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Big blow for Team New Zealand as another challenger withdraws

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 2 Jul 2019, 12:11PM
Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton. Photo / Photosport
Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton. Photo / Photosport

Big blow for Team New Zealand as another challenger withdraws

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 2 Jul 2019, 12:11PM

The next America's Cup has suffered another blow with the withdrawal of Dutch Sail from the event in Auckland in 2021.

The Dutch entry today confirmed it has withdrawn due to financial constraints, leaving just four remaining challengers, along with holder Team New Zealand.

It's the second withdrawal of a challenger in just over a month.

According to a media statement, Dutch Sail have withdrawn as they do not have enough time to raise funds to be competitive with the radical - yet expensive - designs for the AC75 monohulls introduced by Team NZ.

Dutch Sail skipper Simeon Tienpont told Newshub after spending nine months trying to raise money, his team wouldn't be able to stump up the required funds, believed to be tens of millions of dollars, to be competitive.

"This was our chance to do it for Holland and show you could put it together as a country, not just one rich man," Tienpont said.

"We were just not able to raise enough money and getting a title sponsor was the biggest issue. Dutch see it as a sport for the elite, but New Zealand has taken that away - they're the water cowboys that show you don't need to have a billionaire to do it."

Simeon Tienpont, skipper of Dutch Sail. Photo / Photosport
Simeon Tienpont, skipper of Dutch Sail. Photo / Photosport

The latest withdrawal means only four challengers - Luna Rossa, Ineos, American Magic, and Stars and Stripes - remain, following a similar decision in May by Malta Altus.

"This is a disappointing outcome," Team NZ boss Grant Dalton said in a statement shortly after Malta Altus' withdrawal.

"The Malta Altus Challenge had a strong foundation with some highly experienced and reputable America's Cup personnel linked to the team.

"So, for them to pull out is not just a shame for the event but also for those people that have worked so hard trying to get this challenge to the start line. We hope they will continue to build on their foundation over the next 18 months with a view to the future and challenging for the 37th America's Cup."

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