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Phuket Sports: F1 – A triumph of errors

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Phuket Sports: F1 – A triumph of errors | The Thaiger

PHUKET: The Valencia GP since its birth has been F1’s answer to Valium. Suddenly it has hosted one of the greatest races any of us has seen. There were pre-race fans opting for the two-snooze strategy. Hah! “And gentlemen in England now-a-bed shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here.”

No-one has been able overtake in Valencia. But this year there was overtaking a-plenty, there was the Pirelli Factor, there were surprises. But most of all there were ‘errors’. And in the supercharged testosterone-soaked 2012 season the errors were fatal.

The race looked predictable. Sebastian Vettel was in pole position and he would run as fast as possible to be able to undercut on his inevitable early pit-stop, Lewis Hamilton would drive more steadily and take the lead when Vettel pitted, and Romain Grosjean would out-wait them both and possibly win on a one-stopper.

Vettel certainly played his part, scorching away and gaining a second per lap over Hamilton who held back the rest of the field, although constantly tested by Grosjean who had already gained a place on the first corner.

But a revolution was starting behind the leaders. Almost unseen, Fernando Alonso was making ground. He started 11th and was 8th after the first lap. Pastor Maldonado who has started third, had many scrapes, and started to slow with debris in his radiator.

Fernando passed him, and with a great pit stop passed Kimi Räikkönen in the pits, passing Kamui Kobayashi on the exit, making him effectively fourth (allowing for those who had not yet pitted). The Valencia crowd felt something was happening, and the atmosphere changed even on our television sets.

Most cars pitted without incident, and the race was settling down again.

Then came ‘the big one’.

It started innocuously enough. Red Bull Junior Jean-Eric Vergne passing Heikki Kovalainen unaccountably clashed with the Caterham. The damage gave Kovalainen a puncture and damaged wheel. But Vergne’s fatally injured Torro Rosso kept going, scattering debris over the track for miles.

The safety car was summoned while the debris was removed. Lapped cars were waved past before the restart, keeping the safety car on-track for an extra two laps.

Vettel managed to keep his lead despite pitting a lap after Grosjean, Hamilton and Alonso. But his hard earned 20 second lead was gone. Hamilton’s pit stop was another tragedy and promoted Alonso to third. Daniel Ricciardo did not stop and took fourth ahead of Räikkönen, with Hamilton down to sixth. Grosjean was fighting Alonso, but it was still Vettel’s race.

Then Vettel’s Red Bull simply died, with alternator problems; soon afterwards so did Grosjean’s Lotus.

Vergne is looking at serious career counseling. He has received a 10 place grid penalty for Silverstone and a €25,000 fine, but I suspect he is more concerned about his team’s reaction.

Renault’s alternator engineers are looking at hard questions too.

Alonso had a comfortable three-second margin over Hamilton and Räikkönen. And it was Hamilton’s tyres that started to degrade. He slipped back in the order, until at turn 12 an on the penultimate lap an over- aggressive Maldonado swung back onto the track into the side of the McLaren, crushing Hamilton into the barrier. Game over for Hamilton.

Maldonado’s wounded Williams briefly held third place behind Räikkönen’s Lotus, but was passed by a string of cars led, surprisingly, by Michael Schumacher followed by Mark Webber.

Where did they come from?

Schumie was as amazed as anyone to be there, but he held on to take his first podium since China in 2006. They all fought to the finish, but this game of dodgems ended this way. It was Alonso’s triumph. He stopped short of the Parc Fermé and he and a Spanish Flag had an emotional bonding with the stewards and grandstands.

Maldonado finished 10th but later received a penalty, so Williams points were from Senna who was promoted by Maldonaldo’s penalty. Cold comfort for Hamilton.

So all in all, as the leaders fell like flies, those with the strength to endure inherited the race. For Alonso, to win a Home GP particularly under such circumstances must be as close to magic as a human can hope for.

So it’s Silverstone next, where Hamilton and Button will hope for the same magic.

All F1 races are shown at the Greenman, Chalong. Click here for more information.

— The Digby

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Alleged Greek murderer of Phuket beautician remains at large

The Thaiger



Alleged Greek murderer of Phuket beautician remains at large | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Dimitrios ‘Dim’ Chairopoulo, wanted and believed to be living in Greece

Local Phuket police are yet be informed of the latest in an international hunt for a Greek alleged murderer Dimitrios Chairopoulos. He remains wanted as a suspect in the murder of local beautician 43 year old Niramon ‘Bea’ Aewkaew in Phuket during February.

Cherng Talay police say they want an Interpol Red Notice issued so that they can track down and arrest 42 year old Dimitrios ‘Dim’ Chairopoulos, wanted for the murder. Bea and Dim were seen leaving their accommodation on February 11. It was the last time Bea would be seen alive.

Mr Chairopoulos was recorded as clearing Immigration at Phuket International Airport to board a flight to Dubai in the hours after Ms Niramon was last seen alive. He boarded an Emirates flight EK0379 to Dubai, departing Phuket at 2am. Police also confirmed that he arrived in Dubai on the same day.

“If he comes back to Thailand he will be arrested,” said Chief Col Sen Kwannimit of the Cherng Talay Police.

A request for a Red Notice was submitted with the Foreign Affairs Division of the Royal Thai Police on February 19 but, for now, no formal international’s notice has been published..

Cherng Talay Police confirmed that Dim was seen leaving the room at a guesthouse in Bang Tao where Ms Niramon’s body was found on Saturday, February 16.

In the days leading up to her murder her family had been desperately trying to contact her.

‘Bea’ was the eldest of 5 children from Phatthalung province and had been working in Phuket as a beautician at the time.

One of her sisters, May’ was contacted on February 15 by one of Bea’s workmates trying to locate her.

Neither May or Bea’s other sisters, relatives or friends were able to contact her. Bea had just moved to a new house so nobody knew where she was living. Another sister, Pichy, spoke to friends and was able, using Google Maps, to locate the guesthouse she was staying.

The owner of the room told the family that the air-conditioning was on in the room but there was no response. When the owner returned with a key he informed the family that Bea was found on the bed with a black cloth stuffed in her mouth and her hands and feet bound.

CCTV footage shows the couple leaving the room in the afternoon of February 11, the last time that Bea was seen alive.

Alleged Greek murderer of Phuket beautician remains at large | News by The Thaiger

Dimitrios ‘Dim’ Chairopoulos with his daughter from another relationship

What we know about the alleged murderer?

Dimitrios ‘Dim’ Chairopoulos, who remains at large and thought to be in Greece, worked as security in a night club in Athens. He already had a daughter to another woman in Greece.

During his relationship and marriage with Bea he was said to be ‘controlling’ and ‘jealous’ by members of Bea’s family. A close family friend told The Thaiger that the family had concerns for Bea’s safety and were ‘uncomfortable’ with her ongoing relationship and marriage with Dim.

“We tried to get to know him at family functions but he was not easy to know and seemed very possessive of Bea,” said one of the close family members who asked not to be named.

“He did threaten to kill her if she ever left him and Oh, another of her sisters, went with Bea to file a report of the threats at the Cherng Talay police station at the time,” they explained.

That report was made to police in 2016. A year later the pair married and were still married at the time of the murder.

“He would drive past the beauty shops that Bea worked at and spy on her.”

The family claim that, apart from his own possessions, he also stole Bea’s phone before he headed to the Phuket International Airport on the evening of the murder.

So where is Dimitrios Chairopoulo?

At this stage the Greek Embassy has made no comment about the case or followed up with Greek Police about the pursuit for the fugitive man.

There are currently approximately 58,000 valid Red Notices worldwide of which only 7,000 are public. An Interpol Red Notice has not been issued to alert international police or Immigration officials to be on the look-out for Dim.

For now, the alleged murderer of Bea – an innocent Phuket beautician, beloved sister and family member – remains at large, most probably in Greece.

If anyone has any information about Dimitrios ‘Dim’ Chairopoulo’s whereabouts or information that may lead police to arrest him, please send a confidential message to The Thaiger.

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Hermès opens its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta

The Thaiger & The Nation



Hermès opens its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta | The Thaiger

Hermès has opened of its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta, the newly opened lifestyle shopping destination in the heart of the island, opposite Central Festival.

As Hermès’ first venture outside the Thai capital, the new Hermès Phuket store makes a significant statement of expansion and confidence in the market. The new address in this world-renowned island will allow the growing population of local residents, along with domestic and international tourists, to discover the abundant variety of Hermès métiers and savoir-faire.

Designed by the Parisian architecture agency RDAI, the elegant 172 m² retail space is located by the shopping centre’s main entrance and benefits from a double exposure with an exterior and an interior façade.

A bamboo claustra follows the line of the mall’s exterior glass, filtering the daylight that bathes the indoor space, and further illustrates Hermès’ high regard for local craftsmanship. The interior façade is composed of a refined lacquered metal, featuring a large window display, complemented by four recesses with illuminated silk scarves.

Upon entering the store, visitors are welcomed by the House’s ex-libris and signature Grecques lights, designed for Hermès in 1925. The store is decorated with natural and local materials – bamboo floors and claustra, cognac toned Cherrywood walls, toffee coloured silk and fibre fabrics – tastefully blending various elements of Thai culture and modern architecture. The soft colour palette evokes the sand and the sun in their various shades, providing a delightfully serene and convivial atmosphere.

The overall volume is divided into two main areas by the feminine silk grid facing the entrance. The first one, with the iconic Faubourg pattern mosaic floor, allows guests to explore the silk, fashion jewellery, fragrance, art of living, and equestrian departments.

Opposite the leather goods display, an intimate space invites guests to uncover the watch and jewellery collections. Further along, one can discover the women and men’s universes. A sand coloured carpet on the floor outlines the area dedicated to the shoe collections, enriched by a delicate custom-made bamboo light module as the ceiling centrepiece.

Hermès opens its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta | News by The Thaiger Hermès opens its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta | News by The Thaiger Hermès opens its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta | News by The Thaiger

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Red car ‘gun flasher’ arrested in Phuket

The Thaiger



Red car ‘gun flasher’ arrested in Phuket | The Thaiger

Phuket police have arrested and are questioning the driver of a red sedan following Friday’s incident on Thepkasattri Road in Srisoonthorn where he appeared to wave a gun out of his driver’s window (video in the link below).

Manop Sangpal was tracked down by police but they’ve confirmed that Mr Manop’s ‘gun’ was just a BB gun, not a firearm.

The video of the man driving the red sedan and waving the ‘gun’ out of the driver’s window spread around social media on Friday afternoon after a driver following recorded the incident and posted it.

Read the story and see the video below…

Police hunting for driver who threatened others with a gun on Phuket road – VIDEO

On the video the red Ford sedan cuts in front of the car with the dashcam then veers to the left lane while the driver waves the gun out of his window near Wat Srisoonthorn.

Police say Mr Manop was arrested at lunchtime yesterday (Saturday) in a workers camp in Soi Sukapibal where he lives with his Burmese wife and family.

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