Barker joins Russian boat

Dean Barker sails away on a Russian yacht with billionaire tech distributor.

To hear more from Nathan Smith on Dean Barker’s new job, tune into Last Call from 4 pm on NBR Radio

Dean Barker has signed with Russian boat Team Nika as a tactician in the 2015 RC44 Championship Tour starting at the end of the month.

Mr Barker recently lost his role as Team New Zealand helmsman and will probably not be sailing for the yachting team in its 2017 America’s Cup campaign.

His new role will be closer to his core skills as a sailor, which Mr Barker says were not being utilised at Team New Zealand as sailing coach and performance manager.

The RC44 series, in its ninth year, begins in Malta on March 29.

Mr Barker will be sailing on the Team Nika boat, owned by Russian tech entrepreneur Vladimir Prosikhin, with fellow New Zealanders Sean Clarkson (pitman) and Jeremy Lomas (bowman).

The RC44 is unique in boat racing. It brings together the superpowers of global business with the world’s best sailors.

This mix of professional and amateur attracts some of the world’s most powerful owners.

The class was founded by Sir Russell Coutts in 2007 and has 13 teams competing in fleet and match racing in one-design monohull class.

The Russian connection
Russian Vladimir Prosikhin says he loves to “get behind his RC44 wheel.”

“It’s amazingly designed, the class. It’s very smart and fits me perfectly. It's giving me the only chance to sail with the pros because it’s a smart idea to let the owner drive,” he says in an interview with RC44 Class Association.

Mr Prosikhin’s background is in physics research and he has a PhD in optical and plasma physics.

He has published articles on topics ranging from atomic systems to quantum mechanics. In the 1980s he conducted research at Leningrad State University in St Petersburg, Russia.

After the Russian perestroika (a political movement for reformation within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during the 1980s) began, Mr Prosikhin moved to work in computers where he started a technology business in 1992 with only $US1000.

Mr Prosikhin’s wife, who was travelling in the US in the early 1990s, purchased 40 modems from the USs and sent them to St Petersburg where Mr Prosikhin sold them. He then ordered more modems and a distribution business was founded.

Mr Prosikhin built the resultant company, Lanck Computers Ltd, into a billion dollar organisation.

The company partnered with Taiwanese hardware and electronics corporation Acer in 1993 and is Acer's sole distributor in Russia.

It also distributes Samsung, Toshiba, ASUS, Huawei, Lenovo and other brands across the Russian Federation, according to its website.

To hear more from Nathan Smith on Dean Barker’s new job, tune into Last Call from 4 pm on NBR Radio

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