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Foster’s Ready for Sailing Season with a New Old Boat

St. Thomas’ John
Foster, a stalwart sailor on the Caribbean
race scene – and perennially winning one at that – won’t be
at the helm of Magnificent 7 this
year. Instead, fellow St. Thomas sailor Paul Davis will be skippering the
well-known J/27, while Foster and his son, Johnny, will campaign a newly
rebuilt Kirby 25 they have named, The
Good, The Bad & The Ugly
.

“My
schedule is always changing. For example, I’ve been racing Stars in the
states and may sail in Europe this coming
year. Therefore, my son and I decided to collaborate, race together with our
usual Mag 7 crew and see our friends in the Caribbean. We’ll do St. Croix, Culebra, Rolex and
the BVI Spring Regatta, perhaps St. Maarten and Antigua
too,” says Foster.

In spite
of no longer sailing a J-boat, Foster says, “I’m pleased to see
that Chris Thompson has a J/27 and I’ve heard of another one that will be
coming down. Combined with Paul Davis’, the class should expand and we’re
happy to see that and be a part of popularizing the class in the Caribbean.”

The Kirby
25 the Fosters will be sailing this season is no newcomer to the race scene.
“In the late 70s, the J/24 was the new class on the scene and Bruce Kirby
designed the 25 to compete with it. About four or five club members, including
myself, bought J/24s, while Per Dohm and two other
people bought Kirby 25s. So, from 1979 to the mid 80s, we all raced together
including at the big regattas such as Antigua,
Rolex and BVI. Then the classes died. Per’s Kirby sunk during a hurricane
and he hauled it out and it sat in his yard in Red Hook. He always told me that
he wanted to get it racing again.”

Dohm passed away last summer. The Foster’s bought the
boat, hauled it out of the weeds and have rebuilt it.
The project, says Foster, “has revived some of the great memories of
racing in the 70s and 80s and of Per.”

He adds,
“We don’t know what the boat’s potential is yet. It’s a
slightly smaller rig, a scaled down version of a 27. So, we’re an
unknown. But the crew is definitely up for it and we’re excited about the
racing season ahead.”

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