Dean Barker has moved quickly to get back on a boat, signing up as tactician for a Russian team in the 2015 RC44 Championship Tour which starts in Malta at the end of the month.

Barker was recently dumped as Team New Zealand helmsman for their 2017 America's Cup campaign, with Peter Burling and Glenn Ashby taking over.

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Barker was offered a backroom job by Team NZ as sailing coach and performance manager but indicated he had little interest in the position and felt he was best utilised as a sailor.


He might still have a future in America's Cup sailing but he's been signed up by Team Nika as tactician in the RC44 class.

This morning a Team New Zealand spokesman told TVNZ that other sailors have done the same thing over the years and Barker's Russian deal wouldn't affect his ability to take up the offer of sailing coach and performance manager in the future.

Hear the interview with Dean Barker here:

The series, which is in its ninth year, kicks off in Malta on March 29 and will also head to Italy (June), Sweden (July), Portugal (September) and the British Virgin Islands (November).

It's a series he's sailed in before and he will be joined on the Russian boat by fellow Kiwis Sean Clarkson (pitman) and Jeremy Lomas (bowman).

Prime Minister John Key has sidestepped the question of whether Team New Zealand skipper has been dumped, praising him for being a very successful sportsman, but his future role is for Team NZ to decide , not the Government.

The class was founded by Sir Russell Coutts and will also feature the likes of Tom Slingsby, Terry Hutchinson, Iain Percy, Ed Baird, Nathan Outteridge, Cameron Appleton and Francesco de Angelis.

Hear the interview with Dalton here:

As many as 13 teams will compete in the fleet racing and match racing, in a one-design monohull class designed by Sir Russell Coutts in 2007 and it will feature successful businessmen racing alongside some of the world's best sailors.

The tour is made up of two elements - one-day match racing when the professional skippers or owner-drivers helm the boat and the four days of owner-helmed fleet racing.

Swedish America's Cup syndicate Artemis have entered two boats in the series and there are five syndicates from Russia.

"Having finished 2014 on a high by securing the RC44 Oman Cup with a race to spare, Team Nika is aiming to keep the momentum going by welcoming America's Cup sailor Dean Barker on board to call tactics in Valletta," the RC44 website said today.