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Team Premier wins Phuket King’s Cup Regatta

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Team Premier wins Phuket King’s Cup Regatta | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: The strongest winds of the week at the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta boded well for skipper Hannes Weimer and his Team Premier crew as they scored a first place and a second place finish in their two races yesterday to win the IRC Zero Class with 13 points.

“We’ve raced in 10 [Phuket] King’s Cups now, but this is the first time we competed as our own team under the name of Team Premier,” Hannes said.

“I was feeling fairly comfortable going into the last race because I believe we have the fastest boat; she is a good all-round performer, so we get results whether the wind is light or 17 to 18 knots.

“We won in 2003, but not as Team Premier, so it’s extremely satisfying to win after trying many times before,” he added.

The victory relegated Phuket King’s Cup stalwart Neil Pryde and his crew on HiFi to second place, and Sam Chan’s Freefire to third overall in the series.

Also written into the Phuket King’s Cup history books were Yasuo Nanamori and his all-Japanese Karasu team, who yesterday won the IRC 1 Class to become the first-ever all-Japanese team to win their class at the regatta.

Steve Manning’s Walawala 2 scored a second and a first on the final day to take second place overall, from Singapore entry KukuKERchu, skippered by David Ross, in third.

The IRC 1 Class was arguably the most competitive of all with 13 boats and sailors of 17 different nationalities.

Thailand scored an impressive victory in IRC 2 Class, led by Chief Petty Officer First Class Wiwat Poonpat’s crew on Royal Thai Navy 1.

“We are very proud to be able to take overall victory for His Majesty the King’s birthday. I’m sure all Thai people will be very appreciative of this result, and hopefully we can encourage more people to get into the sport of sailing,” CPO Wiwat said.

“I was quite confident coming into the last race, maybe 80 per cent confident, but until we crossed the finishing marker, we were never totally sure if we could do it. I’m very happy with our performance in this regatta; the team has trained hard and has been very well disciplined,” he said.

Second place went to Singapore entry Foxy Lady V, skippered by Bill Bremner, with Russian entry Ruby Tuesday, skippered by Arbuzov Andrey finishing third.

Phuket racers dominated the Firefly 850 Sport Class. Moto Inzi, skippered by Roger Kingdon, put in a strong final day performance with a first and a second to claim class victory by a single point over their nearest rival, Voodoo, skippered by Hans Rahmann.

In the Multihull Class, Alan Carwadine’s Sidewinder was unmatched in consistency and finished the runaway winner with two wins today to take the class title. Second place was claimed by Da Vinci, skippered by Mick Coleman, with David Liddell’s Miss Saigon in third.

The spectacular debut of the Kiteboard Class became an exciting addition to the event this year, with France’s Olivier Dansin winning four of five races in the series to be the runaway class champion.

Thai star and two-time Asian Champion Narapichit Pudla finished second overall with Salih Alexander from Turkey third.

The 2011 Phuket King’s Cup Regatta was the 25th anniversary of Asia’s biggest annual yachting event. This year’s edition attracted the largest fleet in the competition’s history, with 91 keelboats and multihulls, 38 dinghies and 19 kiteboards, and more than 1,000 sailors from 33 countries around the globe.

The Phuket Gazette, PGTV and The Nation are proud sponsors of the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta.

For full race results, visit kingscup.com

— Event Media

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Phuket

Phuket’s annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket’s annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Marina Krasnopolska

WARNING! Content below contains photos of self-mutilation that some may find disturbing.

The flags on Go Teng poles were lowered on Monday, ending Phuket’s annual Vegetarian Festival and symbolising that the spirits have returned the heavens. The flags are raised at the start of the festivities each year at participating shrines, calling on the spirits to descend from the heavens.

This year, 2 men were electrocuted while taking down the festival flags. A steel pole with the flag touched a power pole, electrocuting and burning the workers as they were trying to lower the flags. They were taken to the hospital.

During the festival’s street processions and ceremonies so-called “mah songs” channel the descended spirits. They enter a trance-like state and many practice self-mutilation to channel the spirits. “Mah” means horse in Thai, and some say the mah song acts as a horse for the spirit to ride.

Some mah song pierce their cheeks and other parts of their body with steel spikes and sometimes swords or other bizarre choices (we’ve seen petrol pumps, javelins, samurai swords and kitchen utensils). During the street procession, they walk for hours with the self-inflicted piercings, seemingly posessed by ‘spirits’ and muttering all sort of strange chants, verging on mild cases of Tourette syndrome. A team of devotees for each mah song wipe away blood and keep the wounds clean. Some mah songs even slice their tongue for the street procession. Blood drips on their chest and the ground. Waiting bystanders line the streets hoping for the blessing of a passing mah song. Some mah songs carry a black flag.

The event is an annual spiritual ‘cleansing’ for those in watching the processions. Onlookers lining the street bow their heads and place their hands in the “wai” position as the mah song waves flags and banners over their heads. Businesses along the procession route often set up an altar outside their shop and mah songs stop at each one to do a short ritual.

The Phuket government gave the festival organisers the “okay” to hold this years event with hopes that it would increase domestic tourism and generate much-needed revenue after the Thai government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic crippled Phuket’s tourist economy. Before this year’s festival, Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwansupana asked that the mah songs “limit the level of torturing.” He also called for a limit on the number of people at ceremonies to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

His calls were largely ignored.

The spirits will again return in 2021 to Phuket again cleanse the island’s large Thai-Chinese community.

Photos of the 2020 Vegetarian Festival by Marina Krasnopolska.

Phuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Phuket

Phuket told to prepare “response plan” in case of second Covid-19 outbreak

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket told to prepare “response plan” in case of second Covid-19 outbreak | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Daily News

As Phuket awaits foreign tourists, city officials are told to prepare a “response plan” in case of a second wave of Covid-19. An official from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports held a workshop in Phuket today to discuss the risk of another outbreak as the country opens up to those on the Special Tourist Visa.

The ministry’s permanent secretary Chote Trachu says now that the country is allowing tourists (who are required to quarantine upon arrival) an infection “may somehow slip through.” He says a response plan needs to be in place in case this happens, adding that there should be corporation from the Ministry of Public Health and Ministry of Defense.

“If any tourists are found to be infected, the disease must not be allowed to spread among the people. There should be no panic, and public health officers will investigate the case. Tourist Police will track down the suspected person in an investigation with the Ministry of Public Health.”

Chote says all provinces – not just Phuket – should have a response plan. Although tourists must go through a mandatory 14 day quarantine upon arrival, Chote says there are some cases where the incubation period for Covid-19 is longer than 14 days.

“There are a variety of cases. Sometimes, the infection does not show after 14 days, or even 15 or 16 days. Each situation is different.”

Recently, a woman in Koh Samui tested positive for the coronavirus 5 days after she was released from a Samut Prakan quarantine facility. Traces of the virus were found on gym equipment the woman used at the quarantine, leading health officials to suspect she was infected before arriving to the island.

“We urge Thai people to not let their guard down. Everyone must wear masks, wash their hands and take care of personal hygiene. This will help prevent them from contracting the disease.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Business

Approval sought for multi-billion-baht Phuket medical hub

Maya Taylor

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Approval sought for multi-billion-baht Phuket medical hub | The Thaiger
Mai Khao beach in north Phuket - PHOTO: www.makemytrip.com

Industry officials are seeking the go-ahead for a project to transform over 140 rai of government land in Phuket into a world-leading medical hub. The project is budgeted at 3 – 4 billion baht, depending on which report you read. Kitkong Tantijaraswarodom, from the Federation of Thai Industries, believes the development of a medical and wellness hub in the sub-district of Mai Khao, north Phuket, will help revive the southern island’s battered economy. Phuket has become increasingly reliant on a steady flow of tourists over the past 2 decades.

The southern division of the FTI covers Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Patthalung, Surat Thani, Ranong, Satun, Chumphon, and Songkhla.

“The FTI will ask the government to green-light the project during the scheduled mobile cabinet meeting on the island on November 3.”

Kitkong says businesspeople in the south are anxious for the government to approve the project, which will provide both locals and foreign medical tourists with state-of-the-art medical care. The facility is expected to include long-term care, hospice and rehabilitation services, in addition to a dental hospital, sports therapy centre, and a medical training school for doctors, nurses, pharmacists and medical laboratory scientists.

The chair of the FTI’s southern chapter is also calling on officials to provide small and medium-sized businesses with additional support, in the form of access to loans, in order to deal with cash shortages.

“In the short term, the FTI wants the government to help SMEs, especially those in the tourism sector.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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