ISAF President, Göran Petersson (SWE), declared the 2010 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship officially open in front of nearly 350 young sailors from 59 nations. The ISAF Flag was officially raised to symbolise the start of the championship.
The President made particular reference to the 24 Athlete Participation Programme (APP) sailors who had been invited by ISAF to take part in the championship.
"I would like to especially welcome our 24 APP sailors from 11 nations - from Ecuador, the US Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Paraguay, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, St Lucia, Mexico, Columbia, Bermuda and last but not least, Samoa. Congratulations to you all for your achievement in being with us at the world's premier youth sailing competition. I wish every success to you all."
The President went on to thank the Turkish Sailing Federation for making the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship a reality and thanked the sponsors, equipment suppliers, all the organising committees and the volunteers for their hard work.
Special reference was made to the Volvo Ocean Race, with this marking their eleventh year as title sponsor of the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship. The President finished his speech with a final message to the competitors,
"Let's hope for good weather, good luck, have fun and a memorable championship. I am sure you will leave here with many new friends from around the world."
Nazli Imre, (TUR) Vice-President of ISAF and President of the Turkish Sailing Federation,
Offered her welcome to Istanbul,
"Welcome you all for the 2010 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship in ?stanbul; the only city situated on two continents, with a history of 8,000 years, once capital of the East Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empire. This vivid centre of modern Turkey is also Europe's joint Cultural Capital for 2010."
President of Volvo Cars in Turkey, Torben Eckhardt, welcomed the sailors and expressed his fondness for the city of Istanbul,
"I have lived here in Istanbul for three years it's a very exciting city full of life and history."
"I want to thank you because creating this championship in Istanbul gave me the excuse to decide how to celebrate it with our customers and what better way than to go out sailing on the Marmara."
Oaths were then taken on behalf of the competitors by Turkish sailor Deniz Gokmeral and by Vice-Chairman of the International Jury, Ali Hulki Orus (TUR).
Following the official speeches, the traditional 'Pouring of the Waters' ceremony took place. The ISAF Youth Worlds traditional 'pouring of the waters' requires every competing nation to bring a bottle of water from their homeland. They are then all mixed together as the nations are introduced, leaving the messages of love, peace and unity.
ISAF Vice President, Nazli Imre (TUR) explains,
"Here we are in the Golden Horn and I sincerely trust the mixing of the waters from your countries with the ancient waters of our country will be the beginning of a lifelong friendship, will mark the understanding of different cultures and religions and be a firm platform for us all to move forward as one family."
Led by Netherlands Antilles the 59 teams provided a spectacle of colour and exuberance as they each paraded through the venue. The proud Turkish team accompanied by vuvuzelas were the final team to enter the arena and the responsibility fell to Turkish sailors, Iber Gunduz and Deniz Gokmeral to pour the mixed waters into the Bosphorus.
The training day gave the competitors a chance to sail the new boats they have been given for the event and test the waters of Istanbul. The conditions gave them a taste of what is in store this weekend with driving rain and twenty knot breezes, but this did not faze the keen sailors.
Sam Batton from Great Britain, who sails the 29er with Henry Lloyd Williams is excited to be at the event, "The Youth Worlds is probably the number one event that I have done so far and probably the most important event of the year. It is referred to as the Olympics of Youth Sailing. "
For Jasia King, the Laser Radial sailor from St. Lucia, sailing at the Volvo Youth Worlds is a very important part of her year. "This is the main event I can do. It is really amazing because not often can I come to an event, which has over 350 sailors and 52 Radial girls, I don't normally sail with that many boats, so that is an experience for me and that is what I am looking for." Jasia is part of the Athlete Participation Programme (APP), which allows young sailors to come to the event from nations, which cannot provide the funding for them.
Saturday will see the sailors training on the three courses off the event site, before the first day of racing on Sunday.
For more details on the 2010 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship visit: www.isafyouthworlds.com
Link to the Volvo Youth Worlds Facebook site: www.facebook.com/pages/Volvo-Youth-Worlds/93806273347
For videos visit the Volvo Youth Worlds YouTube site: www.YouTube.com/VolvoYouthWorlds
For a full list of entries visit: http://www.isafyouthworlds.com/editions/2010/entry
Thursday 8 July - Arrival Day
Friday 9 July - Training Day and Opening Ceremony
Saturday 10 July - Practice Day
Sunday 11 July - First Official Race Day (3 raced scheduled)
Monday 12 July - Second Official Race Day (3 races scheduled)
Tuesday 13 July - Lay Day
Wednesday 14 July - Third Official Race Day (3 races scheduled)
Thursday 15 July - Fourth Official Race Day (2 races scheduled)
Friday 16 July - Fifth Official Race Day (1 race scheduled) and Prize Giving and Closing Ceremony
Saturday 17 July - Departure Day