AUCKLAND – Emirates Team New Zealand, holder of the America’s Cup, has accepted a 6th challenger _ a Dutch entry _ for the 36th AC to be held in 2021. “The joint Royal Netherlands Yacht Club Muiden and Royal Maas Yacht Club challenge comes from one of the world’s most famous maritime nations,” said the AC defender.
The Dutch entry raises the number of challengers to 6. It joins Luna Rossa (Italy), American Magic (USA), INEOS Team UK, Malta Altus Challenge and Stars & Stripes Team USA. The 36th America’s Cup challenger round will comprise 7 teams, the most since the 2007 event in Valencia, Spain.
“This is really positive news for the Auckland event in 2021,”said Emirates Team New Zealand. “The more teams that race in the Prada Cup Challenger Selection Series, the greater the spectacle on the water and the better the economic return off the water for Auckland and New Zealand.”
The America’s Cup, the oldest trophy in international sports, dates back to 1851 when the yacht America crossed the Atlantic to take on the best of the British fleet. New Zealand has won the cup 5 times since 1988. The race has only been run 35 times in 167 years and the 36th race in 2021 will see Emirates Team New Zealand defend the ‘Auld Mug’ in a new AC75 class.
Simeon Tienpont, 37, will anchor the Dutch team. Tienpont has competed in multiple Volvo Ocean Race and America’s Cup events. He will head a Dutch entry representing the Royal Netherlands Yacht Club, based in Muiden near Amsterdam, and the Rotterdam-based Royal Maas Yacht Club.