Minutes after crossing the line, Russell Coutts and Dean Barker speak of the pleasure and pain
Minutes after the finish of race 5 of the America’s Cup the Hauraki Gulf became a washing machine. As the armada headed back to base for the biggest party of the year Coutts and Barker gave their first comments on how they each felt.
“I’m immensely proud of what we’ve achieved at Alinghi but two and a half years ago there was nothing and we’ve created what I think is a great team and I’m really proud of that.”
But how did he feel about taking the Cup away from his home country?
“I am a New Zealander but as a professional sailor I’m proud of what I’ve done.”
And of the event as a whole?
“This was one of the toughest competitions in America’s Cup history and we lost 3 or four races and I think that’s something to be proud of.”
How tough was it?
“Team New Zealand are a talented team and that’s what makes our team such a significant success. But I don’t think Alinghi’s designers have been given enough credit. This boat is a widely different hull design to almost all the opposition.
If you believe the statistics, the odds were stacked against barker and his crew a couple of days ago. Today they looked as gutted as they crossed the line, Bertrand Pace lighting a cigarette as the crew slipped over the line.
“It’s disappointing that we only finished three of the five races. It’s obviously not a good thing to have gear breakages. Before we went into this regatta I truly believed that we had very good chance of winning this event. The way it panned out a few things that could have gone our way didn’t and before we knew it they were 3-0 up and it was hard to peg them back,” said Barker
“It’s very easy to be an expert after the fact and we’ve all learned a lot from this regatta. All I can say is that we’ve done our absolute best and we’re incredibly proud of this team. Sure we didn’t win but I’m still incredibly proud of everything the guys have done and I wouldn’t want to be part of another team.”
How did he feel about Alinghi’s performance?
“They’ve been phenomenal. They’ve sailed an incredibly good regatta. In the Louis Vuitton they were totally dominant. As it’s turned out they’ve completely dominated us as well.”