Omega, Official Timekeeper and Principal Partner of The Transat 2004, was pleased to announce that the brand's star ambassador, Anna Kournikova, went to Plymouth to give the official start of The Transat 2004. At 1400hrs BST on 31 May 2004, Anna waved off the largest professional fleet that this gruelling transatlantic yacht race has ever seen.
A great fan of adventure and extreme sports, Anna made the most of her Bank Holiday Monday visit to The Transat Race Village at the Plymouth Yacht Haven. Having survived a thrilling ride down the Olympic Bobsleigh Run in St. Moritz earlier this year, her next challenge was a unique sailing lesson with fellow Omega ambassador Ellen MacArthur on board an Open 50 class racing yacht in the morning. As the Open 60 class winner of the Europe1 NewMan STAR in 2000 (as The Transat was then known), Ellen was undoubtedly one of the best teachers Anna Kournikova could have hoped for and one of the best placed people to explain what was going through the skippers' minds as they prepared to depart.
Having put her navigational skills to the test and gained a unique insight into the race from an insider, Anna moved on to the Swan Fan Makkum berthed at the Plymouth Yacht Haven for a photocall with Ellen MacArthur, after which they boarded HMS Tyne, the Royal Navy vessel that was moored on the official start line for the race. There they were ideally placed to watch the last few seconds tick away on the Omega countdown clock before Anna gave the official start and both cheer the 40 skippers in the Formula 1 of sailing as they headed off for their ultimate destination of Boston.
The Transat 2004 winners and the skippers who set the 24-hour record in the monohull and multihull categories will each be presented with special Omega Seamaster Transat watches. Worn by Ellen MacArthur and Dean Barker, the Seamaster divers' watch is the cornerstone of Omega's communication in sailing. Having evolved from over 70 years of experience in producing watches for the extreme ocean environment, the Omega Seamaster is the watch of choice for those who live their life for the sea.