Although a record number of 76 nations have registered to sail at the 45th Youth Sailing World Championships in Langkawi, Malaysia but today's opening ceremony looks set to be marred by a dispute over Israeli participation that has hit the international news headlines.
Ireland is represented in the boys 420 dinghy and also in the male and female laser class.
A statement from the Israel Sailing Federation says organisers of the competition in Malaysia conditioned the participation of Israeli athletes at the World Championships for Youth compete without an Israeli flag without symbols associated with the state of Israel on clothing and sailboards and forbid playing the Israeli national anthem on the podium of winning medals in the event, as well as the imposition of confidential communications on Israel's participation in the event.
Gili Amir added, "Malaysian demands are unacceptable and since that we did not get the Visas we decided not to participate. We condemn the anti-athlete conduct of the organizing committee of the competition. We will not accept being humiliated and we look to make a claim against the Malaysian Yachting Authority in coordination with the IOC Israel."
* Statement from ISAF
World Sailing is aware of recent news articles regarding Israel's attendance at the upcoming Youth Sailing World Championships in Langkawi, Malaysia.
World Sailing has been in liaison with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Malaysian Olympic Committee, the Israel Sailing Federation and the Organising Authority of the 2015 Youth Sailing World Championships to grant Israeli sailors and coaches entry into Malaysia for the event.
Israeli sailors were granted entry by the Malaysian Authorities under certain conditions that competitors sailing in Langkawi have to adhere to. World Sailing were informed on 24 December by the Israeli Sailing Federation of their decision not to send representatives in the Boys and Girls windsurfing events in Langkawi.
A total of 425 sailors will compete across the nine fleets at the Youth Worlds with racing scheduled to commence at 10:00 local time on 29 December following tonight's (28 December) Opening Ceremony at Lagenda Park.
The Youth Worlds Continues until 3 January.