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Phuket King’s Cup Regatta gives spectacular tribute and racing

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket King’s Cup Regatta gives spectacular tribute and racing | Thaiger

PHUKET: The entire Phuket King’s Cup Regatta fleet took part in an inspiring sail pass close to Nai Harn Bay yesterday, before the start of the third day of racing.

Royal Thai Navy yachts led the procession of Regatta boats from around the world, as they sailed past three Royal Thai Navy ships positioned off Nai Harn Bay.

This spectacular tribute was held in honor of His Majesty the King of Thailand’s 85th birthday.

Thousands of spectators, media and members of the public also gathered on Phromthep Cape viewpoint to watch the sail pass and gun salute, followed by a procession of the Royal Thai Navy ships, paying their respects and showing their love and support of Thailand’s Monarch, himself a gold medal winning sailor.

The 2012 Phuket King’s Cup Regatta fleet comprised of a very diverse assortment of vessels, included 78 large, ocean-going racers and cruisers, 49 dinghies and 40 windsurfers.

The boats were crewed by an international complement of sailors from 34 countries; part of the reason why the Regatta is renowned as the region’s most coveted sailing competition.

The sail pass was followed by some very competitive racing in 15+ knots of wind with gusts of up to 20 knots.

In the IRC Zero class, Frank Pong and his Jelik team turned it up a gear, winning races six and seven ahead of the Royal Malaysian Navy DK47 skippered by Mohamad Razali Mansor, and Kevin Whitcraft’s all Thai team on the modified GP42 Won Marang.

Pong, skipper of the twice-victorious Jelik, said:

“Phuket has been terrific and has really delivered. This is a much older boat than the one we ran last year, so it is carrying less handicap. With the previous setup it was very sticky in light air below eight knots. It was okay today [Wednesday] with the changes I’ve made; it goes well in all conditions. Conditions will change of course; Friday looks lighter, Saturday, very light. We ran from 12-20 knots today [Wednesday] and it worked well – 42 seconds and 20 seconds ahead. We have only really sailed against Kevin’s Won Marang. We hope the Regatta President Commodore does well, and we hope they finish second!”

David Fuller’s Ichi Ban, one of two competing Ichi Ban teams this year, took a spectacularly tight win in the IRC1 class, just one second on corrected time ahead of Walawala 2 team skippered by Steve Manning. The bottleneck finish illustrated just how close the class is this year, with potential winners coming from anywhere on the results sheet. In race seven, Foxy Lady 6, skippered by Bill Bremner, came home in first place. The class remains wide open.

Royal Thai Navy 1 secured two victories in the IRC2 class. Skipper CPO.1 Wiwat Poonpat inspired his crew to power home almost half a minute ahead of Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban team – very tough competitors in each and every race.

The competition for Firefly 850 Sports class is shaping up between three teams; Hans Rahmann and Voodoo beat rival Dyer Straits skippered by Peter Dyer in race six, with the seventh race going to Roger Kingdon’s Moto Inzi – another very open contest.

Fantasia, skippered by Andrew Stransky, returned to winning form in the Multihull class with a win in race six, while a new victor emerged in race seven, Sweet Chariot skippered by Mark Thornborrow.

In Platu One Design class, Junichi Ishikawa and The Beaver came in ahead of compatriot teams Sakura and IPPAI, leaving Scott Duncanson’s Thai-registered Tuay Lek at the back of the pack. The second race honors also went to The Beaver, establishing their dominance in the one-design class.

In the Premier class, Richard Dobbs’ Titania of Cowes won again in both races, solidifying his lead and putting him in good stead for back-to-back Regatta wins following their success last year. The Pine-Pacific team, Dobbs’ nearest rival in terms of outright pace, came in second place in race four, and in race five, a small time difference separated them from team Xena. Dobbs has the points score advantage, but margins of victory remain tight on corrected times.

Of the Bareboat Charter entries, Aussie Graeme Sheldon became the man to break the Russian dominance in the class with a strong win by him and his Agility International team. Mikhail Beloborodov on Tonicola 2 placed second, with compatriot Kirill Sakhattzev finishing third. However, Sakhattzev’s Sail Plane team came on strong in the next race, placing first for an important win.

Barry Cunningham took Patrice III and crew to a Modern Classic class victory in both races against some very stiff competition from Emerald Blue and Windstar; just a couple of minutes separated all three boats on corrected time.

In Cruising Class, William Lo’s No Name romped home in first, seemingly without a challenge. This is doubtless the boat to beat among this group of cruising yachts. The team was victorious in race five also, setting the crew up for a solid Phuket King’s Cup Regatta trophy come end of the week.

The final races for the windsurfers took place yesterday. Re-introduced to the Regatta this year, windsurfing has certainly added some adrenalin-fueled excitement to the proceedings.

Chun Leung Michael Cheng took the overall win. Thai windsurfing stars Natthaphong Phonoppharat and Pornanan Payungkasem did their best to overturn the Hong Kong Olympian, but Cheng was ultimately victorious after a display of great windsurfing. His compatriot, Hei Man Chan, was the overall winner in the women’s class.

The International Dinghy Classes also concluded with Thai sailors winning across the board. Pongsapat Poomyam won the Optimist Boys, while Kamonchanook Klahan was the Optimist Girls winner. Laser victory went to Kamolwan Chanyim, while Akapoj Kankaew finished first in the Topper contest.

The first three days have so far delivered spectacular tropical sailing conditions, and with two days to go, there is still plenty to compete for. Thursday is a Lay Day. Racing returns on Friday December 7.

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Chiang Mai

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half

Tim Newton

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Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | Thaiger

The TAT, ever the optimists regarding anything tourism related, even domestic tourism, predict that the Bangkok clusters that have emerged in the week before the Songkran break could reduce traffic and spending by up to half.

Today the CCSA is reporting 789 new infections and one additional death. 522 were local infections, mostly walk-ins to Bangkok hospitals, 259 were discovered through track and tracing. The remaining 8 were found in quarantine from overseas arrivals. In Phuket, another 17 cases have been reported today, taking the island’s week total to 43.

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | News by ThaigerGRAPH: Worldometer figures for Thailand, up to April 9

A 68 year old man from Nakhon Pathom province died on April 4 but wasn’t reported until today. The CCSA report that he died from Covid and “complications”. 33 other former patients have recovered and been discharged.

Last week the TAT estimated 3.2 million domestic trips would circulate 12 billion baht for the Thai economy. But the Tourism Authority has now slashed their estimates by half after hotels, airlines and bus companies reported mass cancellations in the last few days. Other provinces are reporting less than 20% cancellations. Although this weekend will see a lot of travel, Songkran doesn’t formally start until next Tuesday and the TAT expect there could be additional fallout as travellers decide to have a staycation for Songkran instead heading home.

Bangkok Post reports that 70% of travellers to Prachuap Khiri Khan and Hua Hin have already cancelled hotel bookings. Similar cancellations have been reported in Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai. Many other provinces, particularly in the north east and north, are also enforcing quarantine on arrivals or additional paperwork to try and protect their provinces from any of the Bangkok clusters.

8 north eastern provinces rare now requiring 10 or 14 day quarantine periods for anyone arriving from areas where new clusters have been reported. Chiang Mai provincial officials say that tourists from Samut Prakan, Nakhon Pathom, Bangkok, Pathum Thani and Nonthaburi – basically Bangkok and surrounding provinces – must complete a 14 day mandatory quarantine or conduct a test for Covid when they arrive.

The reality is that the travel and quarantine changes are outstripping the ability to communicate them all. Anyone crossing into other provinces in the next few day, especially if you’re travelling from Bangkok and surrounding provincial ‘red zones’ can expect some additional paperwork or a Covid test. Or even quarantine.

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Education

Phuket student protests and is flunked as “not loyal to the nation”

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Phuket student protests and is flunked as “not loyal to the nation” | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Student protests led to one student not graduating due to being “not loyal to the nation, institution of the monarchy”

After participating in protests for student’s rights, a Phuket student was barred from graduating 9th grade, moving from middle school to high school, charged with being “not loyal to the nation, institution of the monarchy”. The student had advocated against mandatory uniforms and for student’s liberties. He told reporters that the school started paying attention to his actions last year when he participated in rallies in solidarity with students across Thailand. The school’s student affairs office received a copy of posts he made on social media encouraging others to join the cause. The school ordered a stop to his political actions, but he and his friends disregarded warnings and violated school rules when they handed out white ribbons to classmates. They received a warning from the student affairs office.

Student protests have increased after pro-democracy demonstrations surged in July last year, empowering many Thai people to speak out against injustices, including students’ rights and liberties. People from schools across the nation have been banding together in solidarity to bring their issues to public light.

On graduation day, all the students were promoted into high school, except for the one student protestor, says the Bad Student protest group. The theme of the day focused on dedication to the monarchy, country and religion, and specifically how students should be obedient. The student said he has received support from friends, but his parents remain neutral and his teachers have been completely silent on the matter. He is frustrated that he was punished for his right to express himself. He plans on testing with incoming students to re-enrol in the same school, and if he is not accepted because of the disloyalty charge, he will pursue legal ramifications, suing the school for blocking his right to an education over the student’s protests.

The student believes he needs to speak out to prevent school administrators from imposing on more students’ rights. He advocates for diversity in schools and ending prejudices, with increased liberties and freedoms for students.

“Schools must teach children to be able to think by themselves, not force children to think like them. Schools should create opportunities for students to express their ideas more freely.”

SOURCE: Prachatai

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

16 more Covid infections reported today in Phuket

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16 more Covid infections reported today in Phuket | Thaiger
iTrip.com

Phuket is reporting 16 more infections today. It follows visits from Bangkok and last weekend’s Kolour Beachside parties that have resulted in a number of new Covid infections. The number of new infections has reached 26. But deputy governor Vikrom Jakthee says the province has been successful in containing the new outbreak “due to its quick response measures which now include shuttering bars and nightlife venues.

One of the confirmed cases is a male teacher from Headstart International School in Kathu who, after attending the parties on the weekend, was back teaching students on Monday and Tuesday. The school has sent a letter to all parents advising them of the situation and organising testing for anyone who may have come in contact with the teacher.

The closure order in Phuket comes just as the island province was expecting to get an influx of visitors for Songkran, the Thai New Year. Many bar and club owners were expecting some increased traffic during the holiday week. Phuket officials say they will explain to bar and club owners why they decided to close the venues during the critical week for business.

Vikrom previously cited the start of the island’s Covid vaccine roll-out of Covid starting to head towards a herd immunity in time for the province’s proposed July reopening to international tourists. But he admitted that the sudden appearance of the coronavirus on the island again will force officials to reevaluate the schedule for reopening. He also said that almost all cases were in younger age groups of people in their 20s and 30s.

“Today, the number of infected people reported in Phuket has reached 26, many are from entertainment venues. This figure is relatively high. It jumped from 10 to 26 cases. We will invite operators of entertainment places in for discussions.”

Partygoers who went to any of the Kolour Beachside parties in Phuket last weekend are being asked to visit a local hospital for a Covid test. The parties hosted more than 3,000 people, drawing concern after a musician tested positive for Covid-19, having attended all 3 parties. The Phuket Provincial Government and Phuket Provincial Public Health Office released a statement yesterday advising all partygoers to get tested.

“Those who attended the Kolour parties from April 2 to 3 at Shelter Phuket Dance & Night Club in Patong, Cafe Del Mar Phuket in Kamala and Illuzion nightclub on Bangla Road in Patong are asked to get tested.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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