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Kids from around Asia head to Pattaya for Thai Optimist National Championships

Tanutam Thawan

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Kids from around Asia head to Pattaya for Thai Optimist National Championships | The Thaiger
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PHOTO: Thailand Optimist National Championships – Guy Nowell

By Duncan Worthington

Thailand’s premier youth sailing event is just around the corner. The Thailand Optimist National Championships, held as part of the Top of the Gulf Regatta, will see more than 100 youngsters from around Thailand and Asia compete over three days (April 29 to May 1, 2018) in Pattaya.

First sailed in 1976 and annually since, the ‘Optimist Nationals’ as they have become known, is sailed in the single-handed Optimist boat and eligible for youths upto the age of 15 years old. Originally launched as the Optimist Thailand Championship Cup, the event has grown to become the pinnacle of youth sailing competition in Thailand and is organised by the Junior Sailing Squadron of Thailand under the auspices of Yacht Racing Association of Thailand.

Kids from around Asia head to Pattaya for Thai Optimist National Championships | News by The Thaiger

Thailand Optimist National Championships. Photo by Guy Nowell.

Last year’s Thailand Optimist National Champion, 12-year old Panwa Boonnak, is back to defend his title in Pattaya. Following his win at the 2017 Nationals, Panwa went into the Optimist World Championship 2017 Thailand, held July 11-21, 2017 at Pattaya’s Royal Varuna Yacht Club, with high expectations. Aiming to be the second Thai to win the Worlds after Noppakao Poonpat won in 2010, Panwa struggled in the heavy breeze of the opening days and after six days of tough competition amongst 280 sailors from 62 countries, Panwa finished a credible 10th place overall.

Having competed at a number of overseas events since, the most recent being in Singapore and Myanmar, Panwa will have to be at the top of his game to beat a strong line up of fellow Thai National Team Sailors, and impressive talent from overseas. 

Leading the international charge will be Hong Kong’s Duncan Gregor. Having competed in Thailand a number of times, his best position at the Optimist Nationals to date is second overall in 2016. After winning Hong Kong Race Week earlier this year, his second successive win, he’ll be looking to go one place better at the Optimist National and is one to definitely watch.

Gregor is joined by many others from the Hong Kong Team as well as top sailors from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and many more countries, and the standard of competition is expected to be high.

The Optimist Nationals, however, is about more than just competition. For many young sailors, this is their first major race and organisers split the fleet into A and B, with the B fleet racers made up of the newer, less experienced sailors, ensuring they have fun while learning more about what sailing in an international competition is all about.

For more about the Thailand Optimist National Championships, visit www.topofthegulfregatta.com where the results will be posted daily during the regatta.

Kids from around Asia head to Pattaya for Thai Optimist National Championships | News by The Thaiger

Panwa Boonnak, 2017 Thailand National Optimist Champion. Photo by Guy Nowell.

Duncan Worthington works with Infinity Communications (www.infinity-comms.com) and consults to leading sports brands and rights holders in Thailand. He can be contacted at sport@infinity-comms.com.

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Pattaya. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Feverish woman spits at health workers on train – VIDEO

Greeley Pulitzer

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Feverish woman spits at health workers on train – VIDEO | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

A woman with a high fever spat on health officials who tried to offer her a face mask on a train bound for the northern province of Khon Kaen. The incident immediately sparked Covid-19 coronavirus fears and panic amongst the train’s other passengers. The 53 year old woman, whose name was withheld, boarded the train on the Kaeng Khoi-Khon Kaen route yesterday morning. She was not wearing a face mask, which already created fear among train passengers.

The chief of the Non Sung railway station was alerted at 8:50am. He called 3 staff from Non Sung Hospital, who arrived in full personal protective suits. They entered the carriage where the woman was sitting. One handed her a face mask and told her to go to a virus screening checkpoint at the railway station. She refused and shouted at them, then spat at them and tore the clothing of one of them.

This prompted the health workers to handcuff her and forcibly carry her out of the carriage for a temperature check. Her temperature was 37.9℃ and she was taken to hospital for further examination. The station chief then called a rescue team to disinfect the station all train carriages. It took about an hour before the train was able to resume its journey.

The hospital later told railway officials that the woman had a history of mental illness and had sought treatment in the past at a psychiatric hospital. She was placed in quarantine for 14 days as part of measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

To the relief of all, her test results were negative and was she was taken back to her home in Khon Kaen by relatives today.

SOURCES: Chiang Rai Times | Bangkok Post

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Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai firefighters chased up a tree by wild elephants

Greeley Pulitzer

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Chiang Mai firefighters chased up a tree by wild elephants | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

Firefighters in Thailand’s North were chased up a tree by a herd of elephants yesterday. The group were on patrol searching for fires in Chiang Mai province’s Omkoi district.

The men told reporters they were patrolling for fires when they ran across a small herd of wild elephants. Fearing for their safety, the fled up a nearby tree and stayed there until the elephants went their way.

Located in the south of Chiang Mai Province, Omkoi is the home of the Omkoi Wildlife Sanctuary, which has a number of rare and endangered species including wild Asian elephants. But stumbling across wild elephants in the park is uncommon as it has a small population.

The firefighters were in the area as part of efforts to fight and spot forest fires burning across the province. Many villagers start fires to improve annual mushroom harvests and prepare land for planting new crops.

In another story, two men have been arrested in relation to fires that have caused widespread damage in Chiang Mai’s Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. The two are alleged to have started a fire in a forest area in Ban Thung Pong Tai, in Hang Dong District.

The men admitted to starting the fire but claimed “that they were only trying to create a fire protection line”, fighting fire with fire and providing protection from other fires in the park, but their fire got out of control. They face criminal charges.

In Chiang Mai’s Mae Chaem district, a major source of corn crops, the district chief ordered an investigation after reports of a fire in the Pa Baan Tuan area. Officials arrived to find a man standing in the area with a lighter in his hand (doh!).

The man was taken into custody, and told authorities he was taking a shortcut home when he saw a pile of leaves and branches. He says he decided to get rid of them by lighting a fire which got out of hand.

The was taken into custody where he will have time to reflect on much better excuses in the future.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation: State of Emergency affecting homeless dogs and cats

Sean Kelly

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Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation: State of Emergency affecting homeless dogs and cats | The Thaiger

During these troubled times, Soi Dog Foundation in Phuket has changed a few policies. Community Relations Manager Sakdapol Thongjan issued a special notice saying… in light of the escalation in Covid-19 cases worldwide, and to support the community efforts to stem the spread within Thailand, with immediate effect Soi Dog Foundation has decided to close the sanctuary to visitors and volunteers indefinitely.

“Soi Dog Foundation hope that normal service can be resumed as soon as possible and apologize for any inconvenience this closure may cause. The sanctuary and hospitals continue, the same as any other day, to care for the dogs and cats, in runs and in treatment.The community rescue and outreach programs provided for those in need will also carry on. “

This current national crisis not only affects humans but inadvertently affects our four-legged friends. Many homeless dogs and cats typically tended to by loving volunteers are now unable to continue their regular feeding schedules. As a result, Soi Dog Foundation is asking each of us to help where we can.

Without the regular feeding cycles in a consistent location, these homeless dogs and cats may suffer.

Thongjan reminds us there are feeders in areas across the island usually, but at the moment they might find it too difficult to get to those areas. The animals they care for are often fed at the same time and at the same location. Any changes to this routine can change their behaviour too, forcing them to relocate to survive which can cause new problems.”

This sudden inconsistency could lead them to explore new territory in search of nourishment and this is where we come in. While observing the national curfew and social distancing and unable to travel as freely, we can still enact small steps to help. 

For example, place a fresh bowl of water and some food outside to help feed a would be hungry homeless dog or cat. Be sure to change the water daily so as to not encourage mosquito breeding. Monitor the behaviors and health of the dogs and cats and report any life threating injuries to Soi Dog. 

Be sure to observe caution if you want to pat any animal, especially an animal in distress, and be sure to wash your hands as a basic sanitary habit.

• Soi Dog Foundation is located at 167/9 Moo 4, Soi Mai Khao 10, Mai Khao, Thalang, 83110.

• Shelter hours are Monday-Friday 8 am-5pm (but not at the moment).

• To report a sick or injured street dog or cat during these hours, email clinic@soidog.org or call 076 681 029. However, if you see an animal outside of shelter hours whose life you believe is in danger unless it receives immediate, emergency treatment, call the emergency hotline on 098 927 9698.

SOURCE: Soi Dog Foundation

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