Russell Coutts helped plot Dean Barker's downfall at the last America's Cup but the former Team New Zealand teammate is the reason why Barker has a new job.

After a falling out with Team New Zealand in March, Barker announced yesterday that he will be the skipper and CEO of newly formed Japanese challenge, Softbank Team Japan.

Barker, who lifted the America's Cup with Coutts in 2000, confirmed today that the Oracle team boss approached him about the job.

"Russell Coutts was he the one that phoned and asked you to consider this," Paul Henry asked Barker this morning.


"Yeah he was," Barker answered.

"Obviously the team got up and running and Fuku [Kazuhiko Sofuku] was appointed as general manager of the team. With that they organised a challenge and there was the opportunity to take on not only skippering the boat, which I want to be doing, but also to lead the team," Barker said.

Barker made it clear that he was not working for Oracle.

"It's a new Japanese team, it's called Softbank Team Japan and it will be its own stand-alone entity," he told Paul Henry.

Barker said that Oracle will support Team Japan to get his new team up and running. The America's Cup champions will also provide a boat and shore support first world series event in Portsmouth.

In a further sign of co-operation between the two syndicates, Barker was this morning photographed alongside Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill in Bermuda ahead of a day of testing in the new foiling AC45 boats.

Who would have thought.. #mates #letsgetdalton

A photo posted by Jimmy Spithill (@jspithill) on

Barker's first task in his new role is a daunting one. He has two months to assemble his sailing team and get them up to speed in the new AC45 foiling catamarans.

Barker told the Herald the intention was to have a Japanese influence in the team, but he has not ruled out the possibility of former teammates or other Kiwi sailors joining him.

"We're still in the process of looking how it all comes together," he said.

Dean Barker on collision course with Dalton
Dean Barker named skipper of Japanese team

"We have to look at the specific roles we need to fill, I certainly won't discount anyone."
Team Japan will soon take possession of their own AC45, which has just been converted at Oracle's Warkworth boat-building operation for the world series events. The syndicate will then hold trials in Japan to look at the local sailing talent on offer.

Japan has contested three America's Cups " in 1992, 1995 and 2000 " but has no history in the new multi-hull game.

But America's Cup authorities last month introduced cost-cutting measures last month that included the move to smaller 48-foot foiling catamarans.

Barker said that made it easier for teams to get up to speed more quickly.

"The changes ... have made the entry a lot more affordable in America's Cup terms, so it means teams can come in at a later stage and be competitive."