While some of us may not even have set foot on the ice yet this season, for others the international curling calendar is well underway.
Tårnby, Denmark is currently hosting the European Mixed Curling Championship – a competition for teams made up of two males and two females.
From next season, we will be seeing this competition on a world stage but more on that another day.
You may remember last season’s event was held in Edinburgh and it proved to be a very enjoyable occasion even if there were technical issues at the very start.
This post should give you all you need to know about this year’s Championship.
25 teams are competing and they have been divided up as follows:
Group A: Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey
Group B: Czech Republic, England, Latvia, Poland, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Switzerland
Group C: Belarus, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Spain, Wales
As you can see, three ‘home’ nations teams are in attendance – sadly no Ireland to make the full house but still a very good showing.
England are skipped by Ben Fowler and he has Lorna Rettig, Nigel Patrick and Anna Fowler (Ben’s sister) in his team.
Scotland have Kyle Smith, Hannah Fleming, Billy Morton and Alice Spence in their lineup while Welsh skip Adrian Meikle has a team of Dawn Watson, Andrew Tanner and Laura Beever.
Scotland are also represented by Chief Ice Maker Mark Callan in Denmark.
If you’re looking for big names in the tournament then they don’t come much bigger than Germany’s third player Andrea Schöpp – seven European and two World titles are just some of her career highlights.
Full lineups are here.
The 2014 edition of this tournament is the tenth overall and has seen Scotland claim four titles, Germany two and one each for Finland, Switzerland and Wales.
Play began in Tårnby on Sunday and here is how the ‘home’ nations look after two full days of play:
England W1 L2
Scotland W2 L1
Wales W2 L1
Group play concludes on Thursday evening with playoffs scheduled for Friday and Saturday – a full schedule is here. Do bear in mind for keeping track of scores that Denmark is one hour ahead of the UK.
One result from Tårnby caught my eye and that was the Germany v. Netherlands clash on Sunday afternoon.
The two nations share a fierce sporting rivalry and this year’s event brought together a German team with a great deal of international experience and a Dutch outfit boasting two players making their first appearances for their country.
Their pride was to be short-lived, however, as in the first end of their first game they promptly lost a SEVEN to the Germans and went on to lose 15-0 in six ends.
Things, as they say, can only get better.
Images is © WCF