The World Rowing Championships have officially opened at Lake Karapiro. About 10,000 people attended the ceremony.[image:384:half:right]
A colourful parade of national flags carried by local children and followed by some of the 800 athletes typified the low-key nature of the ceremony.
It became more formal when Tainui offered a powhiri to the president of FISA (the international rowing federation), Denis Oswald.
Mr Fisa was then saluted by Tainui warriors in an impressive sail-past by four waka. The ceremony ended with the raising of the Fisa flag along with that of New Zealand.[image:385:half:left]
Racing proper starts on Sunday morning with the first of 10 heats. Nine New Zealand crews are entered in the heats.