America’s Cup sets a stage for Netherlands Inc.

AUCKLAND _ Officials of DutchSail, the group behind the Dutch entry in the next America’s Cup, have visited New Zealand to meet organizers of the 36th AC final there in 2021. They toured the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron yacht club and stared at the ‘Auld Mug’ they dream of winning.

“It’s unbelievable what has been done so far here in Auckland,” to make a success of the next America’s Cup, said DutchSail Managing Director Eelco Blok. Back home, Frank van den Wall Bake, a sports sponsoring and marketing veteran, has been named strategic adviser of the Dutch AC entry. It is his job to position the Netherlands as a global maritime nation by bringing together corporations and knowledge and innovation centers.

The AC, he says, not just another sailing event. “The foils make the boats fly almost and that means hydro-dynamics and aero-dynamics both play a role. And that calls for specialist knowhow and expertise. This is a project costing tens of millions. It’ll only work if we rally a collective input. From companies, knowledge centers and sailing expertise. This is not a sponsoring but a business proposition. Dutch maritime companies need to step forward and fuse into a collective. The knowledge we have is peerless.”

Simeon Tienpont, 37, will anchor the Dutch team. He has competed in multiple Volvo Ocean Race and America’s Cup events. The Dutch team also includes US-based Dirk Kramers, a designer with a long history of AC campaigns, including 7 winners. Carolijn Brouwer, who served on Dongfeng Race Team, winner of the 2017-18 VOR, will helm the Dutch AC entry.

The Dutch entry represents the Royal Netherlands Yacht Club, based near Amsterdam, and the Royal Maas Yacht Club in Rotterdam. There are 5 other challengers: Luna Rossa (Italy), American Magic, INEOS Team UK, Malta Altus Challenge, Stars & Stripes Team (VS).
The 36th AC will be raced in the new AC75, a monohull with retractable foils. The Dutch AC75 will be launched in November 2019, followed by a 2nd AC75 in March 2020. The AC World Series will be raced off Scheveningen in summer 2020.

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