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Adrenaline opens Phuket yacht race series with a bullet

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Adrenaline opens Phuket yacht race series with a bullet | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Mark Horwood and his crew on Adrenaline opened their campaign in the Ao Chalong Yacht Club (ACYC) Keelboat and Multihull Race Series for the year with a bullet in the first race, held on Chalong Bay last Sunday.

The Formula 40 trimaran, famed for its “rocking outer hulls” (wonky training wheels), outpaced Kirill Stashevskiy’s Stealth Cat Galeforce, which placed second on the day.

Defending ACYC multihulls class champions Grenville Fordham and Bob Mott’s Nina, which also recently won the multihulls division at the Royal Langkawi International Regatta, placed third.

ACYC Race Officer Alan Carwardine gave special mention to the newly revamped 52-foot aluminum catamaran Fluke 10 out of the Kan Eang seafood restaurant at Chalong Pier.

“They had an all-Thai crew on board, who sailed well. It’s a big catamaran, but they managed to race it with some pace. We hope to see them do well in the race series this year,” Carwardine told the Phuket Gazette.

Defending champion Patinyakorn “Ging” Buranrom on Sansiri Windstar placed first in the Monohulls Division, with visiting boat Rusalka skippered by Kevan Perrins closing the day second.

ACYC regular racer Mig Wehrie placed third on his Hunter 280 Aqua.

The next race in the series will be on April 5.

“We had only a small fleet on Sunday, but we are looking forward to more yachts joining the fleet as the year progresses,” Carwardine told the Gazette.

All are welcome to join the Sunday racing series.

Breakfast is available at the club from 8am.

“Anyone wishing to sail but don’t have a boat are advised to to turn up before 8:30am and we will do our best to get you on a vessel,” said ACYC Commodore Mick Kealy.

The series is open to all keel yachts and multihulls with a length overall of greater than six meters. Eligible boats may enter by completing an entry form on each race day and by paying the racing nomination fee to the Race Officer or the appointed ACYC representative.

There is no entry fee for boats. Crew fees are 150 baht for members, 300 baht for non-members.

Crew fees are applicable to all participating crew.

The course set each racing Sunday includes Chalong Bay and the surrounding area – often heading out to the safe water mark off Baan Nit and beyond, and rounding Koh Lon if the wind is steady enough.

Individual prizes are awarded to podium finishers on race day pending the number of entries.

Race briefing is at 9:05am, ahead of the 11am preparatory signal for a 11:05am race start.

Each participating boat must be insured with valid third-party insurance to the value of 20 million baht, or the equivalent, for all races entered.

For more information about the ACYC, its race series and other events, visit the official website (click here).

— Chris Husted

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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News

30 dolphins greet visitors to Similan Islands

Greeley Pulitzer

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30 dolphins greet visitors to Similan Islands | The Thaiger

Tourists were treated to the sight of a school of dolphins in the Similan Islands off the Phang Nga coast on Sunday.

Tour organisers said that around 30 dolphins swam close to the boat six or seven miles offshore, creating excitement for passengers. It was the first time dolphins had been seen in the vicinity since October 15.

The Similan Islands National Park director said they were bottlenose dolphins and were among several species now returning to the area following a five-year closure of the park for environmental rehabilitation. Food is again plentiful there for them, he said.

Tourists are forbidden to feed wildlife lest the free handouts alter the animals’ natural behaviour, and the park’s waters are also very sensitive to contamination from human disease and marine debris, according to the director.

SOURCE: nationthailand.com

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Patong

Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms

The Thaiger

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Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms | The Thaiger

by Sophie Deviller

Hotels on Thailand’s most popular holiday island are being forced to slash prices, with rooms left vacant and beaches sparse as Thailand’s tourism chiefs struggle with a plunge in Chinese visitors caused by the US trade war and a stronger baht. Phuket was the most visited destination in the country last year, after Bangkok, and a good gauge of the state of its crucial travel industry.

Tourism accounts for 18% of Thailand’s gross domestic product and Chinese holidaymakers make up more than a quarter of total arrivals. But while 2.2 million people from the country visited in 2018, according to official figures, the numbers for January-September were down almost 20% year on year.

Claude de Crissey, the French Honorary Consul in Phuket and owner of about 40 rooms in the Patong Beach area, says Chinese tourists are usually present even during the current low season.

“That was not the case this year,” he said, adding he had to lower his prices by as much as 50%.

The problem is not only in Phuket, with hotels also struggling to fill rooms in the seaside resort of Pattaya on the mainland and on Koh Samui.

Trade tensions with the US have already made some Chinese reluctant to take holidays owing to uncertainty back home, while the Thai baht has risen about 10% against the yuan this year.

A boating disaster off Phuket’s coast that killed 47 Chinese holidaymakers in July 2018 also scared some off.

“We are worried,” said an industry insider, declining to be named due to the sensitivity of the topic in a country where tourism provides tens of thousands of jobs. Adding to the headache is the fact that more than 3,000 new hotel rooms are being constructed on the island, raising the question of who will fill them.

Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms | News by The Thaiger

“In terms of business, it’s not good,” said Kongsak Khoopongsakorn, vice-president of the association of hotels in Thailand and director of Vijitt Resort.

“Because … we have more hotels, more rooms to sell, we have more restaurants, more coffee shops.”

Still, tourism authority chairman Yuthasak Supasorn said he remained “optimistic.”

“We should reach our goal of 39.8 million foreign visitors.”

However, that is only up from 38.2 million in 2018, much less than the jump seen from the previous year’s total of 35.6 million.

Counting on India

Now hoteliers and tour package operators are targeting visitors from elsewhere, particularly India, which experts see as a huge untapped market.

A rapid expansion of the middle class in India, increased direct flights and visa-free travel have prompted Thailand to revise forecasts upwards.

It now expects two million Indian tourists this year, after an increase of nearly 25% on-year in the first seven months. But for now, the lower arrivals is evident on the streets of Phuket.

“I’ve never seen anything as bad as what it is at the moment,” said Paul Scott from Australia, who said he has been coming to Thailand for 15 years.

He mainly blamed the stronger baht for the drop-off but also the fact that Thailand wasn’t the untouched vacation paradise it once was. “Now it’s not so new … and it’s not cheap,” he said.

SOURCE: AFP

Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms | News by The Thaiger

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Events

The 15th Mai Khao Marine Turtle fun run attracts more than 4,000 runners

The Thaiger

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The 15th Mai Khao Marine Turtle fun run attracts more than 4,000 runners | The Thaiger

4,000 runners from Thailand and overseas took part in the 15th Mai Khao Marine Turtle Fun Run and Half Marathon 2019 yesterday, starting from the Phuket Gateway.

The event is expected to raise 700,000 baht for the charity, now in its 15th year. The money raised goes towards to The Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation, which is committed to protecting the marine and coastal environment, and ecosystems, for the wellbeing of sea turtles that nest in the Mai Khao beach and the surrounding areas.

The annual race also provides funds for thePhuket Marine Biological Centre’s Injured Turtle Rehabilitation Program and The Third NavalArea Command’s Turtle Hatchery Program.

The race was in its 15th year and runners of all ages and abilities took part in the race. The morning’s racing was divided into five categories – the 21.1km half marathon, 10.5km mini- marathon, 5km fun run and 3k family run and VIP participants for all the races. The route of 21.1 kilometre race took runners northwest along the Haad Sai Kaew beach towards Thao Thepkasattri bridge, past the rural road No. 3006, run along the road – Pi Lai viewpoint area returned back along the T. Baan Tha Nun to the iconic Sarasin bridge before finished the half marathon in the Phuket Gateway.

For Mini Marathon 10.5 km – Over all category, Mr. Chinnawat Changlek clocked 39 minutes and 40 seconds to clinch victory in the male half marathon, winning prize money and a trophy with the signature of Phuket’s Governor. The winner in the female mini marathon was Surakarn Wanna with a time of 47 minutes and 47 seconds.

Winners also received a prize gift voucher as well as a medal. Congratulations to all participants.

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