CBYRA presents the Opening Ceremony of the first-ever International 5O5 World Championship, sponsored by SAP



World-class sailors from 12 countries will gather for the SAP International 5O5 World Championship Opening Ceremony presented by Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association on Saturday, September 23 at Severn Sailing Association. This ceremony marks the start of the first-ever 5O5 World Championship with performances by the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and the United States Naval Academy Color Guard.

Dave Gendell, co-founder of SpinSheet Magazine, will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the event, which will begin at 5 p.m. with the Official Flag Raising. The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra’s “Brass Quintet” – made up of Christopher Sala (trumpet), Christopher Buchanan (trumpet), Steven Barzal (French horn), David Perkel (trombone) and Jay Heltzer (bass trombone) – will play the national anthems of each of the 12 teams as the competitors walk with their respective flags. Countries include Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Great Britain, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Poland and the United States. Carl Smit, an Annapolis resident who teamed with Mike Holt to capture the 2015 SAP 5O5 World Championship, will carry the American flag during the ceremony. Smit is a Naval Academy graduate and former Navy SEAL.

“The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra is deeply embedded in the character of this community. Sailboat racing is a huge part of the fabric of Annapolis so we are honored to participate in the Opening Ceremony for this international championship,” said Patrick Nugent, Executive Director of the ASO. “It has been fascinating to collect all the anthems that are needed. Our brass ensemble has been practicing them diligently and I am certain the visiting sailors will be quite pleased with the renditions provided.”

The competitors will be honored by the United States Naval Academy Color Guard who will perform to the United States national anthem. These special performances by ASO and the USNA Color Guard will be followed by several noteworthy speakers from legendary members of the local and sailing community such as Stuart Walker, Founder of SSA and member of the National Sailing Hall of Fame; Jack Gierhart, US Sailing Executive Director; and Mike Quirk, International 5O5 Class President. Other distinguished speakers include Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh; Eastport Yacht Club Commodore Heather Ersts; CBYRA President Peter Zahn; and featured speaker is Head of Global Sponsorship for title sponsor SAP Bjoern Ganzhorn.

“We are very pleased with how the Opening Ceremony has come together and feel we have several unique and interesting elements,” said Jesse Falsone, chairman of the 2017 SAP 505 World Championship. “We have 90 teams from all over the world coming to Annapolis for this great regatta so it is fitting to treat our distinguished guests to a proper Opening Ceremony to kick off what will be a fantastic week of racing.”

Local organizers of the SAP 2017 505 World Championship are grateful to the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association for providing a “Regatta Support Grant,” which was primarily used to support the Opening Ceremony. This is the third grant awarded this season by CYBRA, which was founded in 1914 organize and promote sailboat racing on the Chesapeake Bay.

CBYRA, which is comprised of 70 member clubs and more than 50 classes of sailboats, boasts 1,800 members from Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Peter Zahn, president of CBYRA, said the “Regatta Support Grants” are intended to benefit fleets and classes that bring major events to the Chesapeake Bay region. This particular grant provides very public recognition that CBYRA is committed to doing more for the one-design community. There are three strong 505 fleets on the Chesapeake Bay – Annapolis, Hampton and West River. This Regatta Support Grant was officially awarded to the American Section of the International 505 class.  

“We have active 505 racing on the Chesapeake Bay so certainly that is one class we want to support and promote,” Zahn said. “This world championship is bringing high-level competition featuring sailors from throughout the world to our shores so we should be very proud.”

Grace Lucas, a former collegiate sailor at the College of Charleston, has served as coordinator of the Opening Ceremony. “Grace has really done a terrific job of pulling all the various elements together to create a first-class event that will get our regatta off to a rousing start,” said Falsone, an Edgewater resident and Severn Sailing Association member who is part of one of the top American teams competing.