Some 230 skiers, barefooters, riders, officials and guests gathered at the Orakei Basin, Auckland for the opening ceremony and welcome dinner for the biennial IWWF Asia & Oceania Waterski Championships.
The Orakei Basin is the home of the Auckland Waterski Club since 1955, which co-hosted the opening function along with the organisers of the championships, the New Zealand Waterski & Wakeboard Federation.
In an ambitious expanded programme the championships include three-event tournament skiing and barefoot skiing at Lake Kereta and wakeboarding, ski racing and show skiing at Lake Karapiro.
The competition begins on Wednesday 1st February 2017 and concludes on Sunday 5th February with the awards banquet in Auckland.
The Orakei Basin is the sacred home of the Ngatiwhatua the main Maori tribe amongst 19 in the Auckland area.
Fittingly guests were welcomed to their homelands by a warm Maori welcome from the Haka The Legend Group, from the Auckland Museum, with an introduction to their culture.
In a traditionally informal approach formalities were kept to a minimum. IWWF VP Ed Donald and Tim Larkin, President of the Auckland Waterski Club, welcomed the visitors and wished all competitors much success.