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Two races on Day One of Phuket King’s Cup

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The 32nd Phuket King’s Cup Regatta was off to a flying start yesterday with a strong breeze of up to 17 knots, allowing race organisers to hold two races in all classes off the southern part of Phuket.

In the top flight IRC Zero Class – for the slick, stripped down racing keelboats – Australian Ray Roberts and his crew on Team Hollywood managed to edge out defending champions Tom and Kevin Whitcraft on their Thai-registered boat THA 72, which was skippered by Don Whitcraft in both races.

In two closely-fought races, Team Hollywood won by narrow margins, and the two boats are expected to be engaged in some close racing right up until the final day on Saturday.

“We had a great competition in the first race, but not so good in the second race,” said defending champion Kevin Whitcraft.

“We’ll have to lift our game in the coming races,” he added.

The IRC 1 Class was also a close battle for first place, with Mandrake III coming out on top overall after winning the second race. King’s Cup regulars Nick Burns and Fred Kinmonth finished third on Mandrake III in the first race, but came roaring back to take first place in the second race.

Mandrake III leads East Marine Emagine by only half a point after two races, with Loco and Aquarii tied for third place in the IRC 1 Class.

One boat that grabs the spotlight wherever it goes is the 60-foot trimaran SKH Scallywag Fuku Bid, a winner at the recent Raja Muda Regatta in Malaysia, and it did not disappoint on the Andaman Sea off Phuket on Monday.

With one of its hulls completely out of the water as it cut through the sea at high speed, leaving everything in its wake, its only real rival was its handicap. However, despite being about to hit almost 40 knots in a strong breeze, the Scallywag crew had to settle for second place on Monday behind Australian Dan Fidock’s Fugazi in the Racing Multihull Class.

Scallywag was first over the line by a country mile in both races on Monday, but Fugazi also sailed well and once the handicap was deducted from the big boat’s time, the smaller Aussie-helmed boat took the honors.

Closer to the shore, the young sailors in the dinghy classes had practices races and honed their skills on Monday in preparation for the start of their opening races on Wednesday in the waters off Kata Beach.

Youngsters from Phuket as well as Sattahip, Pattaya, Koh Phangan, Songhkla and other parts of Thailand will be contesting the Optimist Boys and Girls, Laser 4.7, Laser Radial, Laser Standard and 420 classes, some of them already champions and representatives of the country at international events.

These up-and-coming youngsters will one day be aboard the bigger boats racing further out to sea.

One of the biggest regatta fleets in Asia will take to the water again on Tuesday morning as the second day of racing gets underway in the Phuket King’s Cup, which finishes on Saturday.

There are 11 classes of keelboats and multihulls competing in this year’s regatta, which is held off its traditional base at the Beyond Resort Kata at Kata Beach.

Two races on Day One of Phuket King's Cup | News by The ThaigerTwo races on Day One of Phuket King's Cup | News by The Thaiger

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Thailand

Thai Airways to resume flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai Airways to resume flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Airways

After nearly 9 months on the ground due to the coronavirus pandemic, along with problems balancing their accounts, Thai Airways will resume flights between Bangkok and Chiang Mai as well as Bangkok and Phuket later this month. The flights will start back up on Christmas day.

Flights from Bangkok to the 2 key tourist provinces have been grounded since April 1. Starting December 25, the airline will run 3 flights a week on both routes. A source told the Bangkok Post that the new schedules will run until at least February 28.

Thai Lion Air, Thai Air Asia, Nok Air, Thai Smile, VietJet Air and Bangkok Airways have returned to the domestic skies since July and slowly adding frequency to their routes.

In addition to resuming the domestic flights, the Thai Airways is relaunching some international flights from January 1 to March 27 including weekly flights to Frankfurt, London, Copenhagen, Sydney, Seoul, Manila, Taipei and Osaka. Flights from Bangkok to Tokyo will be available 3 times a week and flights from Bangkok to Hong Kong will be available every day.

Thai Airways has been tackling bankruptcy throughout the lockdown and trying to make up for more than 300 billion baht in losses. Since many flights were suspended due to travel restrictions, Thai Airways has tried to make money by business ventures on the ground, like a pop-up restaurant serving in-flight meals and selling off unwanted equipment from their warehouse. There also disposing of much of their older fleet, including all of their Boring 747-400s.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

97 police officers investigated for fiddling Covid-19 payments

Maya Taylor

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97 police officers investigated for fiddling Covid-19 payments | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.newsbeezer.com

97 police officers, from 41 police stations, are currently being investigated for an alleged scam involving Covid-19 payments meant for officers who worked extra shifts during the crisis. The case was assigned by national police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk in November, when it came to light that some officers may have fraudulently claimed allowances meant for others.

In one incident, an officer responsible for transferring extra payments to police on the southern island of Phuket transferred the money to his own accountant instead. At the time, the transfer was dismissed as a mistake (in his favour), with the officer in question receiving a warning, and payments then made to the qualifying officers.

Wissanu Prasatthong-Osot from the National Internal Affairs Police says the investigation should reach a conclusion within the next 10 days.

“The result of the investigation should be ready in 10 days. Currently, 97 officers in 41 police stations ranging from non-commissioned to generals are under investigation for being involved in the swindle. The bureau aims to provide justice to all policemen involved. After the investigation concludes, the victims will receive their full allowance, while the offending officers will be punished under the law and disciplinary standards.”

Nation Thailand reports that a full list of alleged offenders has been sent to Suwat, with Wissanu promising that none will escape prosecution.

“The National Police chief had also ordered the transfer of offending officers at the commander and sub-commander levels out of their areas as per the investigation procedures.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Tourism

Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce to propose Guangzhou-Phuket tourism route

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce to propose Guangzhou-Phuket tourism route | The Thaiger
PHOTO: 77 kaoded

A tourism route from Guangzhou, China to Phuket could help the island province recover from the recession brought on by the pandemic and lack of foreign travel, according to the Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce. The president of the organisation, Narongsak Puttapornmongkol, says they plan to submit a letter proposing the route under a travel bubble scheme to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

The Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce is proposing a travel bubble with around 20 cities in China with no recent coronavirus infections and considered to be at a low risk of spreading the virus. Travellers from Guangzhou recently entered Thailand on the new Special Tourist Visa. It was the second flight of international tourists since travel restrictions were imposed in late-March.

“We believe that the Travel Bubble and the quarantine reduction will resolve the tourism business, which is a huge economic opportunity to recover.”

Once a vaccine is widely available, Narongsak suggests that those who wish to Thailand could also present their vaccination certificate or examination reports from the place of origin. He adds that the mandatory state quarantine period is likely to be reduced.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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