Published: Friday, 12 September 2014

An estimated 30,000 people attended the Opening Ceremony at the Santander 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships in Spain. ISAF President Carlo Croce declared the event open.

The Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds features more than 1,250 sailors from 83 countries and they proudly carried their national flags through Parque de la Llama, venue of the opening ceremony.

 Isaf 2014 Sailing World Championships Begin 2

The crowds were treated to a spectacular show with gymnastic performances, an aerobatic air display from the famous Patrulla Águila – the Spanish Air Force as well as musical performances from Big Band Aurora & The Betrayers and local choirs.

Spain's Berta Betanzos, 470 World Champion at the Perth 2011 ISAF Worlds, swore in the sailors while London 2012 Laser Radial gold medallist and member of the International Jury, Lijia Xu (CHN), swore in the officials.

 Isaf 2014 Sailing World Championships Begin

This is the pinnacle event after the Olympic games and it is important for Olympic qualification,” said Croce. "More than this, personally, I am moved in seeing more than 20,000 people here. I have never seen an attendance like this at a sailing event and it is fantastic for the sailing world.

As the ISAF flag was hoisted the event was declared open and the sailors' attention now turns toward world championship glory and Olympic qualification.

The Laser and Laser Radial fleets will be the first to race at the Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds. Racing is scheduled to start at 1300 local time on Sept 12 and finish on Sept 21.