>The Parade Through Perth; On Our Way to Freemantle

>In the spirit of the Olympic Games, today’s Opening Ceremonies mirrored the excitement and ceremony we’ve all come to expect from a major international sailing event.

This morning we met up at the ferry dock in Freemantle to board a chartered ferry. With our navy blue Atlantis WeatherGear polos we proudly represented our title sponsor AlphaGraphics along with our wonderful sponsors Rolex, Sperry Top-Sider, Harken McLube, LaserPerformance and Trinity Yachts.

Over 50 of us – athletes, coaches and support staff – road together among a sea of sailing federations aboard the ferry up the Swan River to Perth.
Brian Fatih, Adam Roberts and Coach Leandro Spina
Brad Funk with Meteo Doug Charko
Checking out the map on Kenneth’s phone and seeing where in the world we really are
Once assembled in Forrest Place, a beautiful park, and Erin Maxwell served as USA flag bearer and led our team in the parade. That’s Erin on the left with her 470 team mate Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar and our lovely event volunteer, who patiently held the USA placard while we assembled.
US Sailing Development Team Laser sailor Derick Vranizan with Rob Crane
Sarah Lihan, Jenn Chamberlin, Alice Manard Leonard and Paige Railey. Sunnies and sunscreen are a must here in Perth

We have all traveled a long way to get here to the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Perth, Australia. For most of us, it took days to get here from the U.S. For all of our athletes, it was longer than that. You see, they have been focusing the past three and a half years on qualifying for the Olympic Games. If you really think about it, it’s their whole lives that they’ve dedicated to being the best in the world. And at the end of our three weeks here, we’ll know who among them will join the 2012 US Olympic Team. To see more from the Opening Ceremonies and the parade, tack over to Mick Anderson’s photo gallery.

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