Phuket Gazette Sports: Review of the year

A look back over the year’s sporting events and memorable moments that helped highlight Phuket as a center of excellence in the Kingdom and Asia.

January: Fresh start and fresh faces

Promotion to Division 1 of Thailand’s national football league also brought a coaching set up for FC Phuket led by Surachai Jirasirichote. Surachai’s dream of taking the Southern Sea Kirin to the heady heights of Thailand’s Premier League would soon turn into a nightmare for the former Thailand international. Australia’s cross country mountain bike champion, Damien Enderby was on Phuket preparing for his title defense and the Gazette profiled golfing prodigy, 14-year-old Pariwat Pinsawat and surfing sensation, 12-year-old Annissa Flynn. Both young sports stars would have an outstanding 2011.
February: A Knight’s tale
As fame came to a new generation of Phuket sports talent, one of Phuket’s sailing icons passed from this life. Tony Knight succumbed to injuries following a motorbike injury in Australia, but his dedication to Phuket’s yacht scene and involvement with Ao Chalong Yacht Club (ACYC) will always survive. Continuing with sailing, Scott Duncanson and his crew on Quantum Fusion M took top honors at the Bay Regatta, while FC Phuket began their league campaign with a 1-1 draw against Suphan Buri. Youth rugby got off to a fine start when the Phuket Lomas performed well at the Bangkok 10s.
March: Zack’s back
Juergen Zack, one of the world’s leading triathletes arrived to Phuket to take up a post with Thanyapura Sports and Leisure Club (TSLC) as their Director of Triathlon Training in order to promote the sport of triathlon on Phuket. FC Phuket claimed three points against Rajapracha FC in bizarre circumstances after it was asserted that the visitors to Surakul Stadium fielded too many foreign players. The ACYC Keel boat and Multihull Club Championship got underway with Kevin Gillow and Mick Kealy drawing first blood onboard Minx.
April: Young aims for F1
After five games FC Phuket were on top of the world and on top of the Division 1 table with 11 points. Kenth Fredin and Michael Weinstein won the World Corporate Golf Challenge Thailand chapter which gave the Phuket duo a berth at the world finals in South Africa. Dylan Young from Australia secured a seat at the JK Racing series and took on the best upcoming drivers in Asia at the F1 circuit in Sepang. Patong Cricket Club won the 35 over Island Furniture League in dramatic style against arch rivals Laguna.
May: Laguna take T20 title
Phuket’s young sports enthusiasts hit the pages with the inaugural IronKids triathlon which took place at TSLC where athletes as young as six years old swum, biked and ran into the record books. Laguna Cricket Club avenged their 35 over league defeat by defeating Patong CC in another exciting final, this time for T20 honors. Raymond Windsor’s amazing aquatic abilities surfaced when he took eight gold medals at the British International School’s Flying Fish International Swimming Gala. Fredin and Weinstein posted a highly commendable fifth place at the World Corporate Golf Challenge finals in South Africa. A beleaguered Surachai steps down as FC Phuket coach after a series of poor results.
June: Marathon sports month
An exceptional month for sport on Phuket! After sleeping on the beach for fear of missing the start of the Laguna Phuket Marathon, Vsevolod Khudyakov from Russia not only raced to victory, but set a new course record. Thailand’s Thepchaiya Uh-nooh claimed the Sangsom Phuket Snooker Cup by defeating world number 17, Stuart Bingham. Defending Phuket Rugby 10s champions, the Kriel Roosters from South Africa, copped one from the Royal Thai police rugby team to lose their crown. Alan Cooke MBE announced the establishment of Phuket’s first dedicated cricket facility soon followed by an anonymous donation of 1 million baht to help with its development. Gerry Norquist and his team won the Phuket Property Dot Com Pro Am Invitational which also raised 1mn baht for charity.
July: Pryde of place
Young Pariwat Pinsawat teed up his future on golf’s world stage by taking joint second place at the Callaway Junior World Golf Championship held in the US. Miss Saigon and Voodoo won their respective classes at the SEA Property Multihull Championship, a precursor to the Six Senses Raceweek which was eventually won by Team Premier, skippered by Neil Pryde. Olympic hopefuls, the Canadian synchronized swimming team, splashed down at TSLC to use the facility as a training camp before the World Championships in China.
August: FC Phuket win away
After 10 games without a win away from home, FC Phuket break their duck against RBAC. Jaray Jeranai, a marketing executive in Laguna become the first Thai athlete to secure qualification at both the Ironman 70.3 World Championships and the Ford Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. Former captain of the Thailand football team, Therdsak Chaiman, visited Phuket and gave a free coaching clinic to young players at TSLC.
September: Pariwat and Flynn step up
Another prolific month for Phuket’s young talents. Pariwat returned home as part of the victorious Thailand golf team that won the Lion City Cup in Hong Kong to be announced as Brand Manager for the Phuket Country Club. Annissa Flynn finished runner up

Phuket News

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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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