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Dutch join armada of America's Cup challengers

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By Reuters
Dutch join armada of America's Cup challengers
FILE PHOTO: Sailing - America's Cup finals - Hamilton, Bermuda - June 26, 2017 - Emirates Team New Zealand celebrates with the America's Cup trophy after defeating Oracle Team USA. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo   -   Copyright  Mike Segar(Reuters)

LONDON (Reuters) – A Dutch team has been accepted by holders Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) as a challenger for the 36th America’s Cup, the sixth entry for the event due to be held in Auckland in 2021.

“This is really positive news … 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,” ETNZ said on Friday.

The joint challenge from the Royal Netherlands Yacht Club Muiden and Royal Maas Yacht Club will join Italy’s Luna Rossa, U.S. teams American Magic and Stars & Stripes Team USA, INEOS Team UK and Malta Altus Challenge, ETNZ said in a statement.

ETNZ gave no further detail about the Dutch challenger for the oldest trophy in international sport, which was won by the New Zealanders in Bermuda in 2017, when they beat Oracle Team USA.

With seven teams scheduled to compete in the qualifying events, which start in October 2019, the America’s Cup has attracted the most entries since 2007, when it was held in Valencia, Spain.

(Reporting by Alexander Smith; Editing by Kevin Liffey)