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Cape Panwa Raceweek wraps up after controversial contest

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Cape Panwa Raceweek wraps up after controversial contest | The Thaiger

PHUKET: After three days of challenging conditions and tough racing, the sailors were looking for a final day bang. However, Principal Race Officer Simon James and team left the sailors onshore as they headed off in search for wind, which turned into a search for the proverbial needle in a haystack. It was never found. While the sailors enjoyed the hospitality of the Bamboo Bar, cooled off in the sea and beachfront pool, racing for the day was called off at 12:55 and as they say, ‘that’s a wrap!’

Two wins in the last two races of the series for Ray Roberts and Millenium Racing was enough for them to secure a two-point winning margin in IRC Racing I. On the windward/leeward courses there was little between the two, just seconds at times, while Roberts and crew appeared to have the edge on Oi! over distance.

One more race would have brought a drop into play and for IRC Racing II this could have changed everything. It never happened and third place for David Dimmock and Loco in Race 3 of the series was their downfall, allowing Scott Bradley’s Emagine to take top spot by a single point.

Third place went to Ben Copley in his first outing on his new boat Gust (ex KukuKERchu). Of the four Beneteau’s in the class Fujin placed highest, beating Richard Barnhurt’s Balance on countback.

There was controversy in IRC Racing III on Day 2 when three of the five-strong fleet couldn’t finish by the stipulated time in the second race of the day, resulting in finishing points awarded (FPA) for those boats and three points awarded to Phoenix. Redress requested by the Race Committee saw the Protest Committee award Phoenix FPA and one point, while the two finishers Foreign Affair and Moon Smile remained scored at first and second respectively.

As often is the case, everything comes out in the wash and no matter whether it is a single or three points for Phoenix, and with no drop race in the frame, Phoenix still wins the class. Foreign Affair held onto second and Sailescapes Farrgo Express held off the challenge from Moon Smile to claim third.

After a slow start to the series in the Cruising/ Charter class, Jim Ellis and his enthusiastic crew on Remington found their speed and finished the series with a 3,1,1 scoreline and take out the title by a single point from BeauX Esprits, with Venture placing third.

Despite a third in the last race of the series for Singaporean Clement Lim and his Singapore Management University team on Phuket Boat Lagoon Weasel, they win the One Design Platu class by a single point from the all-female team on Phuket Boat Lagoon Fox with Absolute One Design in third.

Four wins and a third in the final race was enough for Alan Carwardine’s Asia Catamarans Hurricane to defend his Multihull Racing class title from a fast finishing Java skippered by John Coffin, while Peter Wood and his Top Cat placed third.

In Firefly 850 Sport John Newnham defended his title in style dominating the class with a 2,1,1,1 while Voodoo, skippered by Ian Coulson, comfortably placed second ahead of George Eddings’ Blue Noze in third.

The only skipper in the fleet to keep a clean sheet this week was Mick Tilden on Pixalux, sailing a flawless series on his Corsair Pulse 600 in the Corsair Class. Charles Robinson on SuDu 4 (Yellow) got the better of a tie on points with Zam Bevan’s Multihull Solutions H30 to secure second place. Credit goes to the duo of Jiamin Qu and Watcharich ‘King’ Aebi – a 15 year old Thai boy – who placed second in the first race of the series only to fall off later and finish fourth overall.

Now in it’s 13th year, Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek is aging gracefully and this year welcomed a record fleet of 47 boats, with a growing number of sailors coming from around the world to charter a boat and compete.

Also encouraging is the number of Thai sailors taking part, making up 20 per cent of the fleet this year. While the fickle wind made it tough for all, the onshore facilities and services were, as usual, excellent. The parties lived up to their reputation and high bar while the Race Management team did an excellent job in trying circumstances.

Dates are already set for next year. Mark your diary: 14th Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek will take place July 19-23, 2017.

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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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