Natalie Coughlin, OMEGA Ambassador and Bay Area Native, joined Emirates Team New Zealand crew as the “sixth man” at the America’s Cup World Series.
No stranger to the water, Coughlin, a 12-time Olympic Swimming Champion, did not need her aquatic finesse this time around. As the “sixth man”, Coughlin had a front row seat to all of the action. “I was extremely excited to be here and learn firsthand about these amazing boats and see the athletes in action,” said Coughlin. “It was incredible how the team moved around with such balance and power, while I was just trying to hang on and not fall overboard. What an experience.”
In the rough and unforgiving waters of the Bay, Coughlin and Team New Zealand recovered from a slow start to finish 6th place on Friday’s race.
It was luxury watchmaker OMEGA’s mutual partnership with both Coughlin and Team New Zealand that brought Coughlin to the America’s Cup World Series. OMEGA has a longtime connection to the sea, having produced the first divers’ watch and the only wristwatch that received marine chronometer certification.
The brand’s long-term partnership with Team New Zealand started with Sir Peter Blake’s (New Zealand’s yachtman) America’s Cup campaign in 1995. Since 2001, OMEGA has honored Sir Peter’s legacy with its support for Emirates Team New Zealand’s America’s Cup skipper Dean Barker.
Next year, OMEGA will again serve as the Official Timekeeper for the Emirates Team New Zealand in the America’s Cup Finals in San Francisco from September 7-22, 2013.
No word yet on whether Coughlin will return in 2013. Surely the OMEGA ambassador will have another front row seat on the Emirates Team New Zealand racing yacht if she chooses.