America's Cup 2021: Dutch Sail withdraws challenge for Auckland

Newshub can confirm another team has pulled out of the America's Cup, leaving just four remaining challengers.

Dutch Sail from the Netherlands say they ran out of time to raise enough money, but don't blame Team New Zealand's radical and expensive boat design.

Dutch Sail skipper Simeon Tienpont says the team are hugely disappointed they won’t be on the start-line in 2021.

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

Despite working tirelessly for nine months, the team simply ran out of time to find the tens of millions of dollars needed to compete.

"We were just not able to raise enough money and getting a title sponsor was the biggest issue," says Tienpont, a two-time America's Cup winner with Oracle Team USA.

Team New Zealand have been criticised for their revolutionary foiling mono-hull design, but Tienpont says the AC75s were the biggest selling point for potential sponsors.

"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."

Dutch Sail skipper Simeon Tienpont.
Dutch Sail skipper Simeon Tienpont. Photo credit: Getty

Four teams are a certainty to be on the 2021 start-line - Team New Zealand, Luna Rossa, Ineos Team UK and American Magic.

Of the late entries, Dutch Sail joins Team Malta, who are both now gone.

But the other challengers in doubt - Stars & Stripes Team USA - have confirmed their commitment to be there.

"We continue to make progress with corporate partners and believe we will have what it takes to be competitive in Auckland," says Mike Buckley, co-founder and skipper of Stars & Stripes USA.

But America’s Cup veteran and Sailing Illustrated Editor Tom Ehman doesn't believe they'll make it.

"I tell you what, talk is cheap," Ehman says. "It's going to be a tough road to hoe.. I really do hope they'll make it but it's probably more likely that I will be the next Queen of England."

Tienpont is backing Team New Zealand to successfully defend the Cup in Auckland in 2021 and says the event will be a success, despite there being fewer challengers.

"It doesn't matter how many challengers you have, it's really only about the final two teams fighting for the Cup."

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