The 39th edition of the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship was declared officially open at a samba-spirited Opening Ceremony held in Buzios, Brazil this evening.
ISAF Vice-President Eric TULLA (PUR) declared the 2009 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship officially open as double Youth Worlds gold medallist and 2007 RS:X World Champion Ricardo SANTOS
(BRA) took responsibility for the symbolic hoisting of the ISAF Flag. Starting from tomorrow, almost 300 sailors from 60 nations will compete on the beautiful Bay of Buzios in search of glory in the seven Youth Worlds events.
The final act of the Opening Ceremony followed typically Brazilian welcome. A samba beat provided by a local marching band accompanied the sailors as they paraded down Buzios' famous Rua das Pedras, arriving in the town square to complete the ceremony.
Bruno MARQUES, chairman of the Organizing Committee, declared, "From tonight until the 17 July, Buzios will the youth world capital of sailing! Sailors, officials"
Carlos Luiz Martins PEREIRA SOUZA, President of the Confederacao Brasileira de Vela e Motor, paid tribute to the supporters and organizers of the event, before highlighting the crucial social and cultural role of the championship, "This afternoon at the yacht club in Buzios I was looking at all of the different sails and colours. And I watched sailors from all around the world, exchanging ideas, encouraging and assisting one another. It reminder me that these championships extend beyond sport and help us all towards a better future."
The Major, Mirinho BRAGA, welcomed the sailors to the City of Buzios, whilst Marcia LINS, Secretary for Tourism and Sport at the Rio de Janeiro state, spoke about Rio's bid for the 2016 Olympic Games, saying, "I'd love to welcome you back here in 2016!"
Following on from the official speeches, the Mixing of the Waters ceremony took place. This Youth Worlds tradition requires every competing nation to bring a bottle of water from their home, which are then all mixed together as the nations are introduced. The ceremony began with 16 year old Ireneu PLA PUIGSUBIRA
representing Andorra, one of three new nations competing at this year's Youth Worlds, and ended with a huge ovation for the Brazilian team.
In his speech before declaring the Championship open, Tulla paid tribute to the support the Volvo Ocean Race, with this year marking their tenth as title sponsor of the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship. He also thanked the city of Buzios, the Rio de Janeiro state and the Confederacao Brasileira de Vela e Motor for their support of this year's Championship. He reserved his final address for the competitors at this year's championship, "I wish that you sail hard, make friends and sail like there's no tomorrow."
Racing gets underway in Buzios tomorrow, with two races scheduled across each of the seven Youth Worlds events. Keep up to date with all the latest updates at www.isafyouthworlds.com