Loose Ends – 5 December

If you haven’t been blown away by the bad weather and you still have power then stay indoors and have a catchup of some curling miscellany that I have collected of late – it’s been a while since one of my ‘Loose Ends’ posts so this should keep you interested…

Let’s start with some WCF news.

The November edition of the President’s Newsletter is now available to read online – take a look here.

It rounds up all the international events so far this season as well as providing news of what the various member nations have been up to. There’s also a bit about the perennial topic of Ailsa Craig and the dissolution of the Pacific-Asia Curling Federation.

I was also interested to read that a curling programme at Shanghai University in China has 500 students taking part – I remember years ago at Edinburgh University when we were grateful if we could get eight people to show up never mind 500!

Some sad news from the WCF and that is the death of Ivo Lorenzi at the age of 90.

Ivo is regarded as one of the founding fathers of our sport in Italy and you can read the full story about the pioneering Italian here.

As well as being a developer of the sport, Ivo also represented Italy at the European Championships in Oslo in 1977 where he played lead for Giuseppe Dal Molin’s team – they came fourth.

In Curling Champions Tour news, some new events have been added to this season’s schedule and they are pretty exciting too.

Looking to expand the reach of the Tour, the organisers have announced the Red Square Classic in Moscow, Russia from 19-23 January – a men’s event just before the Winter Olympics.

The women have also been given a new event, the Yichun International Ladies in Yichun, China from 28 December-1 January 2014 – what a way to welcome in the new year.

Find out more here on the CCT website.

Scotland’s David Edwards and his team will be heading to Moscow – watch this space for how they get on.

Some news from Scotland’s governing body next.

A reminder that little over a month remains to get entries in for the Scottish Mixed Championship and the Scottish Pairs Championship – details here.

Applications are now open for the RCCC’s 2014 Curling Camps in Stirling (junior) and Stranraer (adult) – find out more here.

The forty-nine curlers who will represent Scotland at the 2014 Four Nations has been announced – the full list is here.

This season’s event takes place at Lanarkshire Ice Rink, Hamilton over the weekend of 18-19 January with Ireland as hosts.

Time for some 8-enders I think…

Murrayfield has had its first one of the season – see a picture here on the Murrayfield Curling website.

Congratulations to Jenny Bain, Jill Florence, Moira Kinnear and Ruth Addinall who had a hit-and-stick for eight and made it.

Dundee also had an eight on Monday (above).

This was scored in the third end of a Broughty Ferry Curling Club internal league match – congratulations to James Ewart (skip), Jean Clarke (third), Angus McDonald (second) and David Nicol (lead).

You can see more pictures here on the Curl Dundee Facebook page.

In both cases the opponents will, of course, remain nameless.

John Brown’s Toothy’s Curling Blog is a good one to follow and after a long absence he is posting again – his comeback post is here with details of English curling competitions so far this season and also the Welsh International Bonspiel.

More details on the Welsh Bonspiel can be found here on the Welsh Curling Association’s website – scroll down to late October.

John also posted results from the competition formerly known as the Gormac, the Greenacres International Bonspiel – these are here.

I’ll finish with a bit of wheelchair curling news. Thanks to Heather Bell from Star Refrigeration for sending me a report of the National Wheelchair Curling Pairs Championship.

Mo Simpson and Ian Donaldson with Star Refrigeration’s Alan Walkinshaw

A great story of human triumph for another sports champion by the name of Mo. Only this time, it is not the famous Olympic champion Mo Farah, but our National Wheelchair Pairs Curling Champion Mo Simpson, who secured the winning championship title for the second consecutive year with her curling partner Ian Donaldson.

The National Wheelchair Pairs Curling Championship 2013 took place at Braehead Arena in Glasgow over the weekend, where a mix of Paralympians and amateurs competed for the title.

This year, sixteen pairs of curlers took part in the competition which saw participants travelling from all over Scotland, and a couple from Newcastle. The games began on Saturday morning with 24 matches throughout the day that would come to determine Sunday’s Low Road and High Road finals, where Mo Simpson and Ian Donaldson claimed victory.

Speaking about her win, Mo Simpson said: “I always enjoy playing in the Star Refrigeration National Wheelchair Pairs. With the standard of play in the game getting higher, it makes for a more competitive and challenging competition. Especially this year where a lot of the teams were evenly matched.

Winning the competition in 2007 was great. However to win again in 2012 with my current partner Ian Donaldson, and then successfully defend our title this year was – to coin the famous Glasgow phrase – ‘Pure Dead Brilliant!’ Roll on next year for our hat trick!”

The sporting event was streamed live via the Curl Braehead website. This was a first for the event, and it turned out to be a successful addition, with over a thousand sporting fans tuning in over the weekend to watch the games.

David Morgan, Chairperson of the Scottish Wheelchair Curling Association, said: “It was nice to see so many curlers participating this year, with a great turnout of new and old faces getting together to participate in this prestigious event.”

The competition is sponsored by home-grown Star Refrigeration – a household name in Scotland for over 40 years and the UK’s largest independent industrial cooling and heating contractor. Star have been working closely with the leisure industry since 1970, installing 80% of the country’s ice rinks, curling rinks, indoor ski slopes and ice walls, including Braehead Arena.

Star Refrigeration’s Director of Sales, Alan Walkinshaw, said: “I want to congratulate Mo Simpson and Ian Donaldson as the winners of the Wheelchair Pairs National Championships for the second year running. I was impressed by the focus and dedication of all this season’s champions. It was good to see the event continuing to develop – we were pleasantly surprised by the interest in the live webcast.

Judy Mackenzie and Norman Cathcart provided the commentary on the final while it was being filmed, which helped with bringing the contest to a wider audience. The event has brought many wheelchair curlers together over the years, and lifelong bonds have been created through the teamwork and camaraderie encouraged by the games.”

Images are © WCF, CCT and RCCC
Photos are © David Jones and Heather Bell 2013