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Phuket Raceweek expects big fleet to blow in

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Raceweek expects big fleet to blow in | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: The award-winning Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek is set to welcome a large multinational fleet of boats to its 10th edition, to be held July 17-21 at Cape Panwa Hotel off the Southeastern tip of the island.

Over the last 12 months, regattas around the region have experienced a decline in entries, however, Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek looks set to buck that trend with over 30 boats already signed up in six classes, and more than 400 sailors taking part.

“The entry line-up for 2013 is looking very strong,” said Mr. Byron Jones, Managing Director of Media Business Services (MBS), the event’s co-organiser.

“We are already pushing mid-30s and there are a number of boats we expect to register in the coming days. Our aim has always been to put sailors at the center of our decisions, and I believe news of the excellent venue and top quality on-water race management has spread, as we are seeing more chartered boats and international crews taking part this year, as well as retaining strong support from the local sailing community.”

A quality IRC fleet is shaping up, and depending on final entries, class splits will likely be IRC Racing I, IRC Racing II and IRC Cruising. Leading the fleet in length is the TP52 Team Premier, skippered by new owner and circuit veteran, Peter Ahern.

Having taken a hiatus from the Asian yachting scene, Ahern returned to Phuket Raceweek last year on the chartered Soto 30 Longitude, and this year he is upping the ante (and size). Team Premier is well known throughout the region having competed in and won many regattas, including the 2011 Phuket Raceweek, that time chartered and skippered by Neil Pryde. This year, the high caliber competition is unlikely to let them have it all their own way.

Up against Team Premier will be a newcomer to Phuket Raceweek, the Beneteau 44.7 Fuujin. Formerly known as Ichi Ban, the boat has been campaigned with much success on the Thai sailing circuit in recent years and at Phuket Raceweek it will be skippered by familiar face, Peter Sorensen. While Ben Copley’sAquila Reichel Pugh 45 Katsu, and Kevin Whitcraft’s modified GP42 Wan Ma Rang – both of which have been scoring podiums recently – make them likely contenders also.

The standard of competition in IRC Cruising class is equally high, with a number of chartered boats and crew from as far a field as the USA, UK and New Zealand, to line-up against a strong local fleet who are hoping local knowledge will be their advantage.

After success at the Royal Langkawi International Regatta earlier this year, Rob Azzopardi’s Dreamtime is set to compete against Venture, Eloise, Lucky Lady Lucy, and local stalwart Linda, to name just a few, while the all-Thai crew on Ooh La La – without regular skipper Patinyakorn Buranrom who is competing in the TRANSPAC – will also be in the mix.

Phuket is home to a sizable multihull fleet, in large part due to the strong local boat-building industry. The multihull-only ACYC Multihull Regatta is likely to give an indicator of the in-form crews and provide a tune-up for crews heading to Raceweek.

Designed for Phuket and built in Phuket are the one-design Firefly 850 Sport catamarans, and as always a competitive line-up is again expected, including returning champion Voodoo and regulars Twin Sharks and The Frog.

2011 Multihull class winner DaVinci, also a Phuket-built catamaran, is back to defend their crown, with Mark Pescott at the helm, and they are up against three other local builds – Hurricane, Java and Nina – as well as the G Force 1500 Schionning design and Australian-built Mojo.

Having a genuine Classic class is something unique to Phuket Raceweek and something the organizers have supported and encouraged since the beginning. Entries are already looking good with five having registered to date, including two newcomers, as well as perennial competitor Seraph, who at 106 years old is the oldest in the fleet. All in the Classic class will be racing for the perpetual Seraph Trophy.

To include four days of world-class yacht racing in Phuket, Thailand, combined with four nights of memorable beach side parties at the 5-star Cape Panwa Hotel, the 10th Anniversary Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek will take place July 17-21.

For more information visit: phuketraceweek.com and video is available on YouTube.

Keep checking the Phuket Gazette’s Sports pages, join our Facebook fan page or follow us on Twitter for the latest local, national and international sporting news.

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Weather

Strong wind and waves this morning closes Phuket’s beaches, one swimmer rescued

The Thaiger

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Strong wind and waves this morning closes Phuket’s beaches, one swimmer rescued | The Thaiger

Phuket’s Rawai Mayor, Aroon Solos, ordered all beaches in the area to close after a foreigner was rescued this morning after being unable to make it back to shore. The foreigner was swimming off Ao Sane beach, just north of the popular Nai Harn Beach, when lifeguards were sent out to help bring him back to shore. The recent weather has been partly attributed to Tropical Storm Noul as other beaches areas around Patong have been closed since Friday.

Mayor Aroon ordered both the Nai Harn and Ya Nui beaches closed until further notice.

Noul crossed over the Vietnamese coastline in the early hours of Friday morning and tracked westwards into Laos, then Thailand’s north east, dragging in moisture from the Indian Ocean and intensifying the south-west monsoon.

The Chief of the Cherngtalay Tambon says that, once weather is more stable, the island’s beaches will reopen.

“All beaches in our area, Surin Beach, Bang Tao beach and other beaches, are closed today. We will reopen them when the weather improves.” Strong winds have contributed to falling trees and power outages across the island with one tree falling on the island’s main traffic artery, Thepkasattri Road, blocking traffic.

Officials are also warning road travellers to drive carefully after a car reportedly flipped over yesterday during wet conditions. The Thai Meteorological Department has also re-issued a weather warning today, saying that Noul has been now downgraded from a Category 3 tropical storm to a tropical depression.

The remnants of Noul currently sit over the Kancanaburi province after surging through Thailand’s north eastern and central provinces earlier today.

“Strong wind waves are likely in the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. In the upper portion of both seas, the waves will be likely 2-4 meters high and more than 4 meters high in thundershowers. In the lower portion, the waves will be likely about 2 meters and in thundershower areas more than 3 meters high. All ships keep ashore through 20 September.”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Thailand

Phuket residents going hungry after local government assistance runs out

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket residents going hungry after local government assistance runs out | The Thaiger

Residents in Phuket, particularly those living in and around the west coast townships, are reportedly going hungry as the government’s municipal budget to provide food has been depleted. Despite efforts to revive tourism in the area, thousands of people are still in need of donated food to survive and continue to queue up for donated food every day. A public relations staff member at the Patong municipality says, sadly, there is no budget to do any more food handouts in the near future and that there is no word on when or if there will be any more handouts.

The Phuket Town Deputy Mayor told The Phuket News that there has only been 2 handouts since the pandemic struck the tourist-reliant area. One handout was in March while the last handout was in June with the mayor saying 28 million baht was spent in those 2 handouts. Meanwhile a number of foreign residents in the town have been providing supplies for food queues for many months to help the impoverished residents.

One Phuket expat says the majority of those affected in the Patong area are Burmese migrant workers, with long queues for private donations still being seen on the streets of Patong. Such private donations are a result of charity events that are being held across the island with the assistance of dedicated volunteers.

Like Thailand’s Mental Health Department, many are concerned about the impact that food insecurity is having on those struggling. According to the department, 2,551 people had killed themselves across Thailand in the first half of 2020, a 22 % increase, year on year. In response, the National Reform Committee on Labour was ordered on September 11 to issue an amnesty on all outstanding debts, while providing financial support anyone who remains unemployed on the island.

At a recent meeting, other requests were made that include the government giving incentives for more Thais to visit the island and to use social security funds and soft loans as support for local business owners. For now, the situation is grim as Phuket residents are resorting to relying on private charities for food donations.

Phuket’s vice governor Phichet saysd that Phuket has been badly affected by the Covid crises, and delivered 3 requests to the Senate Standing Committee on Tourism… to extend the financial support by the Social Security Office for a further 3 months, allow workers from other provinces to transfer their house registration to Phuket so the Phuket government can receive more funds to provide better care for them, and ask the Ministry of Labour to provide assistance to at least 1,000 unemployed in Phuket.

Whilst the government unveiled plans for a “Phuket Model” to revive tourism on the island, it came to nothing, despite a high power delegation of Ministers and Bangkok officials who visited Phuket 2 weekends ago.

One such charity is set to record a song by leading Phuket musicians with the hopes of continuing to help feed those in need on the island.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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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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