Anna Kournikova, the Russian tennis player, will start the Transat 2004

Omega, Official Timekeeper and Principal Partner of The Transat 2004, is pleased to announce that the brand’s star ambassador Anna Kournikova, the Russian tennis player, will start the Transat 2004. At 1400hrs BST on 31 May 2004, Kournikova will wave off the largest professional fleet that this gruelling transatlantic yacht race has ever seen.

A great fan of adventure and extreme sports, Kournikova aims to make 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 will be a sailing lesson with fellow Omega ambassador Ellen MacArthur on board an Open 50 in the morning. As the Open 60 class winner of the Europe1 NewMan STAR in 2000 (as The Transat was then known), MacArthur is undoubtedly one of the best teachers Kournikova could hope for and one of the best placed people to explain what will be going through the skippers’ minds as they prepare to depart.

Having put her navigational skills to the test and gained a unique insight into the race from an insider, Kournikova will then head for the startline aboard HMS Tyne, the Royal Navy vessel that will be moored on the official start line of the race. From there, she will be ideally placed to watch the last few seconds tick away on the Omega countdown clock before the start.

The Transat 2004 winners and the skippers that set the 24-hour record in the monohull and multihull categories will each be presented with special Omega Seamaster Transat watches.