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Phuket Sports: May the tread be with you – F1

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Sports: May the tread be with you – F1 | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Last week, the world’s press was attacking Pirelli for its tyres. This column supported Pirelli, and received grumpy responses from those who supported the Red Bull tirade (click here for article).

When Pirelli agreed to change their tyres from the Canadian GP, Ferrari and Lotus felt Red Bull had pressured Pirelli into conforming to their demands. The ‘Tyre Wars’ heated up and Ferrari accused Red Bull of having a selective memory and Pirelli of bowing to pressure.

Ferrari said “maybe the brain cells that control memory only operate selectively, depending on the results achieved on track by their owners …. It’s a shame that these worthy souls kept quiet two years ago when, at the very same Catalunya Circuit and on the Istanbul track, five of the six drivers who got to those two podiums made exactly the same number of pit stops as did Alonso and Massa last Sunday in the Spanish Grand Prix.”

Force India and McLaren also seem to be with Pirelli.

Following the Ferrari blast, in a further volte-face, Pirelli then announced they will now make only minimal changes to the tyres for Canada and beyond.

Even Mercedes, which has suffered badly from tyre wear, said there was no case for Pirelli to change. It seems Mercedes is essentially focusing on the 2014 car and, as if to prove that, Lewis Hamilton is taking every opportunity to get non-racing press space. Tales of arguments with his dad, his sense of freedom after leaving McLaren, and his confidence in potentially teaming with Alonso or Vettel, compete with photo opportunities with his British Bulldog.

It was finally announced that Paddy Lowe is to join Mercedes on June 3rd with the title of ‘Executive Director (Technical)’. Lowe stood down as Technical Director at McLaren at the beginning of the year. It is unclear how he will fit in at Mercedes, which says he will ‘work closely with Ross Brawn [who] will retain overall responsibility for technical and sporting matters’.

McLaren will have Mercedes engines for the critical 2014 season, but have selected a return to Honda for 2015, so the team may be playing an even longer game than Mercedes. BMW has hotly denied that it is returning, and may be telling the truth.

Bernie Ecclestone, never shy of controversy, lined up with Red Bull in the ‘Tyre Wars’. But Bernie’s future was the discussion after news that German public prosecutors were preparing to start a court action against him on bribery charges. Bernie said “The [F1] board agrees I should stay unless I’m convicted”; bad news for those who think Bernie is past his ‘sell by’ date. Speculation over a successor spiked, with Sainsbury’s Chief Executive Justin King a leading candidate. Bernie was contemptuous. “I’ve never met him and there’s no way I’m going to. I’ll work till I drop and then they can bury me in my bus.”

I mentioned in a previous article that Catalunya allows a fully charged KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) to be deployed twice per lap, and that a double KERS release stresses the KERS cooling system.

Responding to questions, KERS recovers a moving vehicle’s kinetic energy under braking. The recovered energy is stored in a reservoir – typically a flywheel connected to a battery for later use under acceleration. Keeping the flywheel spinning uses a very high amperage power system, like that in an MRI. High power flows through a wire which creates heat, and wastes energy. Worse, the hotter a wire gets, the higher its resistance becomes, so temperatures escalate.

The answer could be superconductors. These provide zero resistance to electrical current. The good news is that 70% of metals can be superconductors.The bad news is that this is only true at very low temperatures. In fact temperatures of near absolute zero are required (-273oC), usually involving liquid helium. But there are now ceramic superconductors that can operate at a balmy -183 oC. I know that F1 teams are actively looking at this. And KERS will not be an add-on next year, but an integral part of engine design. A Heat Energy Recovery System will be the add-on.

Back in 2013, it’s on to Monaco this Sunday – a highlight of the year.

Expect two pit stop strategies with very low tyre degradation. Cars that are good on soft tyres should do well. Qualifying is everything – and nothing so far this season has prepared us for that.

The set-up will be the same as at Catalunya, but using the fastest tyre choices in qualifying will be critical to winning. Red Bull might fancy their chances at pole, and Webber might be the one to do it. But every driver in F1 will fancy himself. Mercedes, Ferarri and Lotus drivers must all be feeling papabile. What chance for Force India, McLaren, Sauber or Williams?

Expect anything.

Join me by the big screen for a fascinating qualifying session at Phuket’s The Green Man, Chalong (click here for map) on Saturday at 7pm and on Sunday at 7pm for the race.

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

— The Digby

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

Thai Life

Happy Loy Krathong Phuket. Where to launch your krathong tonight

Tim Newton

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Happy Loy Krathong Phuket. Where to launch your krathong tonight | The Thaiger

Happy Loy Krathong Phuket. But this year authorities are saying ‘only floating Krathongs thanks’. No polystyrene, no steel pins – keep it natural and plant-based please. This year Loy Krathong in Thailand co-incides with the annual Halloween celebrations on October 31.

Authorities are also urging people to choose, or make, their krathongs using natural materials only. The latest craze for “edible” krathongs is also causing problems. Read about that HERE.

Loy Krathong is a festival celebrated annually throughout Thailand The name could be translated as “to float a basket”, and comes from the tradition of making krathong or buoyant, decorated baskets, which are then floated on a river. Loi Krathong takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar so the exact date of the festival changes every year.

In Phuket, the Provincial Office says fireworks, fire crackers and sky lanterns are prohibited “for people’s safety” (but be assured there will still be a few sky lanterns seen flying off the islands beaches this evening).

 

Happy Loy Krathong Phuket. Where to launch your krathong tonight | News by The Thaiger

Loy Krathong is celebrated at many of the island’s popular waterways and at many of the beaches. Many hotels also host their own celebrations for their tourist customers. Here are a few of the locations you will be able to launch your own Krathong or buy one on site and watch families and couples launching Krathongs.

Popular locations in Phuket include…

• Saphan Hin Park Lake, Phuket Town

• Suan Luang Park (off Naka Market Road)

• Bang Wad Dam, Kathu

• The recreation lake near Ket Ho Temple in Kathu (The Thaiger ‘local’)

• Tin Mine Museum Lake on the Kathu back road, near BIS International School

• Nai Harn Lake and Nai Harn Beach

• Bang Maruam near the Alan Cooke Cricket Ground in Thalang

• Laguna (the main lake just inside the entrance)

• Just about anywhere along Patong Beach

Happy Loy Krathong Phuket. Where to launch your krathong tonight | News by The Thaiger

On the night of the full moon, Thais launch their krathong on a river, canal or a pond, making a wish as they do so. The festival may originate from an ancient ritual paying respect to the water spirits.

We would urge people to consider the environment if you’re making your own Krathong or try and select Krathongs that are made from natural products. Many of the ‘commercial’ Krathongs use polystyrene and pins that end up scattered along our waterways and provide a hazard on the island’s beaches when the Krathongs eventually wash ashore and disintegrate.

Same goes for the new fad of bread and “edible” krathongs. Officials say these can be dangerous for the fish and cause long term problems for water catchments.

Happy Loy Krathong Phuket. Where to launch your krathong tonight | News by The Thaiger

If you’d like to make a krathong, here’s a very quick guide…

If you want the easy way out, you will find hundreds of stalls on the way or near any waterway around the island that is participating in the event. Try and pick ones that appear to be made from natural materials.

Happy Loy Krathong Phuket!

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Phuket

Phuket tops travel destination list of cheapest hotel prices – Dertour 2020 Price Index

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket tops travel destination list of cheapest hotel prices – Dertour 2020 Price Index | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Phuket Hotels Association

Phuket tops a list of the cheapest travel destinations with a 1 night stay at a hotel costing on average less than $30 USD, according to a study by the German travel company Dertour. Phuket is going through what some say is a “crisis”, certainly a current tourist vacuum. The island province largely relies on income from foreign tourists, but with travel bans over the last 7 months, hotels and other businesses in the tourism industry have been at a loss.

For domestic tourists, Phuket currently offers a serene, peaceful tropical stay where you’ll have a lot of the island to yourself. There are plenty of daily flights to the island, but all from domestic locations at this stage – the international terminal remains closed.

Along with being listed as hotels with the lowest price, Phuket also made the top 5 cities with the largest price drop from 2019 to 2020, according to Dertour’s 2020 Accommodation Price Index. The company studied hotel prices for 75 popular tourist destinations around the world. Bangkok was just above Phuket at the fourth city with the largest hotel price drop. Bangkok hotel prices dropped by 34.6% while Phuket’s hotel prices dropped by 33.8%.

Prices will continue to be low, CEO DER Touristik Central Europe Ingo Burmester says…

“Travel itself will be cheap in 2021… Although it has been a challenging period, we have seen a great deal of interest in domestic travel. We also predict a major catch-up effect for Mediterranean destinations, European trips and long-haul routes in 2021 as soon as travel restrictions are lifted.”

Phuket ranks as the destination with the cheapest accommodation prices at an average price of $29 USD, according to the list. Average prices for 3-star hotels are $26 USD and an average of $54 USD for 5-star hotels.

Bangkok followed, ranking fifth on the list of cities with the lowest hotel price at an average of $43 USD per night. 3-star hotels in Bangkok average at $30 per night and 5-star hotels average at $93 USD.

Top 5 destinations with the lowest price in accommodation

  1. Phuket: Average of $29 USD per night
  2. Delhi: Average of $34 USD per night
  3. Kuala Lumpur: Average of $36 USD per night
  4. Bali: Average of $36 USD per night
  5. Bangkok: Average of $43 USD per night

Top 5 destinations with the largest price drop in accommodation

  1. Amsterdam: Dropped by 51.6%
  2. San Francisco: Dropped by 39.2%
  3. Vancouver: Dropped by 37.1%
  4. Bangkok: Dropped by 34.6%
  5. Phuket: Dropped by 33.8%

To read Dertour’s full report, click HERE.

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

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Phuket

Man arrested after allegedly slicing a man’s face with sickle

Caitlin Ashworth

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Man arrested after allegedly slicing a man’s face with sickle | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

A man was arrested on charges of grievous bodily harm after he allegedly sliced his friend’s face with a sickle, causing a gash about 25 centimetres long.

3 men, identified as Saeng, Ta and Rop, had been drinking at a shanty in Phuket’s Rassada district where Rop lived. An argument broke out over money. A bank transfer was apparently made, but no one received any money, according to Rop as he related the story to police.

The men didn’t come to an agreement and ended up going to bed. Ta stayed awake and slapped Saeng twice while he was falling asleep, Rop says. Saeng then got up, grabbed the sickle and swung the hooked blade across Ta’s cheek, Rop says.

Reports don’t go into detail about Ta’s condition, but photos of the scene by the Phuket News show a significant amount of blood on the concrete floor.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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