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Asia’s best skippers to compete at this year’s Samui Regatta

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Asia’s best skippers to compete at this year’s Samui Regatta | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: The Samui Regatta, which gets underway this weekend, heralds a big gun showdown between Foxy Lady VI and Red Kite II for the right to be crowned champions in the Asia Yachting Grand Prix (AYGP) 2014.

Foxy Lady is unbeaten this year and hot on a six-regatta streak after winning the IRC2 class at Top of the Gulf earlier this month. But skipper Bill Bremner not only needs to win the class at Samui, the last fixture on the Asia Yachting circuit this year, but also pick up the bonus points for wins in eight races.

Having dominated their class in Hong Kong for the past few years, newcomer Red Kite II, an Archambault 35 helmed by Anthony Root, made the decision last year to race the Southeast Asian events.

Winning their class at the 2013 Phuket King’s Cup and placing second-in-class at the 2014 Royal Langkawi International Regatta, they have made their intentions clear.

Although Red Kite has a handy lead in the AYGP series, the Phuket Gazette has been told that helmsman Root is taking no chances. He reportedly will be boarding a plane for Thailand immediately after attending his daughter’s university graduation in the United States on May 25 so he can join the racing.

Other big boats to contest the top-flight class at Samui include Peter Ahern’s Oi! from Australia, fresh from winning IRC1 at the Top of the Gulf, as well as Geoff Hill’s 72ft Antipodes and Neil Pryde’s 52ft Hi Fi, both from Australia, and Frank Pong’s Custom 75 Jelik and Sam Chan’s TP52 Freefire, both from Hong Kong.

Joining the race fleet will be Ben Copely’s Swan CS42 Katsu and the Malaysian Navy will race two entries: one crew aboard the modified DK46 Uruanus and the other on the racing-pedigree TP52 Ulumulu.

Ray Roberts and his renowned Evolution Racing crew, however, will not be competing this year due to injury.

The 30-strong fleet already confirmed to race in the regatta is set to deliver some top quality competition and likely to decide who will be crowned AYGP champions for 2013/14, said Race Director Simon James.

“The quality of the entries is looking exceptional, not only in the racing and top IRC fleets but also among the cruisers and charter boats,” he said.

“Last year there was some very close racing on-the-water often with just seconds separating boats on corrected time, and looking at the boats and crew this year I would expect the competition to be just as close and in some cases, even more so.”

All eyes will be on the start line, where aggressive tactics are common when the stakes are high, and tight racing on the track.

New to the Samui Regatta, but with the familiar face of Michael Spies on board, is the Corby 36 Jessandra II (ex Rockall III, ex Rosie). Skippered by Roland Dane, principal of Red Bull Racing Australia, the team won the Audi Australian IRC Championship in 2012 and remained unbeaten in competition.

After resting the boat last season, in January this year they finished second overall to Black Jack 2 (ex Telefonica V70) in the Surf to City and have now shipped to Asia to compete on the Asian circuit.

A strong showing from local boats and charter crews in the cruising/charter classes include Moon Shadow, Freewind (2013 class winner), Sunsail Anchali and Sailquest Paprika II, to name a few.

Among them will be Patinyakorn “Ging” Buranrom, who last year became the first-ever Thai entry in the Transpacific (Transpac) Yacht Race, will be racing in the IRC Cruiser class on board Sansiri.

“We’re pleased to see new boats coming to Samui and the Regatta. For some it may be their first time to Samui Island. We’ve been working closely with the local government and relevant agencies; the island is ready and the Regatta is ready to welcome all participants,” Mr James said.

MULITHULLS CANCELLED

A late development was the cancellation of the multihull class, Mr James confirmed on Tuesday.

“It is sad to see this, especially as Peter Wilcox had sailed his fast catamaran Mojo around Singapore to compete in the Top of the Gulf and the Samui regattas,” he said.

Mojo finished in style in the Ocean Multihulls class at the Top of the Gulf Regatta, with a win on the final day, enjoying the strong breeze to sail to a six-second victory on corrected time over Kirati Assakul’s Sonic, whose second place in the race was enough to claim second overall by a single point over fellow Thai multihull sailor Radab Kanjanavanit.

SUPPORT

With the Samui Marathon and the Jazz Festival cancelled this year, Mr James lauded the support from the local government.

“The Provincial Governor and the Province of Surat Thani have given their full support,” he said.

Other key government offices supporting the regatta included the Ministry of Tourism and Sports Surat Thani office, the Municipality of Koh Samui, the Sport Organization of Thailand (SAT) and the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Mr James noted.

Key support since the regatta’s inception has been from venue host Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui.

“For the 13th consecutive year, this leading lifestyle and sporting event has attracted competitive and social sailors from around the world. It has become one of Asia’s most glamorous sailing events and Samui’s main event for the year,” said Martin Heiniger, Area General Manager Samui.

“Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui is synonymous with the regatta having been its home base since the first event in 2002, and we’re proud to be part of it.

“We hope you will enjoy your stay here in Koh Samui and here at Centara. I trust that you will have a stimulating week of competition and that you will enjoy the many attractions that Koh Samui has to offer.”

For full racing schedule and more details on the fleet, parties and scuttlebutt, visit SamuiRegatta.com, www.facebook.com/SamuiRegatta or follow twitter.com/samuiregatta.

— Chris Husted

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Koh Samui

23 Koh Samui hotels seek alternative state quarantine certification

Caitlin Ashworth

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23 Koh Samui hotels seek alternative state quarantine certification | The Thaiger
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Nearly 2 dozen hotels and resorts in the Thai Gulf island resort of Koh Samui are seeking certification to be alternative state quarantine facilities. Talk of a potential travel bubble scheme to the island is also set for today, the Nation Thailand reports.

8 of the 23 hotels have already gone through a government check and the rest will be checked in October, according to the Thai Hotels Association Southern Chapter East Coast. If all the hotels are approved, 1,000 rooms would be available, according to the Tourism Association of Koh Samui. They expect 90% of the hotels to be approved for state quarantine and predict around 200 international tourists to be in the first wave of visitors.

The 23 hotels on the island seeking the certification are a fair distance away from the main streets and local neighbourhoods, according to the Thai Hotels Association’s president Ruengnam Chiakwang. He says the locations make it difficult for tourists to run off during their mandatory quarantine and around 1,000 surveillance cameras are installed around the island, so officials will have an eye out.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, or CCSA, is expected to talk with private representatives today about a travel bubble scheme to Koh Samui, according to the Nation. Past discussions of so called travel bubbles proposed foreign tourists from countries considered to be at low-risk for Covid-19 to be allowed to travel to select areas in Thailand. The island has a private airport owned and operated by Bangkok Airways who have traditionally charged unreasonably high air fares, compared to other flight in Thailand, for flights to the island.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Koh Samui

Raja salvage operation resumes, garbage truck, pick-up raised from seabed

Maya Taylor

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Raja salvage operation resumes, garbage truck, pick-up raised from seabed | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

An operation to raise the sunken Raja 4 ferry and its cargo of vehicles from the seabed off Koh Samui has resumed, after being delayed due to bad weather. The ferry sank on the night of August 1 as it was transporting several garbage trucks from Samui to the mainland. The ferry had set sail in bad weather and capsized when its cargo of trucks shifted during the crossing. 5 of the 16 people on board died in the accident.

Having first been suspended briefly due to bad weather a couple of weeks ago, and more recently due to storm Noul, the salvage operation is once more underway, with workers removing an 18-wheel truck and a pick-up from the seabed.

Nation Thailand reports that operators MS Service have been using 2 cranes, installed on 2 boats, to carry out the salvage operation. Prior to being lifted, the garbage truck was covered in netting, to prevent any further refuse from entering the water. Small boats were also used to pick up any rubbish that managed to escape the netting.

The Ministry of National Resources and the Environment has previously threatened to sue the ferry company over the environmental fallout from the ferry’s capsize. The ferry itself is yet to be lifted from the seabed.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Weather

Heavy rain across the country this weekend – local forecasts

The Thaiger

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Heavy rain across the country this weekend – local forecasts | The Thaiger

Heavy rain is expected across much of Thailand over the next few days, mostly as a result of the intensity of a tropical storm crossing into Vietnam today, ‘Noul’, from the South China Sea. The low pressure cell will help intensify the effects of the south west monsoon too. But the remnants of the storm won’t “slam” into Northern Thailand as one news site claimed – rather it will be a lot of rain and increased winds. The storm is expected to cross into Thailand around the Mukdahan province some time early tomorrow,

Around the country, Saturday will be the worst with rains easing during Sunday. Thailand north east ‘Isaan’ provinces will be the worst affected as they are in the direct track of the storm as it crosses Vietnam, into Laos, and then crossing Thailand’s borders in the upper north east in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

Whilst tropical storm ‘Noul’ has been packing winds from 80 – 120 kilometres per hour as it reaches the central Vietnam coast areas, including popular tourist locations like Da Nang and Hoi An, the storm will continue to dissipate as it moves inland. The storm has been tracking across the South China Sea this week, gathering strength, in a west northwesterly direction.

Residents in the coastal town of Hoi An report that it rained continuously last night, with strong winds, and that they expect widespread flooding to be reported during the day.

The forecast for heavy rain in Bangkok will probably dampen some of the enthusiasm for tomorrow’s anti-government rally to be held in and around the Thammasat University Tha Prachan campus.

Here are the forecasts for Saturday and Sunday around the country…

Bangkok

Heavy rain across the country this weekend - local forecasts | News by The Thaiger

Phuket

Heavy rain across the country this weekend - local forecasts | News by The Thaiger

Chiang Mai

Heavy rain across the country this weekend - local forecasts | News by The Thaiger

Pattaya

Heavy rain across the country this weekend - local forecasts | News by The Thaiger

Khon Kaen

Heavy rain across the country this weekend - local forecasts | News by The Thaiger

Koh Samui

Heavy rain across the country this weekend - local forecasts | News by The Thaiger

Read more about Thailand’s annual monsoons HERE.

SOURCE: weather.com

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