WELLINGTON (Reuters) – The 2021 America’s Cup regatta suffered another blow with a syndicate from the Netherlands withdrawing their challenge on Monday, citing a lack of time to raise funds for their campaign.
The withdrawal of the DutchSail syndicate follows that of a challenge from Malta in late May.
“Despite having received such strong backing from the local marine industry and interest from a number of commercial entities they (DutchSail) have decided the clock has wound down for them to launch an effective challenge in 2021,” organizers said in a statement on Monday.
Organizers added that the Long Beach Yacht Club, which is backing the Stars & Stripes syndicate, remained committed to continue their challenge.
“We appreciate the continued support of LBYC and its membership, and the assistance of Team New Zealand and the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, over the past few months as we have reorganized our team,” said skipper Mike Buckley.
“We continue to make progress with corporate partners, and believe we will have what it takes to be competitive in Auckland.”
Stars & Stripes were one of three late challengers, along with Malta and the Dutch, for sport’s oldest trophy, but have had to fend off suggestions since April it may withdraw.
Just four challenging syndicates — from Britain, Italy and two from the United States — remain in contention to challenge holders Team New Zealand at the 2021 regatta in Auckland.
Writing by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Peter Rutherford