Sail 2015 under financial threats: report

A fight has erupted between the organization of Sail 2015, some former partners and a former board member of the renowned five-yearly event in the port of Amsterdam. 

An urgent letter to Mayor Van der Laan warns of a financial disaster, for which the capital will possibly have to pay. This is based on documents in De Telegraaf's possession.

The documents warn the mayor of an application for "millions of euros extra subsidy" needed for all ocean clippers to enter the IJ again next summer, De Telegraaf reports. Since the municipality has already stated that no additional subsidy will be provided, the whole sailing festival may be undermined.

Van der Laan says that he is aware of the concerns that exist among different stakeholders and that there will soon be a discussion over this matter, De Telegraaf reports.

The letter to the mayor was written last month by an experienced former director of Sail, former ING executive Hans Verkoren, who was the consecutive treasurer and chairman involved in six Sail editions. According to him the organization is behind in the acquisition of income while the money is sloshing out on all sides.

Verkoren says that 1.5 million euro has already been spent on expensive staff costs and external consultants, including 70 thousand euro for the a new logo (a sailboat in the form of an A) designed for the event. The main sponsors of the nautical event, including ING and the State Lottery, have only paid 500 thousand euros for participation, while Sail originally indented for the parties to bring triple the fee.

Despite all this the Sail organization describes the warnings in the letter as "a collection of half and whole untruths." According to Sail chairman, Arie Jan de Waard, the current organization is ahead of schedule compared to Sail 2010. Thanks to the efforts of volunteers, the costs of the current organization is also significantly lower than the previous edition.

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