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America's Cup: DutchSail launches appeal for public backing

by Richard Gladwell/ 23 Mar 16:35 PDT 24 March 2019
Simeon Tienpont - DutchSail walkabout on the America's Cup bases - February 15, 2019 © Richard Gladwell

America's Cup Challenger, DutchSail has announced a crowdfunding campaign to supplement other fundraising and sponsorship for the first America's Cup Challenge from The Netherlands.

The team have gone to Dutch individuals and corporates looking for a promise of 100 euros per month for 24 months. The shares will be held on behalf of the team by the DutchSail Foundation.

The concept is similar to that used by Peter Blake and Martin Foster to get New Zealand's first Whitbread Race boat into the 1981/82 event.

Over 400 companies, yacht clubs and individuals made a set cash undertaking to provide funding for Ceramco New Zealand, alongside major sponsors and suppliers.

A similar response to the Dutch appeal would tip €1million into the DutchSail team coffers. At the time New Zealand's population was just 18% of the current Dutch population, and the Netherlands are arguably the world's leading sailing nation. On that level of response the DutchSail Foundation would hold €5million for the team.

A variation on the theme was used by Grant Dalton to fund his Whitbread maxi NZ Endeavour which won the 1993/94 Whitbread Round the World Race.

Skipper and CEO, Simeon Tienpont says the funds will not be drawn down unless the team are able to see their way through the Challenge - a decision that will be made on April 1, when the team says a registration fee must be paid.

Tienpont told leading Dutch sailing journal Zeilen: “We have to take a bump these days, and then everything starts to gain momentum, because the campaign is ready. But it is a difficult bump. April 1, registration fees must be paid, but of course that is behind the fact that we have to take on tough commitments in purchasing design and start building the boat. You can pay a registration fee, but if you were then unable to build the boat, you should not have registered. The bump is the amount that we have to undertake in terms of obligations.

Tienpont explains how the program will work: “Behind the scenes we are working feverishly to secure the financing of the entire campaign. With governments, in the maritime sector, the knowledge and innovation partner, and with institutions, funds, founding fathers and with private individuals. All in all it looks great, but what we can now use well is that a large group of private individuals say: I am participating now. I sign up for DutchSail certificates! We want to give that final boost with a large group of enthusiastic private individuals. Yes, those individuals are going to make the difference. "

"The certificates cost 100 euros per month for 24 months. So you pay a total of 2400 euros," he told Zeilen. "That is a hefty sum, but it can mean that the Netherlands will soon participate in the battle for the oldest sports trophy in the world!"

“We will only start collecting after 1 April, so after we have decided that the campaign can continue. Everyone can register, but there are actually no risks.

”Fortunately, you also get a lot back for your investment. Your name will soon appear on the Dutch AC75 , you will have access to the team base, you will receive exclusive merchandise and even more.

Like the Ceramco NZ the team are offering a very attractive package for investors, which interestingly includes a discounted package for the America's Cup World Series Event to be held in Scheveningen

You can read the details and see the certificate of undertaking on the DutchSail site

The full benefits package is as follows:
• Access to the annual meeting of certificate holders
• Attribution on the Dutch AC75
• Special Merchandise - only for certificate holders or team members; not . commercially available
• Access to Team Base
• Exclusive 2x a year reception with presentation / lecture
• Priority and discount on ACWS package in Scheveningen
• Access to DutchSail Community
• Own community with login
• Regular updates on AC36

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