TNZ Shakes up Afterguard

Courtesy Team New Zealand

On Tuesday evening Dean Barker stood steadfastly by his crew. "No, definitely not," said Barker when asked about a possible crew change after losing his third straight race to Russell Coutts. "We don’t think we’re doing anything particularly badly, we’re very happy with the way we’re sailing, things just haven’t gone our way."By Thursday morning, however, Barker and the rest of the TNZ brass had changed their collective mind, removing tactician, and longtime Barker friend, Hamish Pepper from the the lineup and inserting B Boat skipper Bertrand Pacé in his place. It is unknown exactly what role Pacé, a veteran now in his fifth America’s Cup campaign, will place in today’s race. He is an aggressive starter and could be used to drive the boat in the pre-start. The team could also just use him to consult with Barker on the tactics. While Barker and Pepper have worked together for much of this campaign, Pacé is one of the best match racers in the world and his vast amount of experience could certainly help fend off Alinghi.