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America's Cup: DutchSail gaining momentum

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz 1 Apr 14:07 PDT 2 April 2019
Eelco Blok (CEO) and Simeon Tienpont (Skipper) - America's Cup - DutchSail visit Auckland, February 15, 2019 © Richard Gladwell

As payment deadlines come and go in the 36th America's Cup, the DutchSail team have issued a media statement indicating that the team is making progress towards achieving a build deadline.

Yesterday (NZDT), the three late entry teams were required to pay an instalment of their late entry fee of USD$250,000. The Performance Bond of USD$1million is required from all Late Entry teams by April 30. In previous Cups, the Bond does not have to be a cash payment but can be a documentary Bond.

The media statement issued by DutchSail follows a crowdfunding proposal released by the team last week, calling for pledges of €100 a month for 24 months from fans and supporters. The funds would not be drawn unless it was determined that the Challenger would proceed.

The DutchSail statement confirms that the financial hurdles ahead of the team (and indeed all Late Entry teams) are substantial, and indeed construction of their AC75 probably needs to have started by June 1, 2018.

That date implies that the design must be completed to a stage sufficient for the hull construction to be commenced. The easy solution to that dilemma is to purchase the basic design package on offer from Emirates Team NZ. However, that involves the outlay of around $5million, which in a phase of the Cup (for the Late Challengers) where Cashflow is King, makes their task even more difficult.

However the purchase of the Kiwi plans does mean that the hull shape is determined, the foiling arms and the ancillary kit is supplied and will fit the basic design. The key areas to be resolved are the foils to be attached to the foil arms and the aileron on the rudder (both of which presumably are already contained in the ETNZ package, and could be built either as designed or modified).

The statement issued earlier this morning from DutchSail reads: Pressure is on the DutchSail team as they put together the funding for their Dutch entry in the America’s Cup. As the moment of truth is at hand, currents have gained momentum in the past days.

Eelco Blok, general manager DutchSail: “We started in November with a backlog, and we are working hard to make up lost ground. It will be incredibly exciting to put together the funding. We are facing killer deadlines, but as long as there are chances, we won’t give up”.

Simeon Tienpont states that the main pressure is on the planning and construction of the boat, and on building the team: “We have to get down to work with the boat and the team; we cannot delay any longer. We need to take the water.”

The America’s Cup is considered the first international sports event and was originally awarded in 1851 by the Royal Yacht Squadron for a race around the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom. The cup is named after the first winning yacht, the America. The America’s Cup is not only a test of sailing skill but also innovation in competitive yachting - breakthrough innovations that continue to shape the global maritime and aeronautical industries.

For the first time in the 167 years of history of the “Auld Mug”, initiated by Simeon Tienpont, the Dutch syndicate by the name of DutchSail signed up with the winner of the 35th America’s Cup - The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. In March 2021 the contestants will compete in the 36th edition in Auckland. The Kiwi defender laid down the AC75 boat design. The distinctive characteristic of the design is the 75-foot monohull with a canting foil, which makes the boat fly over the water on a single hydrofoil with a speed up to 80 km per hour.

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