz/americascup.
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