2017 Youth World Championship Sanya, China
Sunday, December 10, 2017 9:20 PM
Sanya, China officially welcomed the world's best youth sailors at the 2017 Youth Sailing World Championships with a glittering opening ceremony.
Exactly 374 sailors from 60 nations paraded along Sanya Serenity Marina before entering the venue for the ceremony where dignitaries, sponsors, suppliers, friends and family, volunteers, officials and local Chinese spectators were waiting to greet them.
Each nation participated in the mixing of the waters ceremony. Every team brought water from their home waters and these were mixed together, symbolising each nation coming together at the Youth Worlds, embodying sportsmanship, team spirit and unity.
Sailors paraded proudly across the stage, pouring their water into the mixing jar, posing for pictures.
The largest round of applause was reserved for the Chinese team who completed the parade.
Speeches were delivered from Sanya and World Sailing representatives before the Championships was officially declared open.
An evening of Chinese themed entertainment followed with national dancers and singers taking to the stage to entertain the competitors.
In a slight twist to Youth Worlds Opening Ceremony 'protocol' sailors were welcomed up onto the stage to deliver some karaoke!
Miley Cyrus - Party in the USA was successfully sung by the American team with Spanish, Turkish and Italian (to name but a few) national songs played out across the hundreds of speakers around the venue.
Addressing the athletes at the opening of the Championships, World Sailing Vice-President, Quanhai Li expressed, "World Sailing is delighted to see that 374 of the world's best youth sailors from 60 nations from all continents and regions are here today to compete.
"We would like to see your high best performance in over the next five days. We are confident that all the sailors that you see here are the our future Sailing stars and some of you will go to the Olympic Games or move into the Volvo Ocean Race and the America's Cup.
"2017 is the first time a Youth Worlds event will be held in China. Sanya is a beautiful coastal city and over the week the world we will see the beautiful blue, clean water and the excellent wind we are blessed with.
"I would like to thank our global and national sponsors and a dedicated group of volunteers who are vital to its success. A special mention must go to our valued partners who are supplying all of the boats the sailors will use this week. Thank you to Laser Performance, Maclaren, Ovington, Neil Pryde, Nautivela and Nacra Sailing."
After months of training, thousands of air miles to get to China and two days of intense boat work and training it will all come down to the next five days for the athletes.
Racing commences at 11:00 local time and the quest for glory, achieving personal goals and living the dream will begin!