The organisers started talking about the possibility of a programme on the Theory of Water Waves in Spring 2011, and submitted a proposal in July 2011. They received formal notification of funding in December 2011. After 2.5 years of planning, the programme officially opened on Monday 14 July. The Opening Day began with an introduction to the Newton Institute from the Director, John Toland, and an introduction to the programme from the Principal Organiser, David Nicholls. A series of six talks from leading experts in the theory of water waves then set the stage for the programme. Peter Janssen opened with a talk on random time series analysis and extreme (freak, rogue) wave events: video here. Victor Shrira presented a new approach to “jet currents”, which have no vertical variation, but vary in the transverse direction. This theory provides a model for the rogue waves that form due to the Ahulhas current that runs off the southeast coast of Africa: video here. Harvey Segur presented models for tsunami dynamics, contrasting shallow water hyperbolic models, with shallow water dispersive models: video here. Triantaphyllos Akylas gave a review of gravity-capillary lumps, contrasting solitary waves in infinite depth with shallow water KP-I lumps, with particular attention the role of forcing and dissipation, and comparison with experiments: video here. Walter Craig presented the latest developments on Birkhoff normal forms for water waves, with new results on the function spaces and effect of the transformations on smoothness: video here. Pavel Plotnikov ended the day with a review of small divisor problems in the existence theory of standing waves and three-dimensional steady travelling waves. The results show that the existence theory for steady diamond 3D waves implies existence of classical standing waves and vice versa, but it was noted that general 3D doubly periodic waves do not have an obvious equivalent in the class of standing waves: video here.