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Phuket’s Sporting High Season Showdown

November 24, 2010

PHUKET is about to embark on what’s probably the biggest two weeks in sport in the island’s history, with the first Phuket Honda Racing Fest revving up, two world class athletics events at Laguna Phuket, vital matches for FC Phuket and the King’s Cup Regatta.

Phuket’s events calendar is now so crowded that every week usually produces at least one event worth attending.

But from this weekend, the choice becomes more difficult for sports fans – unless you want to have it all.


Planning is already well-advanced for the Phuket Honda Racing Fest, which from November 26-28 sees Phuket City’s Saphan Hin public park converted into a racing circuit where hot Honda Jazzes and Civics will race over three days of high-speed action and tight corners.

On Sunday morning, a fast car will get you to Laguna Phuket in time for the 7am start to the 1.8 kilometre swim, 55k bike ride and 12 k run that constitutes the triathlon. You’ll see a world-class field in action.

There’s a six-kilometre fun run too, starting at 8am, for those who prefer a more sedate pace. It’s sponsored by 91.5 FM this year and the cost is 400 baht to enter.

With luck, you can be back in Phuket City in time for the final events at the motor racing with the Jazz final set for 2.30pm and the Civics roaring away at 3.15pm.

Once the motor racing is over, it will be time to focus on an even tougher assignment than the triathlon: the Laguna 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship, to be held on Sunday, December 5.

This race, being held for the first time at Laguna Phuket, will be the culmination of the new Asia-Pacific Ironman 70.3 Event Series.

Ironman is the world’s most captivating and testing single day endurance test. If the triathlon is not hard enough, try this for size.

The event starts with a 3.8km swim, and is followed by a 180km cycle and a 42.2km run. Yes, that’s a full marathon after you get off the bike.

And a ride that amounts to more than three times from the north of the island to the south, after you finish the (gulp) 3.8 km swim.

Those who live through this test of endurance probably deserve a spot on the crew of yachts sailing in the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, although even the crews of yachts need to move reasonably fast to emerge as contenders.

Serious competition between more than 100 yachts follows until December 11, in what’s regarded as Asia’s most significant yachting event.

Will there be winners and losers? You bet. But every fan is a winner on Phuket at the start of this sporting high season.

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