30 Sep 2013

Barker back home

1:03 pm on 30 September 2013

Dean Barker and several other members of Team New Zealand are back in New Zealand.

About 200 people have welcomed them at Auckland international airport on Monday morning. Many came from outside Auckland with large banners.

The challengers lost their bid for the America's Cup in San Francisco last week in a gruelling regatta that was the longest series in the Cup's history.

Barker's first words were that the team was still feeling pretty raw. He said he would dearly love to have been arriving home with the America's Cup, but Team New Zealand should go on - with or without him.

Barker said Team New Zealand does need to be involved in future racing.

He said he wants to be part of it but whether New Zealand's involvement continues is not his decision.

Fans at Auckland airport on Monday morning.

Fans at Auckland airport on Monday morning. Photo: RNZ

Another team member, Rob Waddell, said he has not made a decision about being part of another challenge. He said the team did the best it could and each day of racing was like being in an Olympic final.

Waddell, 38, will now move into a new role as the New Zealand Olympic Committees chef de mission for the Commonwealth Games next year and the Rio 2016 Olympics.