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

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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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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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Koh Samui

Samui tourism official calls for inter-provincial travel ban to flatten the curve prior to July re-opening

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Yavor Punchev for Unsplash

The president of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui says the island is still pinning its hopes on a July 1 re-opening for vaccinated foreign tourists. Ratchaporn Poolsawadee remains optimistic, despite Thailand now battling a third wave of Covid-19, with Samui reporting 50 infections.

He says vaccines are being rolled out out on Samui, although a number of doses have had to be diverted to Covid hotspots elsewhere in the country. Around 30%, or 25,000 people, have already received 2 doses of the vaccine, with very few side-effects reported. However, the pace may slow as a result of some of Samui’s allocation now being sent to other provinces, in an attempt to curb the spread there. Ratchaporn says that once it receives a further supply of vaccine doses, the island has the capacity to administer 25,000 shots over 5 days, at 4 vaccination centres.

“We firmly believe that the vaccination process will be completed by June which will be in time for the re-opening plan.”

Until then, officials in the southern province of Surat Thani and on Samui itself, are strengthening disease prevention measures and travel restrictions. Ratchaporn is calling on the government to impose an inter-provincial travel ban to halt the spread of the virus. He says doing so would be more effective than closing businesses for 14 days, with the possibility of endless extensions.

The Bangkok Post reports that tourism operators are preparing tour programmes for the Samui Sealed Routes, whereby tourists would travel to sealed beach locations at Tham Rang in Angthong National Marine Park, as well as partaking in wellness activities such as yoga, meditation and spa treatments.

Before embarking on a “sealed tour” however, vaccinated foreign tourists would have to remain in their hotel rooms on the day they arrive. On day 2, they would be required to take a Covid test and, if negative, would be allowed leave the room and use other hotel facilities. From day 4, they would be allowed leave the hotel, with another Covid test on day 7. If the result is negative, tourists can travel around the island as well as elsewhere in the country.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

All foreigners eligible for Covid-19 vaccine under Thailand’s vaccination plan, eventually

Tanutam Thawan

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Stock photo by Vincent Vega on Flickr

All expats living in Thailand are eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, according to deputy spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Natapanu Nopakun. He says Thailand plans to roll out a “massive vaccination plan” to vaccinate all people who are living in Thailand, including foreign residents.

“All people residing in Thailand, regardless of nationality, are eligible to receive the vaccine under the plan.”

He made the announcement during the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing today. Natapanu says more information on the vaccination plan for foreigners residing in Thailand will be released at a later date.

Health officials in Phuket and Koh Samui, tourist destinations that have been said to be of “economic significance,” have already been rolling out mass vaccination campaigns in an effort to reach herd immunity and reopen the islands to foreign tourists by July. But the vast majority of foreigners in the country remain confused about exactly how they can go about registering, or when they can expect to be included in Thailand’s vaccine roll out.

An expat who works as an English teacher at a school in Koh Samui says he received both doses of the Chinese-made Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine this month. He says the school helped with the registration process and both doses of Covid-19 vaccine were free.

 

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Expats

International Living magazine ranks Koh Samui among 15 best islands to retire

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Thailand’s popular Gulf island of Koh Samui is basking in glory as it is listed as one of the best islands to retire by International Living magazine. The island is ranked number 10 out of 15 islands listed by the magazine, and is said to be affordable for retirees. Peace, privacy, a simpler way of life and strong communities are also listed as some of its benefits.

The magazine detailed life on Koh Samui, pointing out the island’s world-class beaches…

“LYING ABOUT 425 MILES SOUTH OF THE COUNTRY’S CAPITAL, BANGKOK, KOH SAMUI HAS BECOME ONE OF THE MOST COVETED EXPAT DESTINATIONS IN THAILAND. ALTHOUGH ONLY 13 MILES WIDE AND OVER 15 MILES LONG, THE ISLAND IS THAILAND’S SECOND LARGEST ISLAND AFTER PHUKET.

KOH SAMUI BOASTS WORLD-CLASS BEACHES TUCKED AWAY IN SECLUDED BAYS…EXPANSIVE INLAND JUNGLES TEEMING WITH EXOTIC BIRDS, BUTTERFLIES, AND MONKEYS…MAGNIFICENT CASCADING WATERFALLS AND INLAND NATURAL POOLS…AND AN ALMOST COUNTLESS CHOICE OF GREAT SPOTS TO SIT DOWN, RELAX, AND WATCH THE SPECTACULAR SUNSETS OVER THE GULF OF THAILAND.

SAMUI, ONE OF AN ARCHIPELAGO OF 80 SMALLER ISLANDS, HAS A WARM AND MOSTLY CRYSTAL-CLEAR SEA WITH LOTS OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR KAYAKING, SAILING, AND BOATING. IT IS ALSO FAST BECOMING A GOLFER’S PARADISE.

THE ISLAND MAKES A GREAT DESTINATION FOR ANYONE LOOKING FOR A DREAM RETIREMENT BY THE SEA. YOU CAN LIVE WELL HERE ON A BUDGET OF US$2,000-2,500 A MONTH.”

Apart from the necessary documents needed, you can renew your retirement visa yearly without needing to go on a visa run or outside of the country, making the option convenient for those who may be unfit for sucFor information regarding a retirement visa, you can visit or contact a Thai embassy or consulate. Or a properly qualified visa agent.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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