COUNTDOWN IS OVER AS OPENING CEREMONY GETS 470 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS ON THE ROAD10 Oct 2015
The Opening Ceremony for the 2015 470 World Championships was held tonight, 10 October 2015, at the Congress Garden in Haifa, Israel.
Invited to an evening of tributes to the sailors, cultural extravaganza and superb evening meal, it was certainly an Opening Ceremony with a difference. Teams from the 37 competing nations, along with government the Mayor of Haifa, Government Representatives, Civic Dignitaries, guests, coaches, race officials and volunteers joined the celebrations.
Young children presented the parade of nations to a spectacular backdrop of animated national flags.
Speeches were delivered by Mr Yona Yahav - Mayor of Haifa, Stanislav Kassarov – President of the International 470 Class Association, Nino Shmueli – on behalf of Israel Sailing and other local dignitaries.
Nino Shmueli recognized the huge commitment to host the World Championship, as well as the longstanding pedigree Israel has achieved in the 470 Class, with numerous medal successes over many years at the Olympic Games, World and European Championships. Featuring twelve teams in the line-up for the 470 Worlds, Israel is hoping the legacy of success will continue.
After welcoming teams, the Mayor of Haifa continued the theme of welcoming world class sailors, and invited teams to return in the future and enjoy Haifa as a year round training destination and Olympic sailing centre.
President of the International 470 Class Association, Stanislav Kassarov, gave praise to the organizers, sailors, support teams, volunteers and race officials.
Before declaring the Championship open, Kassarov gave the biggest tribute to the athletes, saying, “None of us underestimate the challenge ahead for you over the next 6 days of racing. For many, the 2015 470 World Championships mark a major step in your 2016 Olympic dreams as you aim for nation qualification and team selection. You are each facing different challenges – defending World Championship medals, contesting your national selection for the Olympics and in the battle to secure one of the remaining nation places on the Rio 2016 starting line.
“It will soon be time for you to take centre stage on the water. I wish every one of you success, fair winds and outstanding sailing. Sailing is a wonderful sport and the most important roles in it are played by people. Thank you all for being here in Haifa.”
The 2015 470 World Championships was last held in Haifa in 1988. Twenty-seven years later that spirit lives on, as many who competed at the 1988 Worlds are still involved in the 470 and here coaching, with names such as Dave Ullman, Nigel Cochrane and Alejandro Irigoyen and others all returning to Israel.
Oaths were read on behalf of the athletes and race officials, affirming their objective to always participate in the spirit of fair play and sportsmanship, promoting the sport of sailing and the friendship among all those participating.
The evening wrapped up with a superb cultural show of traditional dancing and evening meal for all guests.
The countdown is over. With the 2015 470 World Championship declared open, the attention now turns toward World Championship glory and Olympic qualification as racing gets underway on Monday 12 October 2015.
Thirty-seven nations are competing: Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and United States of America.
470 World Championship Format
Racing gets underway on Monday 12 October, with a qualifying and final series for the 470 Men who will be split into two fleets for the 11 races followed by the Medal Race for the top ten teams. The 470 Women will race a single series of 10 races before the top ten advance to the Medal Race on Saturday 17 October. Racing takes place on Haifa Bay, along the Mediterranean coast of Northern Israel.
Rio 2016 Olympic Qualification
Find out more about qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and details of nations already qualified.
Entry Lists - http://2015worlds.470.org/en/default/races/race-inscriptions
Results - http://2015worlds.470.org/en/default/races/race-resultsall
Official Noticeboard - http://2015worlds.470.org/en/default/toa/race
Amir Weizman of Aquazoom (www.aquazoom.co.il) has been appointed by the local Organizing Committee as the Official Championship Photographer and Videographer and can be contacted on email@example.com.
High resolution images are available on request.
Media enquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
International 470 Class Association on Facebook will bring you regular updates at www.facebook.com/470olympicsailing
The @470sailing Twitter account will be following the action throughout the Championship. Get involved by using the #470sailing and #470worlds hashtags.
Follow the 2015 470 World Championship at http://2015worlds.470.org