Dean Barker named skipper and CEO of SoftBank Team Japan

Dean Barker has been named as chief executive and skipper of the SoftBank Team Japan America's Cup sailing challenger.

The New Zealander, who has 15 years of America's Cup experience, having sailed in four Cup matches, winning the prestigious competition with Team New Zealand in 2000, will lead the Japanese challengers efforts in the America's Cup World Series, which begins in Portsmouth, UK, this July. He will aim to lead the team in the America's Cup itself, which will take place in June 2017 between defenders Oracle Team USA and the winners of the 2017 Louis Vuitton Cup.

SoftBank Team Japan was confirmed as a challenger earlier this month.

The 43-year-old will lead a squad of some 40 sailors in an effort being funded partly by SoftBank and its founder and chief executive Masayoshi Son, said to be Japan's wealthiest man, and partly by Larry Ellison's defending Oracle team.

Barker skippered Team New Zealand's last three America's Cup efforts but left the team earlier this year.