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King’s Cup honors HM The King’s birthday with sail-past salute

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Before racing got underway in the 21st King’s Cup Regatta today, a royal sailpast was held to honor HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 80th birthday. A majestic sight to behold as crews lined the 103 competing yachts chanting three cheers, doffing their sailing caps and some even singing Happy Birthday.

A parade of sail is an appropriate way for international sailors to pay homage to Thailand’s sailing royal family that have supported yachting events all these years.

The Racing classes continued on with two more windward/leeward races and the Cruising classes were duly dispatched on a passage race around Koh Hei and Koh Aeo before returning to the finish line off Kata Beach.

Frank Pong’s 75-foot Jelik proved once again they can win windward/leeward races and takes a commanding lead in the overall points with four wins to date. Stephen Reith’s Sydney 40 Foxy Lady III announced their presence with second place in Race 4 to relegate Ray Roberts’ DK46 Quantum Racing to third place by 40 seconds. Race 5 saw Quantum Racing reverse the order with Foxy Lady III to finish 2nd and 3rd, respectively, as well as in the overall points.

In the Sportsboat class, Scott Duncanson’s Phuket 8 Raimon Land has kept a clean sheet until now, with five consecutive wins. Japan’s Keisuke Nagamatsu on Platu 114 keeps plugging away, exchanging second and third places with Kevin Scott’s The Weasel and Morten Jacobson’s Emma Mathild XX to be the best of the rest.

Peter Cremers has steadily been improving Shahtoosh positions in the Premier Cruising class and managed to pull a win out of the bag in passage Race 4. Geoff Hill’s Strewth has consistently scored second places on the last three races to retain second overall. Third place for David Ross’s Swan 53 Frangipani Girl has all three boats tied on nine points going into the final races, which may have to be decided by dropping each boat’s worst race score.

In IRC 1, Jeff Davidson’s Mumm 30 Panic retained their composure to score two wins on the trot and head the leaderboard. Sail in Asia’s Farr 43 Switchblade with the Irish Green Team on board are on the pace with second and sixth place to be amongst the leaders going into the final rounds.

Bunlou Pitphirom’s Fi Tuen has been up and down the scoreboard, but two well-earned third places will keep the crew happy. After drifting away on the first night, Toshio Furuta’s Emma took second place in Race 5 to make up for the unfortunate incident.

Peter Dyer’s Madame Butterfly spoiled their clean sheet in IRC 2 with a second place in Race 4, but resumed their winning ways in Race 5 today to lead the class. David Lindahl’s Swan 42 La Samudra bounced back with first and third places to sneak back into the running for top honors.

Lt Cdr Peera Sagultem’s Royal Thai Navy 1 scored fifth and second on the royal birthday and proudly gifted it to the King. Michelle Pippen’s third place on Tropic Bird has them popping occasionally onto the podium.

Three wins in a row for Fredrick Roswold’s classic IOR racer Wings has them well and truly in the lead overall in IRC 3. Second place for Dr Basil Diethelm’s Swan 44 Sarabande puts them in second overall with allot of work to do if they want to improve their standing. Third place for Richard Vine’s classic Patrice III is a stitch in time and along time between podium celebrations.

In the Firefly one-design class, Henry Kaye stayed on the pace with Mamba to record their fourth consecutive win and go to the top of the class. After Roger Kingdon’s retirement from yesterday’s race, he had Moto Inzi back on the water to score second and third places today.

Andrew Marshal’s Pink Lady returned with second place in Race 5 today. Following the collision between Bill Phelps’ Twin Sharks and Peter Dyers’ SEA Properties yesterday, parts and pieces will be transfered to get Twin Sharks back out on the race course again.

Tim Milner’s Seekronghuk came from behind to win the Multi Racing class today, which puts a cat amongst the pigeons in the race for top honors in the class. Richard Simson’s new Corsair Dingo is on a charge to score second place.

Third for Dave Wales Corsair trimaran The Sting keeps them in the overall running by exerting pressure on Peter Ball’s Summersalt, which finished fourth but still holds a slim lead in the overall standings.

In the Sunsail one-design class, Christian Eschenberg on Princess Anna continues to dominate with three first wins. Keith Harding on Princess Sharda scored second place today and Gunter Persiehl Princess Arieta finished third.

Daniel Schwalb on Mont Clair improved on second place yesterday to first place today in the Bareboat class. Scott Jacobsen’s Amadeus leaped back into contention with a second place. Japan’s Hironori Kobayashi on Fidji finished third today, but the win in Race 2 keeps them at the top of the class.

All positions are provisional and based on the constantly changing results at the time of goi

 

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

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 mask violators in Phuket forced to exercise

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Pushups instead of a 6,000 baht fine at a Phuket checkpoint yesterday. (via video screenshot)

For those who have more pounds on their body than pounds in their pocket, exercise punishment seen in Phuket yesterday for mask violators may or may not be welcome. Officials have walked back the strict 6,000 baht punishment for the first warning against someone not wearing a mask and were spotted forcing those who have gone out without a mask to do exercise on the street.

The people forced to exercise were at a Covid-19 checkpoint in the Rawai subdistrict, where the Chalong Police along with local medical workers were checking people yesterday. The checkpoint was set up in an effort to push one hundred per cent mask compliance to stop the spread of Covid-19 on Phuket.

Not only were they checking everyone who passed by to make sure they had their masks, but also to correct those who were wearing their masks improperly. We’ve all seen the people who seem to think that a mask on their chin or underneath their nose is somehow just as effective as a properly worn mask, or at least that they can get away with “wearing a mask” while limiting their personal inconvenience.

Officials were quick to point out that the overwhelming majority of people passing through the checkpoint, both foreigners and Thai, did have their masks with them and were wearing them properly. But they did catch more than 10 people not wearing their face mask or not using them correctly.

Authorities decided to let them off with a first soft warning by moving bodies instead of moving baht. Police made violators do exercise right there on the street in hopes of shaming them into making better decisions next time. All violators did have their names and details taken down with a promise that if they were caught again proper traditional fines would be handed down.

No word yet on any plans to make this punishment into a Tik-Tok Channel.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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Tourism

Thai public health and tourism ministers on Phuket to push the July 1 Sandbox reopening

Tim Newton

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Bangkok has sent a couple of ministerial heavyweights to Phuket today to keep pushing the July 1 ‘Sandbox’ bandwagon, insisting that Phuket will open to fully vaccinated tourists from July 1.

The Deputy PM and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul ,along with the Sports and Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, are doing the island PR tour today delivering a message from the PM Prayut Chan-o-cha who is confirming that Phuket will open to fully vaccinated international tourists from the start of July.

Phuket has continued to rack up between 10-20 new Covid infections each day over the past week and still has hundreds of people listed as ‘active cases’. As of today 22% of the island has been vaccinated.

The original Phuket Sandbox model was intended to be quarantine-free. That issue was not made clear during today’s PR trip from the 2 ministers. The full details of how Phuket will open to international tourists, how those tourists might get to Phuket, or where they will visit on an island with its tourist infrastructure shutdown, have not been provided at this stage. It has also not been discussed how long the international tourists will have to remain on Phuket before travelling to other parts of the country.

The Phuket Governor welcomed the prime ministerial delegation to Provincial Hall at lunchtime saying that Phuket would progress with its plans to launch the Phuket Sandbox from July 1.

โ€œAll stakeholders who are frontline warriors working to solve the problem of the Covid epidemic situation have earned the goodwill and concern from Prayut Chan-o-cha, who also believes that Phuket is ready to prepare for the opening of the Phuket Tourism Sandbox on July 1 for sure.”

Phuket Province generated several hundreds of billions of baht of income for the country per year and Thailand relies heavily on tourism income. Indeed, second to Bangkok, Phuket was the government’s golden goose delivering decades of high tourism receipt returns.

Speaking to The Phuket News, Anutin said…

“The government is ready to act as soon as possible. This has been clearly proved, such as by the large number of vaccine doses that Phuket has been allocated to vaccinate the people in the area to cover all groups and be as safe as possible as the โ€˜Phuket Model’.

โ€œWhen the economy is good, everyone gets better, so use patience to believe that good things will follow”.

Another 100,000 Sinovac vaccines arrived on the island to be formerly handed over today by Minister Anutin. An additional 100,000 doses will arrive on Tuesday.

AstraZeneca vaccines are also due to arrive from June, daily reserved for people over 60 years old or people who have other health conditions which require the AZ vaccine instead of the Chinese manufactured Sinovac.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Phuket

Phuket may ditch light rail and build smart bus system instead

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: A Smart bus plan may replace Phuket light rail plans. (via MRTA)

A proposal to drop the light rail planned for Phuket and replace it with a smart bus system is under an in-depth review as ordered by Phuket Transport Minister. Advocates for the smart bus – automated driverless buses on city streets – say that the project would bring mass transportation to Phuket Island for 15.2 billion baht cheaper than a light rail would.

The analysis was ordered Thursday in a phone meeting to check progress on regional transport projects. The Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand has suggested changing the plan in Phuket from light rail to a smart bus system. The MRTA had been dead set on the light rail system but have now launched preliminary research on a driverless bus system.

HERE’S a previous story with more details about how the bus system would work, instead of a light rail.

But critics say the planned light rail system was almost unworkable with its routing not going through the main population centres and its complete avoidance of the tourist areas, was doomed from the start. The 5 years it was expected for construction would have caused major traffic snarls on the main island arteries and then reduced traffic flow on those arteries for the life of the light rail project.

Initial investigations show that an automated rapid transit bus system would shave about 9 months off the construction time and 15.289 billion baht from the budget. Cost-saving measures like precast concrete and launching gantries will further reduce construction expenses.

As a result, the bus system could be run with lower passenger fares than a light rail train would. The project was considering 3 bus fares… local in Phuket Town, local outside of Phuket Town, and transport between towns around the island.

The MRTA and the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning have coordinated with the Expressway Authority in Thailand to consider the smart bus plan and its effect on traffic. Unfortunately, the group is worried that building the smart bus system plan to be ready by 2026 while working on the Patong tunnel project scheduled to open in 2028 would create long-term detrimental traffic jams. They’re considering a postponement to a 2030 launch (the Patong tunnel project has been in ‘planning’ mode for 20 years and will never happen).

The Transportation Minister has requested proposals for 2 different timelines to be delivered within the next 2 weeks, and plans to have the MRTA and EXAT come to Phuket for public hearings after Covid-19.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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