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Foster’s Magnificent 7 Wins 12th Annual St. Croix Intl Regatta

Practice makes perfect. This was the secret to success for
St. Thomas’ John Foster, who aboard his J/27, Magnificent 7, won the 12th
annual St. Croix International Regatta, February 19-21, and his crew’s weight
in Cruzan Rum.

“We checked every
screw, all the rigging in detail before the season,” said Foster, “but I think
the biggest factor is that we practiced two weekends in a row. We clicked
together as a team and it paid off.”

34 boats from the US Virgin Islands, British
Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and US mainland took part in this event which kicks
off the northern Caribbean’s spring sailing season. Wind and wave conditions
built so much that racing was cancelled the last day due to safety concerns.
Yet racers were happy as the six classes of competitors completed from six to
eight races total.

Foster, who has
competed in this event every year, sailed smartly to triumph in the highly
competitive Spinnaker Racing Class.

“The first day of
racing we saw about 15 knots of breeze. We knew the Crucian boats, Sorceress
and Broken Drum were tough competition and that we needed to stay with them.
The unknown factor was the Melges (Mistress Quickly) due to his speed and not
being able to keep track of him on the course. We managed to hold him upwind
and he couldn’t get enough time on us downwind. That was good for us as it
allowed us to consolidate our lead with three firsts and a second,” Foster
explained. “The winds built the second day to 18 to 20 knots and the five foot
seas gave us some trouble. Boats with longer waterlines, like Sorceress, got
ahead of us. In that wind, the Melges could plane downwind. So, we won one race
and placed third in the others. But, it was enough to stretch our lead to 11

Foster admitted he
was glad the race committee called off sailing the last day. “We would have
seen ripped sails and broken boats. The race committee was smart. They packed
it in while they were ahead and it left us ahead as well.”

Lazy Dog, a
Beneteau First 40.7 and first-time entrant from Puerto Rico, won the
Racer-Cruiser Class. “We had heard that this was a fun regatta and wanted to
use it as a tune up for St. Maarten. It turned out to be very competitive
racing, especially between Abracadabra and us. The first day we only led by one
point,” said skipper Sergio Sagramoso.

“The second day,”
Sagaramoso continued, “we were over early in the first race and lost our lead.
We had to psyche back up and we did. We came back with three bullets.”

Balaju 2, a
C&C 37, skippered by Puerto Rico’s Jose Sanchez, took first in the Cruising
Class. “We had a broken boom last year. But this year, with new crew, we scored
four firsts. Next year we want to go into spinnaker racing.”

This year was the
first for an IC-24 Class, with five boats competing from St. Thomas and
Tortola. In close competition, St. Thomas’ Chris Curreri aboard his Brand-New
Secondhand beat fellow islander, John Holmberg, at the helm of Stinger.

Curreri explained:
“We were tied for points going into the last race. That was the deciding
factor. So, we got off the line together and went up the weather leg in a loose
cover and tacking duel, staying with John all the way. We rounded the top mark
ahead of him and began a downwind battle. In order to protect our air, we
sailed off course and this let the rest of the fleet catch up. Luckily, we got
one boat between us over the finish line, so we won by two points.”

Puerto Rico’s
Anton Guernica, on his Hobie 16, Lolo Too, defended his win in the Beach Cat
Class. “The other boats were so much faster than us that we just had to focus
on getting the best boat speed we could,” Guernica said.

Finally, in the
Large Multihull Class, it was St. Croix’s Llewellyn Westerman aboard his
locally built Mongoose 37, Charis, which handily won over fellow islander Joe
San Martin’s Tee Gull 23, Piglet. “He pulled a horizon job on us a couple of
times,” said San Martin, about the lead Charis had over his Piglet.





1. Magnificent 7, J/27, John Foster, St. Thomas, USVI (15)

2. Mistress Quickly, Melges 24, Guy Eldridge, Tortola, BVI

3. El Shaddai II, J/24, Jeff Fangman, St. Croix, USVI (26)

4. Broken Drum, J/29, Jack Bishop, St. Croix, USVI (30)

5. Sorceress, Tartan 10, Morgan Dale, St. Croix, USVI (36)

6. Cruzan Confusion, J/24, George Lucink, New York, USA (41)

7. Sun Bum II, J/105, Angel Ayala, Puerto Rico (52)

8. Cayennita, Soverel 27, Tony Sanpere, St. Croix, USVI (64)



1. Lazy Dog, Beneteau First 40.7, Sergio Sagramoso, Puerto
Rico (13)

2. Abracadabra, J/80, Carlos Camacho, Puerto Rico (16)

3. Pipe Dream, Sirena 38, Peter Haycraft, Tortola, BVI (27)

4. Umakua, J/105, Julio Reguero, Puerto Rico (35)

5. Shamrock V, J/120, Tom Mullen, New Hampshire, USA (41)

6. Tempest, Beneteau 38, John Haracivet, St. Thomas, USVI

7. Arawa, Columbia 50, Doug DeCluitt, St. Croix, USVI (51)

8. Winds Glory, 30′ Sloop, Paul Davis, St. Thomas, USVI (63)



1. Balaju 2, C&C 37, Jose Sanchez, Puerto Rico (8)

2. Rumor, Frers 45, Norman Martin, New Hampshire, USA (13)

3. Hotel California, Santa Cruz 70, Steve Schmidt, Delaware,
USA (16)

4. Windflower, Alberg 35, Stan Joines, St. Croix, USVI (23)

5. Aurora, Alberg 35, Alan Mallory, St. Croix, USVI (30)



1. Brand-New Secondhand, Chris Curreri, St. Thomas, USVI

2. Stinger, John Holmberg, St. Thomas, USVI (22)

3. Conch-Q-uerer, Andrew Waters, Tortola, BVI (34)

4. Green Boat, Carlos Aguilar, St. Thomas, USVI (42)

5. Intac, Mark Plaxton, Tortola, BVI (47)



1. Lolo Too, Hobie 16, Anton Guernica, Puerto Rico (10)

2. Rush, Prindle 19, Bruce Merced, St. Thomas, USVI (20)

3. Caribbean Auto Mart, Tornado, Tom Ainger, St. Croix, USVI

4. Dumpster Cat, Nacra 5.8, Doug DeReu, St. Croix, USVI (39)

5. Love Never Fails, Inter 17, Bruce Andryc, St. Croix, USVI

6. Maxi, Nacra 5.8, Peter Voytershark, St. Croix, USVI (50)



1. Charis, Mongoose 37, Llewellyn Westerman, St. Croix, USVI

2. Piglet, Tee Gull 23, Joe San Martin, St. Croix, USVI (13)

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