James Alexander Foy was born on January 25th 1976
As a child he was both independent and creative, being fond of drawing and making things, from Lego, Plasticine, old boxes or whatever… a proper Blue Peter Boy. He was a Beaver and then a Cub, learnt to swim in The Dolphin Swimming Club, gained a Brown belt in Shorinji Kempo, played badminton and tennis; he became a member of the Southbourne Tennis Club, and took up golf. He attended Pokesdown Primary School and later Portchester Secondary.
He was happy at school, never caused or got into any trouble but this did not mean he was docile, just that he respected others and expected them to respect him. At the age of fourteen his cousin Mark introduced him to the sport of surfing, which was to become the all-consuming passion in his life until the day he died. The wide world was already beckoning, for at fifteen he went of to Canada for six weeks to stay with his aunts and cousins, not daunted by travelling alone.
He left school. enrolled at Bournemouth College for two years and gained a Btech diploma in Industrial Design, however life in a drawing office was not for him. He bought an old Volkswagen Devon Conversion van, had long hair, was tanned and lived the surfing lifestyle He did bar work in nightclubs and spent most of his spare time surfing, it was not unusual for him to go down to Cornwall, surf Croyde, and drive back the same day At the age of twenty he went on a working visa to Australia via Indonesia and spent a year working and surfing in Western Australia.
2007 he was off again to Lacanau in France and then on to Portugal where he broke his ankle surfing, two winters he went snowboarding in Andorra with his friend Matt. The next year it was to be Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific coast of Mexico with his long time girl friend Jessie. They stayed in an isolated cabin and James was later to say this was the time of his life when he was at his fitness peak.
The following year he went back to Australia with his mother for six weeks, and showed her the places where he had worked and played. Cornwall had always been a second home to him. Although he surfed Bournemouth and Kimmeridge the surf could not compare with the surfing beaches in Cornwall so he moved and once again worked in bars to fund his surfing lifestyle. In January 2004 he returned to Bournemouth, he had had enough of Cornwall for a while and wanted to get back to his roots and be close to his family and his old school friends. He moved into a flat with his old friend Matt near Alum Chine and started working at the Studland Dene Hotel just five minutes walk away.
The pattern of his life had changed little since his late teens. Most of the time he would live for surfing and his type of work found him working long and unsociable hours. He would make swift sorties into our family gatherings, a big smile on his face, kiss the ladies, shake hands with all the men, laugh and joke for a while an then depart as swiftly as he had come, which either meant he had to work or the surf was good. He never spoke ill of people, and would brighten the room with his presence. Friday 18 March 2005 he worked as usual and stayed on afterwards for a few drinks.
At 12.30am he left for home, with a happy smile on his face he turned and waved to his friends. This was the last time he was seen alive, his body was found the following morning at the foot of the stairs where he lived….cause of death… inconclusive He had packed a lot into his short life He was athletic and good-looking He had an infectious smile, a cheerful nature, and a big heart. He loved people, he loved serving the public, he loved to yarn and above all he loved to surf
James Foy, you are greatly missed.