Second-place skipper to be replaced by silver-medallist?

Team New Zealand is refusing to confirm rumours that it intends to sack Dean Barker as helmsman.

It remains unclear whether Barker will get another opportunity to lose the Americas Cup, or whether Olympian Peter Burling will take his place.

Barker was at the helm of Team New Zealand when it lost the Americas Cup in 2003. He was also in charge when Team New Zealand lost in 2007. He made it a treble of tragedies by again losing in 2013.

Insiders from within Team New Zealand are now saying that Barker will not get a second shot at coming second, and that his days of basking in the glory of being runner-up at the big event may be over.

It is not clear whether Barker will stay with Team New Zealand if he is dumped, or whether he will look to join another team. Barker’s vast Americas Cup experience, plus his reputation as always finishing somewhere between third and first, make him a potentially valuable asset for any syndicate looking to do moderately well in the event.

Peter Burling is the most logical candidate to take over from Barker. A silver medallist at the 2012 Olympics, he is ideally placed to continue Team New Zealand’s recent history as runner-up.

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