Monthly Archives: October 2012

Looking Ahead

Two new events for this season’s Scottish Curling Tour are still looking for entries.

The Lockerbie Superspiel at the end of November and the Kinross Open in mid-December are almost full but have openings for late entrants. Full details of the events and how to get in touch with the organisers are on the Scotish Curling Tour site here.

Busy times at Greenacres just now – having hosted the Welsh Bonspiel at the weekend, they are hosting another event from tomorrow.

Christine Stewart sent the details:

At 08.30 on Wednesday 31 October, the first teams will take to the ice in the 5th European Senior Invitation Curling Championships at Greenacres Curling Rink, Renfrewshire.

Men’s and women’s teams from Finland to Russia, taking in Latvia, Switzerland, Sweden, Hungary, the Netherlands, Italy, Ireland, Slovakia and of course Scotland arrived in Renfrewshire on Tuesday for the event.

18 men’s teams are divided into three sections, the 12 women’s teams in two sections. They’ll play a round robin with the top teams making it to the quarter-finals.

The finals are scheduled for 15.00 on Saturday 3 November.

Thanks go to the 2005 World Women’s and Seniors’ Championships in 2005 as the main sponsors of the event.

Weekend Winners

Another busy weekend of curling has come and gone and here is my roundup. Keep checking back as I’m expecting more pictures.

Greenacres was hosting the Welsh Bonspiel this weekend. Christine Stewart sent this report:

Twenty teams from Scotland, England and Wales battled it out this weekend at Greenacres Curling Rink to find the winner of the 33rd Welsh Bonspiel.

Every team faced four games before the final stages – at stake was the Welsh Bonspiel Trophy for the high road winners, for the middle road the J & M Trophy, and the low road winners would take home the Stan Williams Trophy.

At the end of a hard fought final against Ken Horton, the Welsh team of Lauren Baxter (well she was adopted as Welsh for this one), Martin Gregory, Lesley Gregory and skip Andrew Woolston came out the winners taking the trophy back to Wales.

Julia Adam, Jim Jamieson, Liz Jamieson and Graham Adam won the J & M Trophy, and the Stan Williams went to Lyn Black, Gordon Nichol, Delphine How and Michael Yuille.

One more trophy to come, the Jen Humphreys Trophy went to Danielle Meikle, Richard Pougher, Charlotte Meikle and Adrian Meikle as the highest up Welsh rink not to win any of the main trophies.

Another very successful weekend for the Welsh, looking forward to next year.

(L-R): Lauren Baxter, Martin Gregory, Lesley Gregory, Andrew Woolston, Adrian Meikle (WCA President)

Three Scottish teams were competing at the Curling Masters in Champéry, Switerland. Logan Gray, Glen Muirhead and Kyle Smith’s teams were unable to reach the knockout stages of the event won by Sweden’s Marcus Hasselborg. Full results and pictures are here.

Hetty Garnier won the English Junior Championships against Niamh Fenton, granddaughter of Fenton’s rink owner Ernest.

The British Open in Stirling was retained by John Davie’s team – there will be a separate post about the event soon.

Congratulations to all the teams who were celebrating this weekend.

Weekend Preview

As promised, here is my guide to the weekend’s curling.

The Peak in Stirling is hosting The Albert Bartlett British Open from tomorrow (Friday) until Sunday. I will be going along to the event and it would be great to meet any followers of the blog – expect a full report and a picture show next week. I have only been back to Stirling once since I worked there as a newspaper reporter so it’s about time I returned. No better excuse than curling…

The Curling Champions Tour stops off in Switzerland for the men’s Curling Masters in Champéry. Scotland are represented by Logan Gray, Glen Muirhead and Kyle Smith. Play gets underway at 9am local time tomorrow (Friday). The event website is here. Laola1.tv is providing live coverage – Saturday should prove a treat as the double header of Smith v. Krause and Gray v. Gulbis makes up the evening schedule. Streaming will be here.

Fenton’s in Royal Tunbridge Wells is hosting the English Junior Championships this weekend – I will bring you results in my weekend roundup.

Team Brewster are still in Canada having played in the Prairie Classic last weekend. The final event on their World Curling Tour schedule is the Cactus Pheasant Classic in Brooks, Alberta. Full event information is here. Once again, the list of teams is very impressive with the likes of Niklas Edin, Glenn Howard, Kevin Koe, Kevin Martin, Jeff Stoughton and Thomas Ulsrud battling it out. Dumfries-born William Lyburn is competing with his Manitoba team too. Team Brewster’s first game was earlier today (Thursday) against Edmonton’s Tom Appelman. Appelman took it 8-2 after five ends. Brewster now plays Saskatchewan’s Scott Bitz in the ‘B Event’.

Finally, Greenacres is hosting the Welsh Bonspiel this weekend. Christine Stewart sent me this event preview:

This weekend Greenacres Curling Rink is the venue for the 33rd Glenfarclas Single Malt Whisky Welsh International Bonspiel.

20 teams from Wales, England and Scotland in two sections will take to the ice to battle it out with three trophies, The Welsh Bonspiel Trophy, the J & M Trophy and the Stan Williams Trophy at stake.

And there’s the Jen Humphreys Trophy for the highest up Welsh rink not involved in the other three playoffs.

The first section take to the ice at 3pm on Friday with the finals scheduled for 2.30pm on Sunday.

Of course it’s not all serious curling, players can look forward to a welcome party with stovies on Friday evening and a whisky tasting, courtesy of Glenfarclas, and a dinner on Saturday night.

Good curling and see you in Stirling…

Weekend Roundup

The first of the Under 14 Slams was played this weekend at Perth. In this afternoon’s final, Callum Kinnear beat Amy Bryce 5-1. In the 3v4 game, Liam MacLeod defeated Leeanne McKenzie 4-2. All today’s scores are here. Congratulations to the winners. The next slam is in Stranraer in January.

EDIT: A full report of the Slam is here.

In Norway, the Oslo Junior International girls’ event was won by Sweden’s Isabella Wranå while another Swede, Fredrik Nyman, won the boys’ event. Full results from finals day are here. Scotland’s Team Mouat went out in the quarter-finals but Team Wilson exited the competition in the semis which put them into a bronze medal game – they lost out 8-5 to Switzerland’s Corina Mani.

Over in Canada, Team Brewster went out of the Prairie Classic after losing their ‘C Event’ game to Terry McNamee. The event concludes tomorrow – Team Edin are the only Europeans remaining. Event info is here.

Updates From Aberdeen, Oslo And Portage

Eve Muirhead and her team of Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Claire Hamilton will be Scotland’s representatives at the European Curling Championships in Karlstad, Sweden in December. Can they defend their title from Moscow in 2011?

They earned the right to play in this year’s championships after taking an unassailable 3-0 lead in the best of five series at Curl Aberdeen against Gail Munro and her team of Lyndsay Cumming, Katie Wright and Jodie Milroy. Team Muirhead won 11-5 last night, 11-4 at noon today and 11-3 this evening to book their place. Congratulations to Team Muirhead – I look forward to following their progress in Karlstad.

In Oslo, Scotland’s juniors are taking on Europe’s finest at the Oslo Junior International. Team Mouat are looking good on W3 L1, Team Martin are W0 L4 and Team Wilson are W1 L3. Follow tomorrow’s knockout stage here.

Finally, Team Brewster find themselves in the ‘C Event’ at the Prairie Classic. They lost their first game, won their second and lost their third. They are currently playing Manitoba’s Terry McNamee and are 2-1 down. Follow the event here.

Weekend Preview

It’s Friday night so it must be time to preview this weekend’s curling…

We’ll start with the Under 14 Slam at Perth. Four girls, four boys and eight mixed teams are competing at the event that takes place on Sunday. The event format can be found here and the draw is here.

The European Junior Curling Tour stops off in Oslo this weekend for the Oslo Junior International. 15 junior men’s and 8 junior women’s teams are taking part. Scotland are represented by Bruce Mouat, Jennifer Martin and Maggie Wilson. Play got underway today and the event runs until Sunday afternoon. Team Mouat have already played three times and are currently W2 L1. Team Martin are W0 L2 as are Team Wilson. Keep checking here for results.

Tom Brewster and his team are over in Canada for the Prairie Classic in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. The list of the 32 competing teams is breathtaking – Edin, Gushue, Howard, Koe, Martin, McEwen, Stoughton and of course Brewster to name just a few. Team Brewster lost their first game 8-5 to Daley Peters’ Manitoba team. Brewster is playing Team Fenson of the USA as I type. Follow the event here.

Curl Aberdeen is hosting a fascinating series of games this weekend – the European Playdowns. Eve Muirhead and Gail Munro are going head-to-head in a best of five series to determine who will represent Scotland at December’s European Championships in Karlstad, Sweden. The men do not require such a series, however, as Tom Brewster and his team will be Sweden-bound – they are going due to the withdrawal of Warwick Smith’s (David Smith skip) team. The first of the games was at 7pm and it was Team Muirhead who took it 11-5. We could yet see another four games – full schedule is here and scores are here.

Finally, the Curling History Blog features a post about David Smith’s curling exhibition that was put on for the delegates at the WCF congress.

After the congress and all the issues that arose, it’s nice to get back to the playing side of things. Whatever you are doing this weekend, have a good one.

Loose Ends

19 teams were playing in the National Wheelchair Pairs at Braehead last weekend. The RCCC has a full report here. Congratulations to Mo Simpson and Ian Donaldson who won the High Road final.

Another wheelchair curling event took place during the week – the Kinross International Invitational. A preview of the event was here but as yet I am unable to find details of who won. Can somebody out there fill in the blanks for me?

EDIT: Norway were the winners. Report here.

The Kosovo Question / Congress News

It’s official. The World Curling Federation can now boast 50 member nations after Kosovo became the latest association to join our sport’s governing body.

Here’s what the official press release said:

Member Associations of the World Curling Federation have voted to accept the Kosovo Curling Federation as a provisional member of the world governing body of the sport of curling.

The vote took place at the WCF Annual General Assembly held at the conclusion of the inaugural World Curling Federation Annual Congress at the Turnberry Resort in Scotland.

“On behalf of the Kosovo Curling Federation, we are very happy to join the world curling family,” said Besim Hasani, president of the Kosovo Olympic Committee.

Here’s the rest of the big stories from the congress:

In other business, it was announced that Flims in Switzerland has been awarded the 2014 World Junior Curling Championships.

Members also voted unanimously to suspend Bulgaria and Armenia from the Federation due to failure to pay outstanding subscription fees.

Over 100 delegates from around the world have been attending the World Curling Federation’s first annual congress. For the past two days, the congress has been focussing on the governance structure of the WCF and working closely on a proposal for a new WCF constitution.

Work will continue on these matters over the next year ahead of the 2nd WCF Annual Congress due to take place from 26 August to 2 September 2013 at a location to be announced at a later date.

The next Annual General Assembly of the World Curling Federation will take place on Saturday the 31st of August 2013.

2013 Women Of Curling Calendar

I feel bad talking about potential Christmas gifts for the curler in your life in October but this is for a very good cause.

Now in its third year, the Women of Curling calendar makes its return with the 2013 edition. Twelve female curlers from six countries have posed for this latest offering – the proceeds of which go to the Canadian Spinal Research Organisation’s ‘Shoot For A Cure’ campaign.

I am pleased to report that Scotland’s Anna Sloan will feature alongside other fan’s favourites such as Sweden’s Sara Carlsson and Russia’s Anna Sidorova. Both Annas appear on the front cover above – you don’t need me to tell you that Sidorova is on the right…

Aside from the pictures, the calendar also includes major curling events – a very useful little extra.

At the time of writing, there are 895 in stock but I am sure that demand will be high. They are priced at $29.95 CAD including taxes and shipping – about £19. I had my 2012 edition delivered to friends in Canada who I knew were visiting Scotland in the near future. I will see if the charity send them outside of North America and what, if any, the extra cost will be.

Find out more about the calendar in The Curling News here and buy your copy here.

WCF Congress / The Hack’s Day Out

If you weren’t already aware, this week is a pretty big one for our sport as the World Curling Federation holds its inaugural congress at the Turnberry Resort in Ayrshire.

The event began this evening and runs right through to Saturday morning. It replaces the previous format of two meetings – one at the European Championships and the other at the Worlds.

110 representatives from 38 national associations will be in attendance. John Brown is one of them and he has posted the full timetable of events on his blog here.

Two items on the schedule stand out. The new constitution proposes the setting up of continental commissions – if approved, this will surely spell the end for the European Curling Federation. Watch this space…

Thursday afternoon sees an open meeting regarding membership applications. The Kosovo question will be rearing its head again having been set aside from the last meeting in April in Basel. Will Kosovo become the WCF’s 50th member?

Delegates will also be visiting the Kays of Scotland factory at Mauchline, curling at Ayr and playing a few rounds of golf.

I hope all the delegates enjoy their stay in Scotland and I eagerly await the outcomes of the big issues being discussed.

As you can imagine, this is a very busy time for our sport’s governing body. Despite this, I was lucky enough to be able to pay them a visit last Friday:

That’s the plaque outside the front door. You could be forgiven for walking straight past this unassuming little building by the river. In fact, save for this sign and a few curling stones on the floor of the entrance hall you would never know that this was the headquarters of a sport’s governing body.

Inside, I was shown the boxes containing all the major trophies for the upcoming season. Alas, I didn’t get to raise the World Men’s trophy aloft – one can dream…

The small size and relative tranquility of the office was deceptive, however. The busy nature of the place was apparent – desks covered in event schedules and to-do lists, a Skype conversation between Secretary General Colin Grahamslaw and Competitions Director Keith Wendorf, travel plans for the season’s events. A curling admin fan’s dream.

That’s Thelma Black in her office. She is in charge of finance and will no doubt have a key role to play at Turnberry this week.

Finally, here’s Assistant Media Relations Officer Danny Parker working on the website for the 2013 Women’s Worlds in Latvia. Danny was my host for the afternoon and he gave me an insight into how the media works at the WCF, his thoughts on the upcoming congress and his experiences of world-wide travel to events. It is no wonder that his passport is out – the travel schedule is a daunting one. The first big trip for Danny and the staff is Naseby, New Zealand for the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships in November.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Perth – two free pens and a copy of the rulebook did help I have to confess…

I would like to thank everyone at the WCF for making my visit so informative and friendly. If you don’t already have their website bookmarked then I strongly recommend it.