Search This Blog


The Sinking and Raising of the Orben's Y-Flyer

For the Yacht Club's fiftieth anniversary we asked Bob Orben if he would share an account of the sinking and raising of his Y-Flyer, which is a memorable event to many of our current sailors.  At our awards banquet, Bob delivered on our request by sharing the following account:

First, a little recall of a humbling experience. There was an individual who participated in a spirited, high wind, holiday sailboat race several years ago.  The skipper managed to finish a hotly contested race, and then assisted other sailors who failed to negotiate the turbulent wind. Then he proceeded to turn over his Y Flyer in water off of the Truex’s lot.

Thereafter, with the assist of many sailors, the Y Flyer was returned to an upright position but the boat had taken on so much water, that it spouted some bubbles and sank to the bottom of the lake. It was a very embarrassing experience for the skipper; however, that is not the end of the story. A very alert former Y Flyer skipper, Joe Voelz,  was watching the fatal drowning from his front deck and took a reading on the location of the Y Flyer as it departed. The skipper of the ill-fated Y Flyer spent the balance of the following week assembling a game plan to raze the sailboat.

On the following  Saturday morning, a hearty group of Grandview residents assembled to help with the recovery effort, Max Henry and a friend arrived in their diving gear, Leon Berjais made available his barge, complete with  hoisting gear. The flotilla consisted of several party boats, each with contributors full of suggestions, and the project got underway. The divers attached a line to the front of the Y and in less than an hour, although a modest wind made the rescue a bit tricky, the Y Flyer surfaced and was beached on the shore front of the lot next to the Truex’s. Would you believe the ladies provided coffee cake and coffee,  and a festive celebratory party broke out. So the initial acknowledgment this evening goes to the sailor who demonstrated that if you do not succeed on the first pass, try again.  The humble pie goes to none other than Bob Orben.  An interesting aside, Mary lost her glasses when the Y turned over, but guess what ?? The glasses, and a fish, were located under the air tank in the aft section of the Y.