Thursday, 25 January 2024
Opening Ceremony for the 2024 ILCA 7 Mens World Championships
I am delighted to be with you this evening to officially open the ILCA 7 Men’s World Championships and Olympic Qualifying Regatta.
To our interstate and overseas officials, dignitaries and competitors, a warm welcome to Adelaide and South Australia.
While here, I hope you will all be able to experience our beautiful scenery more widely beyond the coastline - the warmth of our hospitality and the pride we have in hosting you in one of the most liveable places in the world.
We are delighted to host some of the best sailors from around the world - among the competitors are 160 ILCA sailors from 53 countries, including – if I can be a little parochial - the current Australian World and Olympic Champion, Matt Wearn.
Already there is a buzz of expectation and excitement that the eyes of the sailing world will be firmly focused on the waters off West Beach over the next week.
It is also a testament to the Adelaide Sailing Club’s capability and enthusiasm for the sport, with an eye on both the competitor and spectator experience.
As Governor, and patron of the Adelaide Sailing Club, I love to see organisations think big and have the skills and confidence to put those aspirations into action.
And this is certainly going to be big, being the last World Championship and Olympic Qualifier before Paris 2024.
Major championships such as this brings us together in good-natured rivalry, where we can make valuable connections and share experiences.
As a former diplomat, I can attest to the benefits that such international championships bring by building friendships and understanding between nations.
For the competitors, I know it is an honour for you to represent your country, just as it is an honour for us to share our Adelaide home and our mutual love of sailing with you.
As we look forward to witnessing the exciting racing, I thank the hard working and dedicated members of this modestly sized but extremely capable sailing club and the additional volunteers and supporters from other South Australian sailing clubs, alongside Events SA, who are making it all possible.
I’m told it takes 80 volunteers to keep competitors identified, clothed, as well as fed and watered each day. That’s a big effort.
Thank you and be enormously proud of your efforts.
After three years of planning, including for the recent Australian and Oceania Championships, at last the event is here!
I wish all the competitors fair winds and good sailing, rain or shine.
It now gives me great pleasure to declare officially open the ILCA 7 Mens World Championship and Olympic Qualifying Regatta. May you all find the waters of Gulf St Vincent challenging but rewarding sailing!