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Jelik wins King’s Cup Regatta

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Under pressure for a perfect start in strong winds this morning, Ray Roberts’ Quantum Racing crossed the start line just three seconds before the start horn sounded, leaving Frank Pong’s 75-foot Jelik to sail off round the course and win the 21st King’s Cup Regatta.

The windiest King’s Cup since 1994 sorted the men from the boys to end on a high note. Throughout the week there have been collisions, a capsized catamaran, shredded spinnakers, many bruised egos and even a whale was reported to have surfaced striking the catamaran The Horse.

Although overall class winners were decided in six out of the 13 classes by the finish of yesterday’s racing, most skippers were happy to go out today and sort out the final podium places.

Ray Roberts knew he had to win both races today to have any chance of regaining the title for Quantum Racing. Approaching the very short start line a tad early with no room for error the bows hit the line as the horn sounded. A few anxious moments followed before the recall signal sounded, which put an end to their title chances.

Frank Pong’s powerful Reichel-Pugh 75 Jelik continued to defy the pundits and set off at blistering pace to claim two wins, bringing his tally to six wins of eight races and for the first time take home the coveted title.

Fourth and second place today kept Quantum Racing in second place overall and two fifth places for Stephen Reith’s Foxy Lady III was enough to score the third podium place.

Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns Fortis Mandrake and Chris Meads’ swish-looking Corby 43 Full Metal Jacket were always in the hunt, but fell out of contention for the top three places as the regatta drew on.

In the Sportsboat class, Scott Duncanson’s Phuket 8 Raimon Land wrapped up the title yesterday and did not compete today. After scary spinnaker rides with broaches, the Platus decided on more-controlled sailing downwind with poled-out headsails.

Morten Jacobson’s Platu 25 Emma Mathild XX skillfully claimed Race 6 to hold onto second place overall and Nick Southward’s Tuay Lek surprised the fleet with a good win in the last race. Japan’s Keisuke Nagamatsu Risotada placed third overall.

At the start of the day, three yachts were within range of winning the Premier Cruising class. Reefed mainsails and dusting cobwebs from No 2 or 3 headsails has become the order of the regatta. The start was hotly contested and sail selection and configuration in strong breezes was critical, especially for the windward beat.

Geoff Hill’s Strewth seemed to have mastered the heavy conditions and was forced to wait 20-odd minutes for David Ross’s class-leader Frangipani Girl to cross the finish line. This gave Hill’s crew their first win after a string of second places and displaced Frangipani Girl from the top of the podium, earning Strewth a well-earned overall victory.

Second place for Peter Cremers’ Shahtoosh gave them third overall.

In IRC 1, Jeff Davidson’s Mumm 30 Panic were unstoppable. Four wins and two second places gave Panic the series by a nautical mile. Tim Costello’s Farr 43 Switchblade showed they were serious to finish second overall and the best the boat has ever done at a King’s Cup.

A last race win for Jaray Tipsuk on Octopussy lifted the crew’s spirits and elevated them to third overall.

As they had already won IRC 2, Peter Dyer’s Madame Butterfly ventured out onto the course but wisely chose not to race to preserve the boat instead. In their absence, Tani Bassadone skippering the Swan 42 La Samudra took top honors today to finish second overall by one point.

Second place for Lt Cdr Peera Pornprom Sagultem’s Royal Thai Navy 1 gave them third place overall. Unfortunately, the results don’t show how closely contested the podium places have been.

In IRC 3, Fredrick Roswold’s classic IOR racer Wings dominated the class by posting four consecutive wins. A last race win for Dr Basil Diethelm’s Swan 44 Sarabande secured them second place overall. Third place for Larry Emerson’s chartered Remington maintained third place overall.

Henry Kaye’s crew on Mamba put on a fine display of boat handling and restraint when needed to firmly secure overall victory with five wins and a second place in the Firefly one-design class. Much kudos goes to Kaye, who has raced in every King’s Cup Regatta.

Roger Kingdon’s Moto Inzi compensated for missing two races after a collision with the press boat and returned with a vengeance to finish second place overall. With the demise of the other boats, David Hill’s Voodoo Child kept finished all races to take third place overall.

In strong winds, the bigger catamarans held their own against the smaller trimarans in the Multi Racing class. After pushing hard all week, Christopher Edwards’ Spirit of Isuzu excelled in the winds to win the final race and the class series.

Dave Wales’ Corsair trimaran The Sting led the class throughout most of the regatta, but fifth place today saw them drop to second place overall. Second place today for Peter Ball on Summersalt has the crew doing backflips as it rewards

 

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

Thailand

Phuket to rollout rapid Covid-19 testing campaign for visitors

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Flickr

A rapid Covid-19 antigen testing campaign for visitors to Phuket is being rolled out to quickly detect cases in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus. The island province is set to reopen to foreign tourists in July, that is if the virus is contained and if at least 70% of the population is vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The rapid testing campaign will start today and go until May 15. Visitors from Krabi, Ranong, Trang, and Phatthalung will be tested, according to deputy Phuket governor Piyapong Choowong. After May 15, those entering Phuket through official checkpoints will under Covid-19 tests funded by the National Health Security Office.

If daily new Covid-19 infections are more than 20 after the rapid testing campaign ends next week, then local officials will impose stricter disease control measures to help contain the virus.

In the recent wave of infections over the past month, there have been 493 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Phuket with 229 currently in treatment, according to the chief of the provincial public health office, Koosak Kookiattikul. To help contain Covid-19 in Phuket, the governor has also ordered local officials to find at-risk groups and carry out active case finding campaigns.

Despite the recent Covid-19 outbreak, Phuket is still scheduled to reopen under the so-called sandbox model, allowing foreign tourists who are vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel to the island without undergoing quarantine. A mass vaccination campaign is being rolled out on the island province in an effort to vaccinate 70% of the population, reaching herd immunity, by the end of June. Expats in Phuket with a valid work permit will be able to register for a vaccine starting next week.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Tourism

Tourism Minister says Phuket must reach zero infections before July re-opening

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Flickr

The Tourism and Sports Minister insists the southern island of Phuket must record zero Covid-19 cases if a planned July re-opening is to go ahead. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn adds that, should new infections be reported once 70% of the island is vaccinated, the Tourism and Public Health Ministries will work together to decide what action to take.

Tourism operators in Phuket are desperately clinging to the hope that the island’s July re-opening will go ahead, with many businesses seeing it as their last chance. The so-called “sandbox model” would see the island reopened to vaccinated foreign tourists without mandatory quarantine. Phiphat says tourism officials hope to attract between 3 and 4 million international visitors.

The Bangkok Post reports that in the last quarter of the year, the model will be extended to other parts of the country, including Phang Nga, Krabi, Koh Samui, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, and Bangkok.

“We have to speed up inoculations, particularly in Bangkok, to achieve herd immunity by the fourth quarter. The number of daily infections should be below 200 by the end of this month to restore international tourism confidence.”

Given that many people may need a lot of persuasion to travel, particularly if it means mandatory quarantine once they get home, there may be some raised eyebrows at the government’s decision to charge foreign arrivals a 300 baht “tourism fee”. Yes, you read that correctly…

Phiphat says that particular initiative will launch in January, with the proceeds used to create a fund to help the tourism industry survive any future calamities. He calculates that if Thailand gets 20.8 foreign tourists in 2022, the fund will have 6.2 billion baht to future-proof the sector.

According to the Bangkok Post, once Thailand gets its Covid-19 outbreak under control officials plan to re-open travel bubble discussions with neighbouring countries, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Laos, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Foreigners can register for vaccination next month (next week for some on Phuket)

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Pixnio

But when they will actually be vaccinated remains up in the air. While a Public Health Ministry spokesperson declared just days ago that Covid-19 vaccines were reserved for Thais, not expats, the government now says that statement was taken out of context.

Yesterday, Opas Kankawinpong from the Disease Control Department confirmed that foreigners living in Thailand would also be vaccinated.

“Anyone living in Thailand, be they Thai or foreign, will be able to get the vaccine if they want it. No one is safe until everyone is safe.”

Opas went on to say that the goal of herd immunity means vaccinating at least 70% of those living here – both Thai and foreign. He says there is an estimated 3 million foreign nationals living in the Kingdom long-term, pointing out that a significant proportion of the migrant worker population in Samut Sakhon has now been vaccinated. The central province was the epicentre of a second wave of infections in December, centred around its fish markets and factories.

According to the Bangkok Post, Opas then went on to say foreigners who want to be vaccinated can contact their embassy. However, judging by the comments on social media, no foreigner who has tried this has had any success. Both the British and Australian embassies have told their citizens that they are covered under Thailand’s vaccination rollout – and that’s that.

Opas says priority for foreigners will be accorded in the same way as it is for Thais. The eldery and at-risk, as well as those living in high-risk areas and people with underlying conditions, will be first in line. Inoculation is expected to be carried out using the locally-produced AstraZeneca vaccine.

Meanwhile, Pensom Lertsithichai from the Foreign Ministry says that from next month, foreigners should be able to register to be vaccinated.

“The ministry is trying their best to help foreigners, so they can either use the mobile app or contact hospitals directly and register to be vaccinated.”

Phuket is a step ahead, with the Phuket News confirming that foreigners working on the southern island can register to be vaccinated from next Tuesday. However, they must be in possession of a valid work permit and have their employer register them on the “Phuket Must Win” website.

Phuket expats without a work permit will be included in the following phase. The island is in a race to vaccinate 70% of its population in order to re-open to vaccinated international tourists from July.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | The Phuket News

 

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