Saturday, May 9, 2009

I ran into a Y Flyer sailor! From Ohio!

One thing I've noticed as I've aged.... there is that one particular class you sailed as a youngster (probably either crewing with Dad and then branching out, or even learning to sail, as in an El Toro pram), that one sailboat class of your youth has put a hammerlock on you for the rest of your life. Many return to that class and continue racing in it, becoming the wizened veteran competitor. Some of us move on to other boats. Still, we hold those memories; those sweet, sweet memories of a carefree summer of our youth and of glorious regattas in days gone by.

The Y Flyer scow is that sailboat class for me. I ran into Naval Academy midshipman Josh (skipper of the Academy's Farr 53 "TomCat") who it turns out, sailed Y Flyers on Chippewa Lake, Ohio. I sailed Y Flyers on Berlin Lake, about an hours drive away and though our time in Y Flyers is separated by more than 30 years, when two sailors share the love of the same sailboat, the stories come flowing out.

Josh's Dad and other fleet members from Chippewa have been building wooden Y Flyers. The Y Flyer class has been mostly fiberglass, even back in the ancient past when I was sailing (Bob Turner built a wood Y back in my era, we ran in the same crowd in Annapolis in our twenties, but today our paths cross every once in a Blue Moon).

The Y Flyer is a great scow class. I'll devote another post to wax lyrical about the boat (I know, I know, all small boat sailors can pontificate endlessly about the virtues of their particular class ..... but this is my blog.)

Many sailors on the East Coast have no clue what a Y Flyer looks like so I've lifted some pictures from El Fraser over at his Y Flyer blog. Click on the pic for a larger image.

Also, this somewhat humorous YouTube gives good top down view of a Y Flyer (inadvertently).

1 comment:

Unknown said...

had to comment...stumbled into your blog doing some research on "Tomcat" the Navy's Farr 53. Have to survey the boat next Tuesday.
Saw the Y-flyer reference and having spent some time in these boats just had to follow the blog. Josh it appears, sailed on Chippewa Lake and not many of us can say that (internationals in 1970 it think) Turns out my wife is from Medina though she wasnt even born when I sailed there. Drove by the lake last spring...had been 40 years and seemed like yesterday.
Yes, the y flyer is a wonderful boat and maybe will have to get back into racing one once I get back down south full time. I would love to build another wooden one but my patience is thin these days.
Not sure who the blog belongs to but if you see Rod M, give him my regards
Bob Turner