When it comes to the fate of Team New Zealand and/or Dean Barker, Alf couldn’t give a toss.
Hence he was sublimely indifferent to news that the former Team NZ skipper had signed with a Russian mob, Team Nika, to compete in this year’s RC44 series.
Since being replaced as Team NZ skipper last week, Barker has not (so far as Alf is aware) announced whether he’ll accept the offer of a non-sailing role with Team New Zealand for the 2017 America’s Cup in Bermuda.
But he has said he is a sailor and he wants a sailing job. Or words to that effect.
There other things to do in the meantime, while a feller makes up his mind, and:
Barker has now been signed up by the Russian team for the five-regatta single hull series.
The RC44 series website has Barker as Team Nika’s new tactician.
He’ll be sailing with another Team New Zealand crew member Jeremy Lomas, and another long-serving countryman Sean Clarkson.
The series starts in Malta at the end of this month.
Having absorbed this information, Alf was sated.
But not the conspiracy-hunting Morning Report team.
What can this mean?
The simple thing to do is ring Dean Barker and ask him but maybe he was not available.
Radio NZ should have left matters there until he did become available.
Instead they whistled in Peter Lester, a yachting commentator, to be questioned by Susie Ferguson.
Lester knows his stuff and was able to tell us that Barker’s signing on to race with a Russian crew in the RC44 series didn’t mean a helluva lot and didn’t mean he was leaving Team New Zealand.
But that’s not the Morning Report way of doing things.
At 1m.21s into the item Susie said:
And Dean Barker has been saying he wants to keep on sailing so this ultimately keeps his hand on the tiller.
Yeah, absolutely said Lester.
It’s not unusual.
At 1m 55c Susie felt compelled to observe:
So doesn’t that, though, tell us something that he is indicating if nothing else with this decision that … he’s demonstrating that he wants to keep on sailing – that this is where he sees his future?
Yeah, it was a somewhat convoluted question.
Dunno what sort of a fucking answer she expected to get.
Lester patiently reminded the radio audience (without reminding her of what she had said just half a minute earlier) that this is what Barker has said all along.
He wants to keep sailing, he wants to keep competing, he enjoys the challenge on the water.
We get the message, Mr Lester.
Dunno about Susie.