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Aussie attempts epic endurance sport feat in Phuket [video]

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Aussie attempts epic endurance sport feat in Phuket [video] | The Thaiger

PHUKET: An Australian living and training on Phuket will make an epic endurance sport attempt tomorrow as he embarks on a three-day, non-stop triple circumnavigation of Phuket by prone paddleboarding, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) and running.

Damien Rider, 40, already made headlines in Phuket when he completed a local SUP adventure, circling the island to raise awareness for his self-funded organization: Paddle Against Child Abuse (story here). Prior to this, he found himself in international headlines as he paddled 800km of shark-infested waters off the east coast of Australia. The epic journey has been captured in the recently released National Geographic documentary ‘Heart of the Sea’.

“January third is World Paddle Day and will be one year to the day that I did my original 800km paddle,” Mr Rider told the Phuket Gazette this week. “I want to continue pushing myself and showing others what is possible when you put your mind to it. It seems that if I do extreme events, people get motivated to get started to be active.”

The new-age, paddle-packed triathlon will be the first of its kind for Mr Rider, Phuket and perhaps the world. Mr Rider confessed that he was unaware of anyone else having linked the three endurance sports together for a similar challenge anywhere else on Earth.

The first test for Mr Rider will be the stifling heat that has settled over Phuket within the last few days, making hydration and nutrition critical components to his strategy. Even with proper water and fuelling, sleep deprivation during the 72-hour attempt will take a devastating toll on the Aussie.

“Sleep deprivation is something tough to train for as it takes a lot out of you and a long time to recover from even 24 hours. I just have to do it and push through. I’ve really had to mix up my training by training at Unit 27, Phuket Raw Gym, and Phuket Fit,” Mr Rider said. “Going through the night will be a test of the unknown that I will have to face. I don’t know the coastline very well, but I’m hoping I can follow moored boat lights to help guide me.”

During his last Phuket challenge, Mr Rider took a relaxed 3.5 days to circumnavigation the island, sleeping where he could pull in for the night (story here). And though he’s going to have to drop a lot of time from his most recent challenge, he’s confident that the knowledge of basic landmarks and a faster 17’6 Starboard Sprint board will make the difference.

Damien Rider successfully completed his first challenge in Phuket, which was the circumnavigation of the island by SUP in four days. Video: PGTV

“If people see me, they can join in,” Mr Ride said, as if in hopes of re-create the Forest Gump run. “I have a couple of mates, Darren Sherbain from Old Dawg Coaching and Christian Griffith from Live For A Living, doing the 130km run with me on day three.”

The 130km run is just a little more than three times the distance of a standard marathon, which is 42.2km.

Unlike his solo prone paddle in Australia and his SUP challenge in Phuket, Mr Rider will have a land support team working with him for this event.

“They will be there so I don’t have to carry as much weight on me or the board, and also to watch my condition as I move along, especially after day two.”

Those wanting regular updates as the endurance sport challenge unfolds can check the Facebook page ‘430 km in 3 Days’.

— Isaac Stone Simonelli



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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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Crime

43 year old British man arrested over Phuket dog attack

The Thaiger

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43 year old British man arrested over Phuket dog attack | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Facebook/Naiharn Beach Dogs

Mervyn Harding, a 43 year old British expat, has ben charged over animal cruelty after he was identified on CCTV attacking a dog with a long rod on Tuesday morning (July 16).

He was charged after attacking the dog in front of a massage shop near Nai Harn Beach around 7am on Tuesday. Police started investigating the case after the video was posted online.

The video shows the man arriving at the scene, taking the rod from his motorbike, then violently beating the dog. The man told police that he had beaten the dog as revenge because it had attacked his dog.

He appeared at the Phuket Provincial Court today Thursday). Bail was refused on request from the police and he is currently detained pending a court hearing. Police estimate it could take up to two months before his case reaches court for a hearing on animal cruelty and trespass charges.

The Thaiger has decided not to share the video of the incident.

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Phuket

UPDATE: Thai PM tells Phuket people to “stop ripping off tourists”

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UPDATE: Thai PM tells Phuket people to “stop ripping off tourists” | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Two Australians file their report with Karon police this morning

Everyone is having their say about a van charging two Australian tourists 3,000 baht for a trip from the Phuket International Airport to Kata, even the Thai PM.

The PM took time out today to issue a warning to “Phuket people” that its reputation as a tourist destination will suffer if local people keep ripping-off tourists.

A spokesperson says the Thai prime minister was made aware of a formal police complaint filed by two Australian tourists that a passenger van driver charged them 3,000 baht (1,500 baht each) for the 47 kilometre ride to their hotel in Kata.

The spokesperson said… “if people persisted in taking unfair advantage of foreign visitors it would have a negative impact on the Thai people and Phuket.”

The costs are well signed as tourists emerge at the airport or they can catch a metered taxi.

The distance from Phuket International Airport to the Kata area is about 47 kilometres, which should usually cost 800-1000 baht, a metered journey could be a little less, depending on the time of day and traffic.

Advertised prices at the airport say the maximum price for a private minibus from the airport to Kata/Karon is 1,600 baht. Other advertised services at the airport say you can catch a min-bus, with other passengers, for 200 baht to Kata/Karon. A taxi from the airport has a rate set at 1,000 baht, 500 baht each for the two Australians.

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Phuket

UPDATE: Search for Filipinos lost off Freedom Beach, Phuket

The Thaiger

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UPDATE: Search for Filipinos lost off Freedom Beach, Phuket | The Thaiger

PHOTO: siangtai.com

Officials are still trying to push on with a search for two Filipino tourists who were washed out to sea by waves at Freedom Beach in Phuket last night around 5pm. With nearly 24 hours having passed since the pair’s disappearances grave fears are now held for their survival.

Conditions have been quite rough and squally for most of Thursday. Freedom beach is also bordered with rocky cliffs making searching difficult north or south of the shores of the beach.

12 Filipino tourists were visiting the Beach, between Patong and Karon on the island’s west coast, and were playing in the shallows despite quite strong winds and big waves.

Lifeguards from the nearby Patong Beach and rescuers from the Kusoldham Phuket Rescue Foundation rushed to search for the two but the search had to be called off due to the failing light and the waves up to 2 metres.

Patong Bay Watch volunteers resumed the search this morning in two boats. There has so far been no sighting of the two missing Filipinos.

UPDATE: Search for Filipinos lost off Freedom Beach, Phuket | News by The Thaiger UPDATE: Search for Filipinos lost off Freedom Beach, Phuket | News by The Thaiger

Freedom Beach in much better weather

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