Hundreds gathered at Lake Kawana at the Sunshine Coast, Australia, for the opening of the 17th IVF Va'a World Sprint Championships.
This year's event comprises the largest number of paddlers registered since its inception.
25 countries from around the world marched in their respective regalia in front of friends, family and supporters. The march ceremony is a much anticipated event where paddlers get to mingle with other competitors.
Aotearoa stood out in the crowd, with more than 500 paddlers proudly sporting the silver fern.
From juniors to senior masters, New Zealand is represented in nearly every age group, giving them more of a chance to take home a medal.
Waka Ama expert Hoturoa Kerr says, "New Zealand is without a doubt one of the biggest contingents here today. Tahiti, who continue to dominate, arrived yesterday. They're the ones to look out for."
Races commence tomorrow, featuring the new elite section which will see the top paddlers from each country vie for the competition's top honours.
Te Kāea Waka Ama reporter Rāhia Timutimu will provide the latest updates tomorrow at 5:30pm.
Daily updates can also be found on our Te Kāea Facebook page.