OMEGA AND THE AMERICA’S CUP

In 1995, Team New Zealand, led by Peter Blake, won the America’s Cup in San Diego and took sport’s oldest trophy home. In 2000 and 2003, the team defended the Cup in Auckland and at those editions, OMEGA was on hand as Official Timekeeper of the America’s Cup.

With a rich heritage and tradition dating back to 1851, the America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in sport. Long before the first modern Olympic Games was held in Athens in 1896, the world’s best sailors were competing for what has been described as the most difficult trophy in any sport to win. Consider that in the 162 years since the first America’s Cup race was held off the English coast, teams from only four nations have claimed the Cup.

OMEGA can trace its history back even further than that first edition of the America’s Cup. It’s unlikely that the founders imagined, as they sat in their landlocked workshops in Switzerland’s Jura Mountains, that Switzerland would one day be among the countries to have a winning entry in the world’s most famous sailing race.

1995 was the year of the Kiwi. Led by OMEGA brand ambassador, Sir Peter Blake, New Zealand’s Black Magic won the America’s Cup in San Diego, and trophy was returned to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time since 1987.

Team New Zealand would successfully defend the cup in the 2000 edition and at that one, as well as at the 2003 race, OMEGA was on hand as Official Timekeeper.

At the 2000 edition, Russell Coutts was skipper in the first four races and the Kiwis took a 4-0 lead over Italy’s Prada challenger. The fifth heat was skippered by Dean Barker and at the age of 27, he became the youngest skipper to win the America’s Cup.

In 2003, Russell Coutts and many of his Team New Zealand colleagues announced that they were joining a new team being assembled in Switzerland – a nation not known for ocean sailing.

The new challenger, christened Alinghi, would go on to defeat ETNZ in the final, sweeping the match 5-0 and in doing so, taking the America’s Cup to Europe for the first time.

OMEGA had served as Official Timekeeper at both the America’s Cup competitions in New Zealand and, with its enthusiastic support of ETNZ in 2013, looks forward to seeing one of the most coveted trophies in sport returned to Auckland.

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