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On Deck: Sailing ignored as a mainstream sport

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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On Deck: Sailing ignored as a mainstream sport | Thaiger

PHUKET: Bangkok was host to Asia’s Sports Industry Awards & Conference (SPIA Asia) at the beginning of this month. A two-day conference with presentations from leaders in the regional sports industry – IMG, Lagardere, GroupM, Media Pro, Total Sports Asia, TATA Consulting, and many more – discussing the best practices and latest developments within the sports industry, was followed by the Asian Sports Industry Awards.

It was a veritable sports buffet of information and opinion, and a celebration of the sports industry. Sailing, sadly, didn’t get much of a look in.

Thailand has some of the best amateur sailing events in the region, evidenced by the large number of sailors from around Asia and beyond that come to Thailand each year to compete in these events. Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, Top of the Gulf Regatta, Phuket Raceweek, Samui Regatta and the Bay Regatta – they’re household names to many near and far, yet there was only one Thailand regatta that made the shortlist at SPIA Asia, the Top of the Gulf Regatta, and they walked away with Silver in the ‘Best Amateur Event of the year in Thailand’ category.

What was more of a concern, however, was how little airtime sailing got in the conference.

Everything from buffalo racing to marathons, table tennis, badminton, football and more was covered. Brands such as Liverpool and Chelsea were present. Sailing, however, got only a mention in passing. Blink and you missed it.

For a country that is blessed with world-class cruising grounds, has an established amateur regatta scene with strong international draw, and has produced a youth world champion in the sport, why is so little attention, outside the ‘those-in-the-know’, given to the sport?

While our neighbors are attracting world-class sailing events to their shores, Thailand seems content to watch the sport sail on by.

Singapore has hosted an event in the Extreme Sailing Series on a number of occasions as well as having been a stopover for the Volvo Ocean Race in the past. China has done the same, as well as entering a team in the Louis Vuitton Cup and, of course, hosting the Olympics. Hong Kong, meanwhile, has been named a stopover in the 2017/18 Volvo Ocean Race for the first time.

Thailand is not without excellent facilities. The skill set is here in-country, and Thailand does indeed host international events. The Kingdom has hosted a number of dinghy world championships over the years and the Royal Varuna Yacht Club in Pattaya is to host the Optimist World Championships in July 2017.

However, at the professional level of the sport, Thailand is nowhere to be seen.

Sure, hosting such events is not cheap and requires significant financial backing. In most cases in Asia these events have government backing and financial support, yet Thailand has not yet reached this level.

Hosting international events is not simply a way to promote the country. Sporting events often get put into the tourism bag and are seen as a way to draw visitors – think F1 and FIFA World Cup. However, they are so much more.

The intangible benefits are priceless. Such events inspire, give hope and provide opportunities.

Hosting international sailing events can be a catalyst for industry growth and growth in sporting excellence. The events can also be a springboard for a career path for young sailors – something that is sadly lacking in Thailand (and Asia), for the sport of sailing.

It’s time to think big Thailand.

Duncan Worthington is a long time Phuket resident and through Infinity Communications (infinity-comms.com) consults to leading consumer brands, hospitality and marine clients in Thailand. In his ‘spare time’ he runs the marine portal MarineScene.asia. #OnDeckPhuket

— Duncan Worthington

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

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UPDATE: Owner attacked by pit bull dies of injuries

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UPDATE: Owner attacked by pit bull dies of injuries | Thaiger
PHOTO: A pit bull attacked and killed his owner (not this pit bull pictured).

The owner, attacked by his pet pit bull in the Pattaya suburb of Bang Lamung yesterday, has died of the injuries sustained in the attack. The horrific incident which occurred in the early hours of yesterday morning had shocked the family, who had raised the now 2 year old dog Giant since he was only 3 months old.

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SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions

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Three of Thailand’s biggest expat areas are seeing sharp rises in new infections, partly from pre-Songkran traffic. The Songkran holidays, now officially over (but will see many people taking today off and making a weekend Songkran extension), and the government says they are expecting to see a rise in the cases numbers reported in the popular holiday locations.

Chon Buri Public Health office says they now have a total of 910 infections since April 1. They have 103 new cases in the past 24 hours. Most new cases are in Bang Lamung district which includes Pattaya City with 47, Siracha with 12) & Chon buri City with 8.

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | News by Thaiger

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A meeting of the CCSA, chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is expected to upgrade restrictions in red zone areas around the country, which includes Phuket and Pattaya. Read more about the latest red and orange zones HERE.

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Pattaya area man severely injured after pet pit bull attacked

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Pattaya area man severely injured after pet pit bull attacked | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: A raging pit bull attacked its owner this morning.

A Pattaya area man sustained severe injuries when his pet pit bull attacked him in the early hours of the morning. The incident took place in Bang Lamung with authorities being called to the scene near Soi Bang Lamung Temple.

The victim, 56 year old Wisit Sanguan, had been bitten by his own pet dog and was bleeding profusely from multiple bite wounds. The pit bull had bitten Wisit on the neck and the injuries were described as severe. The man was rushed to the nearest hospital for treatment.

Wisit’s wife told reporters that they had the pit bull for nearly 2 years, raising him since he was a 3 month old puppy. They had named him Giant. His wife reported that the man and the dog had both been sleeping for about an hour. The pit bull woke up and attacked the sleeping man, according to his son who witnessed the whole thing. The spooked dog took about 30 minutes to subdue enough to pull Wisit away, with the pit bull attacking with aggression anyone who tried to help the poor man.

The pit bull was still agitated when emergency assistance and family members arrived and eventually the Chon Buri Pit Bull Club had to be called to aid in controlling the dog. They arrived at around 10:30 am and ended up subdue the dog using anaesthetics provided by the local livestock office. They chained the dog up and were able to remove him from the premises.

Wisit is being treated for severe bite wounds, and Giant the pit bull will remain in the custody of the Chon Buri Pit Bull Club as the family does not want the dog after this incident. Pit bulls have often been the focus of controversy as they have been known to viciously attack, sometimes with deadly results.

NOTE: In an earlier version of this story we referred to a “rabid dog”. This was incorrect and we apologise for the error.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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