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Rolly Tasker (centre) and wife Kerry show the land to the governor

Land Ho! Sailor Rolly Gives for Phuket Road

Tuesday, July 14, 2009
ROLLY TASKER, Phuket's most famous sailor, has given eight rai to the government for the planned second highway from the island's airport to Phuket City.

The paperwork was shown to Governor Wichai Praisa-nob today when Mr Tasker, his wife Kerry and sailmaking manager Mike Tasker went to Provincial Hall.

Governor Wichai hopes to persuade as many land owners as possible to give property to the roadmaking proposal that will relieve pressure on the existing traffic artery, Thepkasattri Road.

Mr Tasker said his Thai company invested in the land with the intention of expanding his sail-making business there some day.

Rolly Tasker's sail loft, one of the biggest in the world, is a landmark on Chaofa Road West and employs hundreds of local women, making and repairing sails.

The land given by Mr Tasker is in Korkaew subdistrict. Much of the path of the proposed new road runs under existing power line towers.

The governor's thinking is that existing land owners will be happy to hand over parcels of property, knowing that the land they retain will be more valuable alongside a main road.

However, some owners do not have large plots and would find the concept less workable.

The second highway would run to the west of the existing highway and it is seen as the means to ease future congestion on the island's main artery, which runs north-south with the Heroines Monument as its central island roundabout.

Sometimes road-bulding brings stayputs who decline to become involved, as with a Rawai landowner who declined to sell.

The consequence is that Viset Road, the main road between Chalong Circle and Rawai, narrows by one lane then resumes full width after the small property.

The Bypass Road to Phuket City and the south of the island from Thepkasattri Road was built to ease congestion on the then existing main road in similar circumstances.

Mr Tasker won an Olympic sailing medal for Australia and recently had his epic yacht racing experiences recorded in a book, Sailing to the Moon, The biography of Rolly Tasker, Australia's greatest all-round yachtsman by Roland Perry.

The Taskers divide their time between Phuket and Australia.

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Comments have been disabled for this article.


So Rolly Tasker has donated some land for the new road. Isn't it the case that foreigners can't own land, or more than 49% of a Thai company?

His Thai partners who presumably own 51% of the company should be sharing the spotlight.

Editor: Yes, and as the Thai company relies on selling sails, both its branding and marketing reside with the famous sailor and his international reputation. Standard procedure everywhere.

Posted by John on July 16, 2009 13:41

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