Y-Flyer Fleet #1 History
Gilbert Beers Memorial Regatta & Trophy
Beers and E.O. "Smitty" Smithfield, early member and founding father of
the Atlanta Yacht Club, were partners in a Consulting and Construction
firm that built dams for the Georgia Power Company. These sailing
enthusiasts had seen pictures and heard stories of a one design yacht
known as the Y-Flyer, designed by Alvin Youngquist - Commodore of the
White Lake Yacht Club in Whitehall, Michigan. Gilbert Beers drove to
Michigan where he purchased the first Y-Flyer to appear at the Atlanta
Yacht Club... Y-Flyer Fleet #1 was born.
Sadly in 1953
Gilbert Beers passed away. In 1954 his partner Smitty Smithfield
(father of Betty Smithfield-Smith and grandfather of Tara, Amanda and
Kevin) envisioned and established an invitational regatta with a
perpetual trophy to memorialize the man who brought the first Y-Flyer
to the Atlanta Yacht Club.
Fond Memories of the 1st Beers Regatta, 1954, and the winner Bobby Gaston (thanks to Carl Owens) :
Gaston was one of our original AYC members. He later changed from
sailing to refereeing SEC football. Brit Pendergrast and Bobby teamed
up to build two Y's. Bobby's was first and he brought it to the lake
for its maiden launching the morning of the Beers. He sailed away from
all of us with three uncontested firsts.