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Omega – Official Timekeeper of KINGFISHER2’s Jules Verne Trophy 2003 Attempt

After her recent victory in the Route du Rhum, in which she set a new record by completing the course in 13 days, 13 hours, 47 minutes and 15 seconds, Ellen MacArthur is once again setting out to break the records: this time in a team sailing event, the Jules Verne Trophy.

Omega is the Official Timekeeper of KINGFISHER2’s attempt to break the current record.

The crew left Plymouth at 23:20 GMT last night after a 24-hour pit stop to repair the mast track before heading back to the start area 120 miles away. Conditions in the English Channel were gale force making it a difficult journey.

Omega ambassador Ellen and her crew have embarked on a challenge that is set to last from two to two and-a-half months, during which they will sail through 17 different weather systems that line the 26 000 mile course.

Their aim is to set a new record by completing the course in under 60 days. The current record was achieved in May 2002 by Frenchman, Bruno Peyron. Peyron completed the course in 64 days, 8 hours, 37 minutes and 24 seconds and achieved an average speed of 18.15 knots.

KINGFISHER2 will head straight into the north Atlantic, across the Bay of Biscay, before sailing down to the Canary Islands and then the south Atlantic. They will then pass the tip of South Africa – the Cape of Good Hope – before crossing the South Pacific. The next waypoint is the third Cape – the treacherous Cape Horn, which they will circumnavigate before heading north past the Falkland Islands, up the South American coast and finally back to the English Channel where they will hopefully set a new record.

Ellen became an OMEGA ambassador in October when she joined the brand to promote its timepieces. She was presented with the Seamaster Aqua Terra and will be wearing this watch on board KINGFISHER2.

The Jules Verne Trophy pays homage to the famous 19th Century author Jules Verne whose famous works of fiction include “Journey to the Centre of the Earth”, “20 000 Leagues Under the Sea” and – the real inspiration to this challenge – “Around the World in 80 Days”. Indeed, the concept of the Trophy is to circumnavigate the globe in the fastest time possible under sail.

Ellen is ready to take up the challenge. At only 26 years old, she has become a superstar of international maritime competition. A well as securing a series of solo victories, she has also been part of several winning crews: in 2002, her team won the Challenge Mondial Race and KINGFISHER (the monohull) came up trumps in the EDS Atlantic Challenge.

Official Timekeeper of KINGFISHER2’s Jules Verne Trophy 2003 attempt Omega looks forward to charting the progress of its ambassador Ellen MacArthur and her crew and wishes them Godspeed and every success as they begin the race.

The Swatch Group of Switzerland is the world’s largest watch manufacturer and distributor with 17 brands, as well as a global leader in microelectronics. The Swatch Group brands include Breguet, Blancpain, Glashütte Original, Jaquet-Droz, Leon Hatot, Omega, Rado, Longines, Tissot, cK watch, Pierre Balmain, Certina, Mido, Hamilton, Swatch, Flik Flak and Endura.