- 20 January 2010 | Surfing
The 2010 Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championships opened with a colorful display of New Zealand culture in Auckland today.
More than 200 representatives from 21 countries from around the world marched behind their national flag bearer through the city's Mission Bay in a tremendous display of surfing unity.
The Sands of the World ceremony kicked off proceedings with team captains from each country pouring sand from their local beaches into the ISA clear box, symbolizing the peaceful gathering of nations through the love of surfing.
ISA President Fernando Aguerre officiallydeclared the championships open.
“Welcome everybody,” said Aguerre. “I know this is the most emotional opening ceremony I have ever attended. I have been doing this for many years. Kia Ora is a very important word that we should all learn. It means thank you in Maori, it also means welcome, it means from the heart. So, Kia Ora New Zealand, Kia Ora Auckland!”
Fernando was joined on stage by Quiksilver International CEO Bob McKnight, Mayor of Auckland John Banks, Mayor of Waitakere Bob Harvey and Surfing New Zealand CEO Greg Townsend to welcome the teams to the prestigious tournament.
The National team of New Zealand officially welcomed the other nations by performing their traditional Haka dance to cheers from the large crowd that gathered for the opening ceremony.
The prestigious, eight-day competition gets underway tomorrow and continues until Thursday 28th January 2010.
Gold medals will be decided in three divisions – Under 18 and 16 Boys, and Under 18 Girls, plus in the National Team Event.
The surf is fore to build in the next few days, with waves in the overhead range. Contest organizers are confident of completing the opening round of the Under 18 and 16 Boys tomorrow.