The Opening Ceremony for the 470 Junior Worlds was held this evening at Takapuna on Auckland's North Shore.
Major supporter of the event is the Auckland City Council. Mayor Len Brown attended and opened the regatta. The World Championship is the 14th World Championship held at Takapuna, the event has attracted a fleet of 33 crews from 13 countries.
A feature of the ceremony is the Mixing of the Waters where each team pours a symbolic bottle of water into a bowl, the mixed water is blessed and then poured into the water for the regatta. Previously competitors coming to Takapuna were asked to bring a bottle of water from their home country, but with current airline regulations this practice is no longer possible and the ceremony is now purely symbolic.
The 2012 470 Junior Worlds is the first World Sailing championship held under the auspices of the new Auckland City Council, which was formed from five Councils in the Auckland region. Tomorrow Mayor Brown is scheduled to take a ride with Emirates Team NZ aboard an AC45.
Racing in the 470 Junior World Championship gets underway on Saturday, concluding next Friday with the Medal Race.