Vol. VII No. 13 - Tuesday
March 25, - March 31, 2008



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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


SPORTS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

“San Miguel” Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes starts this weekend

Adventure Racing - pushing yourself to the limit

Chiang Mai HHH Corner - “On On!”

“San Miguel” Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes starts this weekend

The 21st annual Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes will run from March 29 to April 5, 2008 at the Chiengmai Gymkhana Club cricket grounds, and it will be the largest Chiang Mai Sixes ever, with more teams and more matches and more fun than ever before.

Fast paced, fun-filled cricket comes to Chiang Mai this weekend in the form of the annual Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes tournament.
The Sixes also have a new name: this year San Miguel Beer (Thailand) has become the official tournament sponsor as part of their recognition of the growing popularity of cricket in Thailand. Not only is San Miguel the sponsor of the “San Miguel” Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes, they are also, through the Sixes administration and new products coming on to the Thai market, actively planning sponsorship of ground floor cricket development for ethnic Thai children. With cricket to be an official sport at the Asian Games in 2010, Thai cricketers will gratefully welcome and be encouraged by the gracious support of San Miguel.

The junior Sawasdee Cricket Cup will be held from the 3rd - 4th April
For one week, 36 men’s teams and 4 women’s teams from some 13 countries around the world will meet to play cricket and enjoy the warm welcome that Chiang Mai provides to its visitors. The sounds of willow bats striking leather cricket balls, the cries of “Howzat!”, and the pleasure of a cold drink in the warm April sun will be enjoyed by everyone who attends.
For those who are not familiar with the lively and action-filled Sixes version of cricket, it is a fast, much-shortened form of the one day game, and the short format produces an intensity of play that even first-time viewers can enjoy. Each team fields six players, and the batsmen face a total of but 30 balls (five overs of six balls each). Run totals have exceeded 120 runs from five overs, which is prodigious batting! Of course, with the entire fielding side being only six players, there is a lot of open field to hit into, but that is all part of the excitement as the two teams struggle for dominance.
Each day’s cricket will commence at 8.30 am and up to 16 matches are scheduled each day before drawing of stumps around dusk. The fact that up to 16 games will be played per day gives you an idea of how fast and furious the action will be. While cricket is the main theme and topic, fun and socializing are also high on the agenda.
So far, team entrants are from thirteen different countries for this year’s tournament, including Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, England, Greece, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand, UAE, and Vietnam.
Individual players come from a number of additional countries, including India, Sri Lanka, USA, Belgium and Zimbabwe, just to name a few. A number of local Thai cricketers who learned to play in the junior cricket program in Chiang Mai will be playing, and one of the men’s teams is an all-Thai side from Chiang Mai’s development program.
The week also includes an “Old Crocks” (veterans) game. A number of notable players with international experience are usually on hand and playing with some of the teams, so who knows what cricket star you might see?
In 2007-2008, a number of improvements were made at the Chiengmai Gymkhana Club cricket grounds. First, a new artificial top was laid on the wickets, thanks to the generosity of Superturf Cricket Systems of Nobel Park, Victoria, Australia, their MD Kieren Blake, and Sixes veteran team The Wombats. New stairs to the scorers’ cabin were constructed. For the enjoyment of all, the area around the Boundary Bar was paved, misting coolers have been installed, and new tables and chairs will be set up. The outfield has new topdressing and improved drainage, and huge new covers for all of the pitches were obtained with the help of the ACC ground development funding.
Once again this year, every day of the Chiang Mai sixes will be broadcast in both audio and video formats. New equipment is being procured to improve the presentation of the live video feed. Full details of the broadcasts and other details of the tournament can be found on the Sixes website at www.chiangmaisixes.com.
“Sawasdee Cricket”
In order to encourage the development of cricket in Thailand, a simplified version of cricket was introduced to Chiang Mai schools some years ago. It is called “Sawasdee Cricket” and the juniors will have their own tournament, competing for the Sixes Sawasdee Cricket Cup, from the 3rd - 4th April. They will be playing on a field adjacent to the main pitch and it is marvelous how these young Thais have taken to playing the game! Some of the first players from Chiang Mai have now graduated to playing the hard ball game and now represent Thailand in junior international matches. Perhaps we will see some of them play in the Asian Games!

The Chiang Mai Chassies (left) will be looking to defend their title in the women’s competition.
Ladies are not left out either. This year we have three new teams competing against perennial champions, Chiang Mai Chassies. Prem Tinsulanonda International school have put up a team picked from their teachers and friends. The excitement though this year will be focused on two Thai teams from the junior cricket development programs of Chiang Mai and Petchabun. The four teams will use the “Sawasdee” field in three days of round robin competition to decide the best two for the finals on the main field Saturday 5th April.
So now is the time to dust off that old cricket cap and blazer and get along to the Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes. Lots of action-packed cricket, lots of fun and a major measure of friendly socializing!
The Chiengmai Gymkhana Club is situated on the old Chiang Mai Lamphun Road just north of Nong Hoy Market (before the Holiday Inn Hotel) and is an easy tuk-tuk or songthaew ride from any part of Chiang Mai. Admission to the beautiful, spacious grounds of the Gymkhana Club is free and there is ample, shaded seating for cricket spectators.
As always, there will a wide variety of foods on sale, plus cold San Miguel beer and other beverages will be available from the “Boundary Bar” which is located right in the heart of the action. The Sixes is sure to be a fun-filled seven days and a big crowd puller for residents of Chiang Mai and visitors to our northern city.


Adventure Racing - pushing yourself to the limit

One team’s account of their recent participation in the 2008 River Kwai Trophy

“Oops, lost balance”: team kayaking proves to be anything but easy.

Claire Adams
When my partner, Cindy, arrived in Bangkok at the beginning of this year and was put in touch with me after a casual question about running and biking in the city, little did she know that 6 weeks later we would be taking part in our very first Adventure Race – The North Face River Kwai Trophy 2008.

Adventure racers take on one of the biking stages with the stunning scenery of the Sayoke district in Kanchanaburi province as a backdrop.
There was certainly an amount of fear and trepidation as the weekend drew near, especially for Cindy who had never experienced off road running or biking.
Cut to the beautiful Sayoke district in Kanchanaburi on March 1st and we, along with all the other adventure racers, started out on foot with a short run down to the river where we collected our kayaks for the first part of the race.
We soon discovered that we really weren’t very good at kayaking! I’m sure that we completed at least one and a half times the distance of most other competitors and I think Cindy was held back by the complete novice sitting in the back – I know what I have to work on for next time.

A rope ladder section in the “middle of nowhere” provides a vertical challenge.
Still, we weren’t last out of the water (but only just) and we transitioned through the first checkpoint quickly to start the jungle run. The run started well, through countryside close to the river. We had a few tributaries to swim/wade across and a few ropes to pull ourselves up and out of the water. A quick check for leeches (thanks Peter for putting that into our minds) and we were off on a long dirt road section up a mountain.
After the mandatory water fill up we climbed a little more and then it was the scramble down the mountain. The leaders in the Extreme race passed us on the way up and it was a great boost to hear the cheers from everyone. We then had another up hill scramble until we reached the top of the mountain. From this point we had the most incredible views across the valley and wished we had cameras with us.
We made our way across the rocks on the ridgeline and then we had to use ropes to come down. It was pretty steep in places and where there was no bamboo to hold on to, to stop the slide to the bottom, we had long stretches of rope. Once we reached the track at the bottom we knew (and hoped) that we were close to the next transition point as we were out of water.
Our prayers were answered as we stood on the banks of a lake and could see other racers swimming or floating across. It was wonderful to don the life jackets and immerse ourselves in the cool water and we were soon floating on our backs using a frog kick to propel ourselves across the water. All too soon though it came to an end and our bikes were waiting for us.

Adventure Racing is a test of both the physical and mental faculties.
Ten minutes into the ride we came to another stop, told to park our bikes and run (!) 100 metres to the next task. As we came over the small hill we could see a platform over a small quarry with a tyre on a zip line. Bamboo rafts in the water were tied together to form a walkway from one side to the other.
The task – stand on the tyre, zip down the wire, drop off when you hear the whistle, swim to the rafts and get back to the side. Easy! Except the two guys in front of us didn’t hear the command to drop off when they heard the whistle. As they headed into the side wall at the end of the zip line they both did amazing backward somersaults into the water. Everyone was screaming at them and Cindy and I were quaking in our boots!
Nothing ventured, nothing gained and I was the first to go. The second I heard the whistle I jumped! No problem – swam to the raft and waited for Cindy before we made our way back to the side. Great fun.
Back to the bikes and we pedalled through glorious countryside with the mountain we had climbed in the distance. By this stage we had been going for around 4 hours and fatigue was beginning to set in as we hit the first hill. We weren’t the only ones. Everyone was pushing their bikes up the hill but once we were through that section we were back in the shade and on fairly flat trails.
We started to pass people who were just too exhausted and the first of many riders who had punctures. The Extreme racers started coming through and overtaking us at great speeds. We passed my mate Peter and his partner Walter as they were fixing the first of Peter’s 5 punctures – how can one rider be so unlucky?
Eventually we came to a rickety old bridge across the River Kwai and we were soon back in the grounds of the Pung Wan Resort. We were still expecting another 5km run at this point so were amazed to see the finish line as we came out of the trees.
There was an overwhelming feeling of joy on both our parts as we crossed the finish line. We achieved our goal. We finished in around 6 hours 20 minutes. The most grueling, but most fun race that we have ever taken part in and you won’t be able to keep us away next year!!
Note: Claire Adams and Cindy Doulgeropoulos from the “Team 37” finished 53rd out of 70 teams competing in the “Adventure” category of this year’s North Face River Kwai Trophy.
Chiang Mai
Adventure Race
The next event organized by Active Management Asia and the Tourism Authority of Thailand under “The Amazing Adventure Race Series” will take place in Chiang Mai on May 18: “The Chiang Mai Challenge 2008.” For more information go to www.event-2.active-asia.com or Tel: 02 718 95 81-2.


Chiang Mai HHH Corner - “On On!”

CH3, the oldest hash club (males) in Chiang Mai runs on Mondays every 2 weeks. If you need a lift from the HHH Pub on Moon Muang Road (corner of Soi 2) at 4 p.m. please Call 09 99 358 27 before 3 p.m. Website: http://www.geocities.com/chiangmaih3/
CUMH3 is now the most popular Male hash in Chiang Mai and pick up is every week on Tuesdays from the Fish n Chips Shop on Ratchawithee Road (tel. 053-418210). Website: http://www.geocities.com/chiangmaih3/cumh3.html
CSH3 is a mixed hash. Runs every Saturday. Pick up from HHH Pub on Moon Muang Road (corner of Soi 2) at 3.15 pm. Website: http://www.geocities.com/chiangmaih3/
Chiang Mai’s Happy H3 is a mixture of traditional values and progressive thinking. Very democratic, good runs and “on on’s” guaranteed. Pick-up from Fish ‘n Chip Shop, Ratchawitti Road, 4 p.m. every Saturday. Website: http://www.geocities.com/chiangmaih3/CH4.html
BH3 female hash (Harriettes) runs once a month on the last Sunday of the month. Pickup from HHH Pub on the corner of Soi 2 at Moon Muang Rd. is at 3.30 p.m. during the winter and 4 p.m. during the summer.
It’s great fun and you surely get value for your money plus you get to meet all the long-time expats here!



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