Omega ambassador Anna Kournikova today started the official countdown for Emirates Team New Zealand to the first day of the America's Cup Challenger Series regattas on 18 April 2007. The Russian beauty also trained as the "18th man" with Emirates Team New Zealand.
The 673 days remaining to the first Challenger Series regatta may seem like a long time, but it starts to look a lot less when one considers that during this period Emirates Team New Zealand need to launch two new yachts, open their base in Valencia and train to take on the world's best match racing teams. Timing is, therefore, everything - and not just out on the water. To acknowledge the importance of this, Emirates Team New Zealand's official watch supplier, Omega, invited its international ambassador Anna Kournikova to start a special countdown clock that will record every second remaining until this crucial date. After starting the clock, Anna experienced first-hand the importance of timing on the yacht as she trained as the "18th man" with the Emirates Team New Zealand crew and received a short introduction to match race sailing by the Kiwi skipper - and fellow Omega ambassador - Dean Barker.
Omega started its involvement with the America's Cup through its association with the late Sir Peter Blake for his challenge for the 1995 America's Cup. After an impressive victory in 1995 that brought the Auld Mug to New Zealand, Omega continued its involvement with the Cup as official timekeeper of the oldest competition in sport in 2000 and 2003.
Commenting on the partnership, Dean Barker confessed that "the Cup would not be the same for me without Omega, since they have been with us for ten years now. Just as I feel part of their family of ambassadors, I consider them as a part of our family, too". For his part, Stephen Urquhart stressed the importance of the event for Omega: "We are proud to be a partner of Emirates Team New Zealand and therefore continue our association with the America's Cup. Alongside the forthcoming Olympic Games in Turin and Beijing, it ranks as one of the most prestigious sporting events in our calendar. We wish Emirates Team New Zealand every success with their campaign".
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