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Former America's Cup skipper David Barnes farewelled in Auckland

Former America's Cup skipper David Barnes has been farewelled this afternoon after dying aged 62 last week.

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Barnes’ 470 partner Hamish Wilcox, who he won three world titles with, was one of many to speak about the sailor. Source: 1 NEWS

Barnes skippered KZ1 in the Cup in 1988, when off the water dramas reached fever pitch but today he was also being remembered for his numerous world sailing titles, his innovation and special feel for whatever boat he sailed.

Among those to speak in Auckland was Hamish Wilcox, who alongside Barnes became the first Kiwis to win a world title in an Olympic class when the sailed the 470, before going on to claim three world championships in the early 1980s.

Wilcox said Barnes’ reach is being felt everywhere.

“For five days, I’ve been receiving messages from people he's touched, in a positive way, people who respected and honoured what he did because he was a pioneer,” Wilcox said.

Fellow Kiwi sailors Murray Jones and Peter Nicholas also spoke fondly of Barnes.

“He contributed lots of innovation, what's why we moved ahead so much, laid the foundation for what we have now,” Murray said.

“The feel, his whole concept of the boat, was so geared to speed, so geared to winning and so geared to feel,” Nicholas added.

Barnes is survived by his wife Karen and their three children.