The ISAF Team Racing World Championship has begun in Schull, Ireland with twenty teams battling it out in the Youth and Open Championship.
Teams from Australia, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Spain, Thailand and the USA are all in the Irish Village for the Championship and locals greeted them on Sunday in traditional manner with a parade of nations.
The official opening ceremony took place on Tuesday night and was opened by ISAF Vice President Tomasz Holc (POL), President of the Irish Sailing Association Niamh McCutcheon, Deputy Mayor of Cork County Council Cllr. Dermot Sheehan, Assistant County Manager Theresa White, Chairman of the Organising Committee Tim O'Connor and Chairman of the Western Committee Cork County Council Cllr. Declan Hurley.
View some images from a picturesque and interesting parade of nations here.
The 2011 ISAF Team Racing World Championship is the ninth edition of the ISAF Team Racing World Championship. Each team consists of three crews of two competitors and each team must include a minimum of one female competitor. All team members entering the Youth Competition must be under 19 years of age on 31 December 2011.
With seven out of eight wins GBR1 and USA1 currently lead the Open Competition. USA1 features Stu McNay who recently competed with Graham Biehl in the Men's 470 at the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta. The pair came down in 11th but McNay's attentions are now on the ISAF Team Racing Worlds and with his team of Zachary Brown, Emmet Smith, Peter Levesque, Marla Menninger and Michael Hession they have an early advantage.
Spain have taken an early advantage in the youth championship after they recorded five wins out of five so far. Every member of the Spanish team recently sailed at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship in Zadar, Croatia. Carlos Robles and Florian Trittel won gold in the 29er and Jordi Xammar and Alex Claville picked up gold in the 420 Boys. Adriana Rhodes and Lucia Brugman came tenth in the 420 Girls. With the team knowing what it takes to win they will certainly be up there come the end of the championship.
World Youth Finals take place on Saturday and World Open Finals and Prizegiving Ceremony on Sunday, September 4.
A full report from the opening day of sailing in Schull will follow shortly.
Keep up-to-date on everything from Schull here.