News detail

1 February 2007

St. Moritz 2007


Omega, Official Timekeeper of the 2007 FIBT World Championships, offers “Sailors on Ice” Ellen MacArthur, Russell Coutts and Mateusz Kusznierewicz a thrilling ride down world-famous Olympia Bob Run in St. Moritz.

Biel, Switzerland. February 2, 2007. Swiss luxury watchmaker and leading sports timekeeper Omega takes a prominent role in St. Moritz again this year as Official Timekeeper of the 2007 FIBT World Championships, the bobsleigh and skeleton season’s most prestigious competition. To celebrate the occasion and the brand’s unique relationship with the city of St. Moritz, Omega has invited a selection of the world’s top sailors to St. Moritz, where “Sailors on Ice” including Ellen MacArthur, Russell Coutts and Mateusz Kusznierewicz will climb aboard a bobsleigh for a thrilling ride down the world-famous Olympia Bob Run from St. Moritz to Celerina.

St. Moritz, considered the birthplace of the sport of bobsleigh (the first “Bobsleigh Club” was founded in the exclusive Swiss resort in 1897), boasts the only natural-ice track still used in international competitions. Because its natural ice channel is built anew each year, the St. Moritz course offers an exciting and unpredictable challenge to the athletes, who normally compete on artificial-ice tracks. The Olympia Bob Run St. Moritz/Celerina, built in 1904, has since required only minor modifications in its course, and only then to accommodate sleds travelling at increasingly hair-raising speeds. The 1722-meter track descends 130 meters in altitude through hairpin turns and curves with such picturesque names as “Snake Corner”, “Devil’s Dyke Corner” and the famous “Horse-Shoe”, where the athletes experience up to 5 times the force of gravity as they speed through the curve.

Omega and St. Moritz have been closely linked in the public eye ever since Omega served as Official Timekeeper at the first post-war Olympic Winter Games, held in St. Moritz in 1948. As the Official Timekeeper at 22 Olympic Games since 1932, Omega has unparalleled experience in sports timekeeping, and has created a special event to highlight its long-term relationship with sports and St. Moritz. At last year’s Omega Bobsleigh Cup, held during the FIBT World Cup in St. Moritz, its “Swimmers on Ice” event highlighted the luxury watch brand’s role as official timekeeper at world championship swimming events. This year, in view of the upcoming America’s Cup, Omega has chosen to recall its well-known involvement in sailing. In St. Moritz, world-class sailors Ellen MacArthur, Russell Coutts and Mateusz Kusznierewicz will be offered a thrill of a different kind as they become “Sailors on Ice” and compete in the Omega Bobsleigh Cup, set for February 2nd during the 2007 FIBT World Championships. Ellen MacArthur, Russell Coutts and Mateusz Kusznierewicz serve as Omega brand ambassadors, helping to promote both the sport of sailing and the role of precision sports timing in making world championship competitions as compelling as they are.

As Official Timekeeper, Omega has clocked bob teams on the St. Moritz run at speeds of more than 145 km/hr – fast enough to give even seasoned professionals an unforgettable thrill. To ensure delivery of precise and reliable race times and results throughout the 2007 FIBT World Championships, Omega has installed its most advanced sports timekeeping systems, capable of measuring race times accurate to 1/1000th of a second. Paired infra-red photo cells at sixteen different points along the run enable Omega systems to deliver start, finish and intermediate times and top speeds from all the races. Race times, results and rankings are provided in real time to on-venue displays, the press, broadcast media, the internet and directly to TV screens, allowing a world-wide public to participate in the thrills and unparalleled excitement of the 2007 FIBT World Championships.

OMEGA, Swiss Timing, and the Swatch Group

Omega is the Official Timekeeper for a broad range of professional sports disciplines, including the Olympic Games. A long-term agreement between the International Olympic Committee and Swatch Group, Ltd, calls for the company to provide timekeeping and measurement services and official competition results at the upcoming Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and London 2012 Olympic Games. Swiss Timing is the Swatch Group Company whose expertise enables Omega to provide timekeeping services at all sports events.