Atlanta Yacht Club
 

Y-Flyer Fleet #1 History

Gilbert Beers Memorial Regatta & Trophy

Since 1954

Gilbert 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) :

Bobby 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.

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