After defending champions Tim FALLON, Ery LARGAY and Karen RENZULLI, all members of the American Team Whishbone, hoisted the flag that signaled the official opening of the World Championship, Team New Zealand energized the crowd with a spirited performance of the Haka. A Maori war chant that precedes battle, the Haka is delivered with fierce shouting, sharp arm movements and thunderous foot stamping. 'It is always performed before a competition to show your intention to take the trophy home,' explained one of the team's supporters.
The competitors spent the last two picture-perfect days taking advantage of scheduled on-the-water practice time in the Vanguard 15s that have been supplied for the regatta. Championship racing got underway this morning at 0900 hours local time, on the field of play set between Rose Island and Goat Island. Bleachers have been set up north of the Hyatt Regency Newport Hotel and Spa, adjacent to the Newport Harbor Lighthouse, and Tufts University sailing coach Ken LEGLER will be on hand to provide commentary. Upward of 400 races are expected to be held before the teams who will move into the finals on 1 October are determined. Awards will be presented on Saturday 1 October, followed by Closing Ceremony.
For more images from the Opening Ceremony go to the New York Yacht Club website.
For a complete list of all the news from the Grey Goose ISAF Team Racing World Championship CLICK HERE.