Barker on board Team Japan for Cup challenge

Dean Barker has been appointed skipper and chief executive of Softbank Team Japan.

Dean Barker will race in the next America’s Cup for the Japanese challenge.

The former Team New Zealand skipper told media from Bermuda he has been appointed skipper and chief executive of Softbank Team Japan.

"This is an incredible opportunity to build a new team from the ground up," Barker said.

"It's an honour to take on the responsibility of both CEO and skipper of SoftBank Team Japan.

"We're filling the key roles on the team as quickly as we can. I think we're pulling together a very strong team. We want to compete at the head of the fleet and we're assembling a team that is capable of doing that. Our goal is to win the America's Cup."

Softbank and the Kansai Yacht Club confirmed their challenge on April 30, aiming to qualify for the 2017 event in Bermuda starting with the 2015 America’s Cup Series

 “To lead a Japan team challenge for the America's Cup is a dream come true,” said Kazuhiko Sofuku, the team's general manager. “This is a great opportunity for Japan and for Japanese sailors to get back into the America's Cup game,” Sofuku added.

“It is an honor for the Kansai Yacht Club to try for the America's Cup for the first time,” said Ko Watanabe, commodore of Kansai Yacht Club. “This is a great challenge to take on, not just for our club, but for the entire country. With support from across the entire nation, I am sure we will represent Japan with pride.”

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