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Phuket Sports: ASC’s final ride at Quiksilver Open Phuket

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Phuket Sports: ASC’s final ride at Quiksilver Open Phuket | The Thaiger

PHUKET: The Quiksilver Open surf contest is back in town with surfers streaming in from all over the world. Patong Beach, the most popular in Phuket, will host professional surfers from all over Asia, from Wednesday to Sunday.

This year’s tournament has been upgraded to a 6-Star, dual-sanctioned competition and Asian surfers are expected to turn out in force. They will be hoping to earn valuable championship points on both the Asian Surfing Championship (ASC) and Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championship circuits.

Especially noteworthy is the fact that the Quiksilver Open Phuket is the final stop of the ASC circuit, which means the 2012 ASC champions will be crowned on Sunday.

Last year’s winner Raditya Rondi, from Indonesia, has a strong hold on first place in the rankings with 8,000 points, so a strong result will see him crowned the 2012 ASC Men’s Champion for the second consecutive year.

“I’m really looking forward to coming back to Phuket,” said Raditya. “Not only because it’s such a fun place to go, but [because] the event has [more] prize money and I’ll be able to get points for the ASC and the ISC. With the ASC championship on the line, all the crowd watching on the beach, and the waves being similar to my home break of Kuta Beach, I’m going to go all out and try my best to repeat an event and championship win.”

In the ASC Women’s Division, Phuket’s own Annissa Flynn is currently sitting in the #1 spot with 5,850 points. She only needs to finish ahead of last year’s ASC Women’s Champion Yasnyiar “Bonne” Gea from Indonesia to capture the 2012 ASC Women’s title.

Current ASC Master’s champion and Patong Beach local Decha Sithidej will no doubt pull out all the stops to ensure a podium finish so he can raise the ASC Master’s trophy in front of his family and friends.

It remains to be seen if Indonesia’s ace longboarder Arif “Mencos” Nurhidayat can defend his 2011 ASC Longboard title against Luke Landrigan of the Philippines.

Quiksilver parties – the stuff of local legend – will be all fun and games, but out in the water the competition promises to be hot and heavy, as Asia’s best surfers battle it out for more than 300,000 baht in prizes and a spot on the podium.

A star attraction of this year’s event will be current five-time ASP Women’s World Champion Stephanie Gilmore, who will be at the beach during the event to meet and greet fans and surf in a few expression sessions, which won’t count towards the competition.

Quiksilver Thailand’s General Manager Surached Munghtong said, “This event is to promote the sport of surfing among the general public here and encourage Thai surfers to improve their skills by participating in international events.”

The competition will be held at the north end of Patong Beach, where sandy-bottom beach breaks offer a variety of wave options, according to the swell conditions. If a sizable swell should arrive during the competition, Kalim Beach will be used. Kalim has a right hand reef break that can produce 100-meter long rides at an optimum 3-4 feet.

This week’s swell forecast looks to be on the smaller side, despite last weekend’s waves. If the swell stays smaller as predicted, it may give local competitors the edge they need.

Holly Monkman, Quiksilver’s Marketing Executive for Southeast Asia said, “The growth of surfing in Thailand since our first event here four years ago is amazing, and is testament to the importance of the ASC to the surfing industry in developing the sport throughout the Asian region.”

For those interested in entering the competition, registration will begin at the north end of Patong beach Wednesday morning. For more information, contact Surached Munghtong at surached@quiksilver.in.th.

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Tourism

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

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Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO | The Thaiger

There was the original Covid-19 outbreak and lockdowns back in April and May in 2020, then again just before Christmas and New Year when the new clusters emerged in Samut Sakhon and the eastern coastal provinces, Patong’s nightlife was quiet enough, almost non-existent.

Now when the restrictions are lifted, Nimz will take you through Phuket’s famous nightlife spot Bangla Road, Patong Beach and Phuket Town. It’s quiet, but there are still clubs open and operating and ready to welcome you.

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Expats

Deceased Phuket expat’s body stuck in hospital due to passport mix-up

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Deceased Phuket expat’s body stuck in hospital due to passport mix-up | The Thaiger

In a nightmarish scenario, a deceased Phuket expat’s body is stuck in a Thai hospital as his step‐daughter claims hospital administrators won’t release the body due to a passport mix‐up.

Gemma Swift, the step‐daughter of 75 year old David Donoghue, who died 2 weeks ago, says she is pleading with embassy staff in Thailand to resolve, what she says, is purely an administrative issue after Donoghue’s passport number at the hospital was from that of an expired one.

Donoghue’s current passport was on file with the British Embassy, but because it did not match what the hospital had, his body has remained at the hospital. Swift says it was something that could easily be corrected and the situation was “horrendous” for the family.

“The British Embassy over in Bangkok, they said that because [the number] was from his current passport, they were unable to change the letter. They have said that they won’t reissue a letter with the passport number that he’s got in the hospital with him.”

She said her family planned to arrange a funeral for him in Thailand, then bring his ashes back to the UK. As he retired to Phuket 15 years ago, her family would then take his ashes back to Thailand, as per his wishes, to scatter them.

However, none of his family members were able to travel to Thailand to be with Donoghue in his final days, as the mandatory 14 day quarantine period upon entering Thailand, would not have allowed them to see him.

“I thought this was a basic human right to be able to give somebody a funeral and I accept that there is always going to be red tape…but please just issue a letter and let us bring him home.”

She said before Covid-19, family members travelled often to Phuket to visit Donoghue, who once worked for the Thai tourist police. She says the entire ordeal has been heartbreaking as her family was unable to say goodbye.

“That on its own was heart breaking, and now to get this two weeks later, to find out we can’t give him a funeral, or get his ashes back, it’s just horrendous.”

“It’s like being on autopilot… once we know we have done everything we can, we can start the grieving process, but at the minute we can’t.”

A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spokesperson said they are assisting Donoghue’s family during the difficult time.

“Our staff are in contact with the local hospital and funeral director to help his family obtain the necessary paperwork to ensure his body is treated in line with their wishes.”

If the situation isn’t fixed, Donoghue’s body will join a mass cremation at the hospital.

SOURCE: BBC News

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Phuket

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

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Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2 | The Thaiger

In today’s Thailand News Today…. The island of Phuket has a firm plan to get its residents vaccinated leading up to an October opening for tourists, the Thai PM backs up his police over last Sunday’s protest violence and Thai Airway’s employee union criticises the changes to employee contracts.

But the plan must be approved by the national government by April, if the province wants to open tourism by October 1. Phuket has a resident population of around 300- 400,000 people.

Before you go rushing off to book your plane tickets we’d stress that this is another in a long list of proposals that have not come to fruition and we’d urge patience until the Government approves the plans.

Meanwhile the island has taken delivery of 4,000 doses of the Chinese Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine. Vaccinations started yesterday, with priority given to 1,500 healthcare workers and 500 “at-risk” officials exposed to Covid-19 patients.

On a broader note… Thailand’s Tourism Minister says he has asked the Public Health Ministry to approve a vaccine passport scheme aimed at reviving Thailand’s devastated tourism sector. According to the Minister, the government is looking to the World Health Organisation to issue a statement on vaccine passports before it makes a final decision on the matter.

The Thai PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha has defended police action against protesters taking part in Sunday’s anti-government rally in Bangkok. Officers from the Metropolitan Police Bureau used tear gas, a water cannon and rubber bullets in an effort to drive protesters back from the PM’s residence. The PM insists the actions were in line with international standards. He says that police did not violate the protesters’ rights.

Thai researchers are claiming that horseshoe bats are not responsible for transmitting the Covid virus to humans. A researcher with the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Diseases-Health Science Centre, says that even though the bats have tested positive for a coronavirus, it is not the strain that is transmissible to humans, and it’s certainly not the virus that causes Covid-19.

As Thai Airways tries to sell new contracts and conditions to its remaining workforce, the labour union of the national carrier is challenging changes to the employment contracts, where Thai Airways employees are being asked to agree to changes as part of the bigger financial rehabilitation program.

But a union representative says the new contracts are unfair because it includes fewer leave days and shorter holidays. The union has filed a complaint with the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare.

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