There is a lot happening in the world of curling this weekend and as you may have gathered from my social media posts I have been moving house hence the lack of content of late.
But fear not! I have an internet connection and I am ready to write once again even if I can’t find my favourite curling/blogging mug for now…
We start in Füssen, Germany where the Olympic Qualification Event is taking place ahead of next year’s Winter Olympics.
This competition began on Tuesday and will conclude on Sunday – it’s the first time such an event has been held before a Winter Olympics.
Eight men’s and seven women’s teams are fighting for the last two places in their respective curling events in Sochi in February. Here’s who is in Füssen:
Men’s teams – Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, USA
Women’s teams – China, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Norway
They are all playing for the right to join the following teams in Sochi:
Men’s teams – Canada, Sweden, Great Britain, Norway, Denmark, China, Switzerland, Russia
Women’s teams – Sweden, Switzerland, Great Britain, Canada, USA, Denmark, Korea, Russia
Now for an event that continues with the Olympic theme but one that had little publicity until very recently.
The Red Sky Challenge might not mean much to you and until 10 days ago I had no knowledge of this event whatsoever.
Sounds mysterious I know so I’d better explain what it’s all about.
Red Sky are a sports management company who look after, among others, Eve Muirhead and her team and they are sponsoring a pre-Olympic challenge event at Braehead arranged by Team GB’s 2002 Olympic Champion Rhona Martin.
The event, which began on Thursday and concludes on Sunday, features four women’s teams who are all heading to Sochi – Great Britain, USA, Sweden and Switzerland.
The games at Braehead are mirroring Olympic conditions to give the teams some top-level practice.
With Eve Muirhead, Mirjam Ott, Erika Brown and Cissi Ostlund all here in Scotland to strut their stuff ahead of Sochi you would think that this event would have been given top billing and the curling community informed about a real spectacle but this does not seem to be the case.
Someone who works at Braehead told me that the event was seemingly kept a secret and that they didn’t know why.
So before this turns into a rant about curling not being given the publicity it deserves, get down to Braehead and watch! Or failing that, games are being streamed according to this post on the Curl Braehead website.
I’ll be heading to Glasgow on Saturday to catch Eve and the girls against Sweden – they are on two wins and one loss so far.
More information about the event is here.
The international curling just keeps coming as Trentino, Italy is currently hosting the 2013 Winter Universiade.
Held every two years, this is the 26th edition of the winter equivalent of the World University Games and some of Scotland’s top young curlers are in Italy representing Great Britain.
Thomas Muirhead, Derrick Sloan, Cameron Smith, Kyle Smith and Kyle Waddell are in the men’s event while Abigail Brown, Jennifer Dodds, Hannah Fleming, Lauren Gray and Alice Spence feature in the women’s.
Cate Brewster, Dave Ramsay and Debbie Knox are in Italy as the coaching team – the RCCC has a full rundown of the Great Britain team here.
After three games, both of Great Britain’s teams have two wins and one loss – follow the action here.
Some domestic action now.
The Scottish Mixed Doubles Curling Championship is taking place in Perth this weekend with sixteen teams in attendance.
Last year’s winners Gina Aitken and Bruce Mouat are back to defend their title – the winners will represent Scotland at the World Mixed Doubles Championship in Dumfries in April.
All the information is here.
The Scottish Curling Tour makes its penultimate stop of the season with the Kinross Open this weekend.
One of the linescores from Friday night suggests that Ewan MacDonald beat Kay Adams 21-5 after seven ends! Can anyone confirm this huge scoreline?
EDIT: I had the scoreline confirmed by Stuart Brand although it was Kate Adams not Kay – apologies.
Finally from a domestic point of view, the third Under 17 Slam is taking place on Saturday and Sunday at Lanarkshire Ice Rink, Hamilton.
24 teams are playing in six sections and you can follow their progress here.
Last but not least, Team Murdoch are in World Curling Tour action in the United States just now at the Curl Mesabi Classic in Eveleth, Minnesota.
They are one of three non-North American teams at the event along with Sven Michel and his European Champions from Switzerland and David Misun from Slovakia.
David Murdoch and the boys have won their first two games and are leading Kent Beadle 4-1 after three ends as I type.
Follow their progress here.
I spotted this tweet from David – it looks like the team are enjoying their pre-Christmas trip abroad!
Images are © WCF, Red Sky Management, FISU, RCCC, SCT and WCT