, 2022-09-06 00:01:34,
Dean Barker helps son Matteo prepare for the final day’s racing. Photo / Dave Lintott / lintottphoto.co.nz
Among the 80-odd young sailors preparing to race in the Zespri AIMS Games’ final regatta was a familiar face.
But this time, New Zealand yachtsman Dean Barker was not in race mode. Instead, his 11-year-old son Matteo Barker was in the spotlight, racing in his first AIMS Games.
The former Team New Zealand and American Magic helmsman said he was excited to be part of the week-long tournament and to cheer on the young sailors.
“We have heard a lot about it and how cool the experience is, and we finally got to get down here.”
Barker said after getting used to the Tauranga Harbour conditions, Matteo had two good races, and made it into the gold fleet today.
He said it was “cool” all the young athletes could also spend time cheering on each other in their respective sports.
“It has been cool. We didn’t have anything like this when I was coming through. Any opportunity to get out and sail in big events like these is really cool.”
After a wet and windy start to the week for the Zespri AIMS Games yachting, Barker had some words of wisdom for the young sailors: “Keep warm and have fun.”
“It is incredible, in some of these challenging conditions – they enjoyed racing and were still having fun.”
Barker said he had never competed in Tauranga before, but he had raced against Richard…
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