Eelco Blok was formerly CEO of Dutch telecoms provider KPN

Eelco Blok, a former CEO of Dutch telecoms provider KPN, has been named managing director of DutchSail, the company behind the Dutch challenger in the 36th America’s Cup in 2021.

Simeon Tienpoint, the skipper of the Dutch entry and two-time America’s Cup winner, said Blok was “the one and only person on our shortlist.”

Blok said he welcomed the opportunity to “combine my leadership and management experience, with my everlasting devotion for high-level sports, especially regatta sailing.”

Blok’s appointment takes effect March 1. He will remain an advisor at Reggeborgh Group, a private Dutch investment company

Last month, Emirates Team New Zealand, holder of the America’s Cup, accepted a Dutch challenger for the 36th AC to be held in 2021. The Dutch entry raised the number of challengers to 6: 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 seven teams, the most since the 2007 event in Valencia, Spain.