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15 July 2005, 03:17 pm
Spectacular Start
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Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship 2005
Busan, Korea

Today, at 2000 hours the Opening Ceremony for the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship 2005 kicked off this pinnacle event in Busan, Korea, with 48 nations participating. This is the first time the Championship has been hosted in Korea, and typical Korean hospitality was prevalent throughout.
With the formal welcomes starting the celebrations, it was the role of Nam-Sik HUR, the Mayor of Busan Metropolitan City to greet the sailors from 48 nations to Busan, together with the race officials, sponsors and supporters.

ISAF President Göran PETERSSON expressed thanks to all and especially welcomed those nations participating at the ISAF Youth Worlds for the first time. Thanks were expressed to the title sponsor, Volvo, and support sponsors and to the partners in Korea who have organized the Championship, the Korean Sailing Federation, Busan Yachting Federation, The City of Busan and the Korean Sports Council.

The highlight of the Opening Ceremony was the traditional Mixing of the Waters, which symbolises the gathering of all sailors from around the world. The water had been brought from lakes and seas from all corners of the world and transported in small bottles by the teams to Busan. Upon arrival in Korea, the water had been transferred into small traditional Korean jugs ready for the Mixing of the Waters ceremony.

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Jung Kang MIN (KOR) © ISAF

Accompanied by traditional Korean music and dance performers, an athlete from each team poured their nation's water into the Korean urn and in so doing mixed the spirit of sailing of 48 nations - a mark of the celebration and unity the athletes will experience in the Championship and in their future sailing careers.

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ISAF President Göran PETERSSON
formally opens the Volvo Youth
Sailing ISAF World Championship
2005 © ISAF

The significance of ceremony was explained to the sailors: The mixing of the waters symbolises the use of water, to show the world as one. Competitors you are bringing with you part of your home land - the water you sail in - the most important for a sailor. All this water will come together as one, with the hope that there will peace and friendship between all people of the world. We hope you will compete in the same spirit.

As the flag of the International Sailing Federation was hoisted by Jung Kang MIN (KOR) who is representing Korea in the windsurfer girls event, the ISAF President formally declared the XXXV Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship open.

With the Championship formally underway, the Opening Ceremony celebrations culminated in a spectacular firework display which lit up the Busan Yachting Harbour.

Tomorrow 16 July sees the first day of racing for all seven events. The ISAF website will bring you the latest news from Busan, Korea as it happens.

ISAF, Image: Mixing of the Waters © ISAF
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