Americas Cup 2017 teams – SoftBank Team Japan
Kiwi Dean Barker is the team CEO and skipper of SoftBank Team Japan and is competing in his 6th America’s Cup. Five years after making his America’s Cup debut at age of 26 he steered Team New Zealand to victory in 2000. Barker, son of the well-known New Zealand multi-millionaire Ray Barker of the Barkers Clothing retail chain, sailed from an early age, and defected from the New Zealand Team Emirates after a well publicized fall out with the owner to move to the newly founded Japanese syndicate in 2015.
SoftBank Team Japan, backed by huge communications company SoftBank Corporation and the Kansai Yacht Club, is the Japanese Challenger for the 35th America’s Cup and the first Japanese flagged challenger since 2000. Barker has teamed up with veteran Japanese sailor Kazuhiko “Fuku” Sofuku, who is competing in his 4th Americas Cup and is probably the best sailor Japan has ever produced. Barker and Sofuku are then backed by a multi-national collaboration of sailors, boatbuilders, and support crew.
SoftBank Team Japan opened their Royal Dockyard HQ about a year ago with a sake toast, and have integrated well into the island and practiced hard on the Great Sound giving the popular Japanese team every chance of winning the ultimate prize.
Major sponsors: SoftBank, Yamaha, Argus