Monthly Archives: January 2013

Weekend Winners 25-27 January

Hannah Fleming and Kyle Smith successfully defended their Scottish Junior Curling Championship titles at Aberdeen this weekend.

Hannah and her team of Lauren Gray, Jennifer Dodds and Abi Brown defeated Tasha Aitken 10-4 in Sunday’s final. It should be noted that Team Fleming won nine straight games in winning this year’s junior women’s title – congratulations to Hannah, Lauren, Jennifer and Abi.

Kyle Smith’s route to the junior men’s title was not as straightforward however. Kyle’s team came second in the round-robin standings behind Grant Hardie who won all seven group games, including a 5-4 victory over Smith.

In their playoff game, Team Hardie again came out on top winning 9-2 but the final was a case of third time lucky for Kyle Smith and his team of Thomas Muirhead, Kyle Waddell and Cameron Smith as they defeated Team Hardie 5-4 – congratulations to Kyle and his team.

Both teams will now represent Scotland at the World Junior Curling Championships in Sochi, Russia that get underway at the end of February.

You can see all the scores from the competition here and read a report here.

There was good news from the German Masters in Hamburg this weekend as Team Brewster (who were Brewster in name only) won Sunday’s final in convincing fashion 6-1 after six ends against Denmark’s Rasmus Stjerne.

David Murdoch was skipping the team of Greg Drummond, Scott Andrews and Michael Goodfellow while Tom Brewster was working at the Scottish Juniors in Aberdeen – congratulations to the team who picked up their second Curling Champions Tour title of the season.

You can find all the results and reports (in German) here. I see on the homepage that the event will return in 2014.

Just one stop left on the tour now – the European Masters in April. The Tour website is here where you can see how Scottish teams are faring in the rankings.

Finally, Greenacres was hosting the Tulloch Haggis Weekend. Here’s a report from Christine Stewart:

22 teams from Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales entered the Tulloch Haggis weekend at Greenacres Curling Club.

They made up two sections, one of 12 teams, the other 10. Over the day and evening of Saturday and Sunday morning the teams battled it out for their spots in the high, mid and low road semi-finals.

And of course between sessions they had their share of haggis.

Come 2pm on Sunday the scene was set for the semis – Andrew Reed from England met Scotland’s Graeme Adam in the high road, Alan Mitchell, Ireland and Greenacres own Drew Gemmel made the other high road semi.

In the mid road Ian Gillespie, Greenacres, met England’s Fiona Hawker, John Brown, with an international team, Scottish, English and Welsh, took on local team Matthew McConnell.

The low road semis featured Ireland’s Bill Gray against Eddie Binks, Greenacres and Kim Thomson, Greenacres against England’s John Sharp.

Reed and Mitchell made it to the high road final, Hawker and McConnell went to the mid road final, and Ireland’s Bill Gray took on the English team skipped by John Sharp.

Team Reed dominated the final from the early ends, they had a three shot lead after three ends, the Mitchell team, down to three players, couldn’t find a way back into the game, after six Reed led by five shots. Mitchell got two shots in end seven but ran out of stones in the final end – Alan McDougall, Andrew Reed, Andy Woolston and Tom Jaeggi had won the 2013 Tulloch Haggis Weekend.

The mid road final was tight in the early ends, the teams tied at three all after four ends. Then the game was all Matthew McConnell’s, he stole four shots in end five, then two in the sixth. That was enough for the team skipped by Fiona Hawker, final score 9-3 to Matthew McConnell and his team Fraser Murray, Peter Dagen and Josh McNab.

In the low road, fortunes swung back and forth between the teams – John Sharp led, Bill Gray caught up, Sharp went ahead again, but the game was tied at eight all after seven ends. But John Sharp had the advantage of last stone and made the perfect draw to score one shot to win the game 9-8. John and his team Lorna Rettig, Nigel Patrick and Alison Hemmings won the low road.

Thanks to Christine for the report and to Hugh for the following pictures:

High Road Winners (L-R): Alan MacDougall, Andrew Reed, Andy Woolston, Tom Jaeggi

High Road Runners-up (L-R): John Furey, James Russell, Craig Whyte, (Tom Roche retired hurt)

Mid Road Winners (L-R): Mathew McConnell, Peter Dagen, Fraser Murray, Josh McNab

Mid Road Runners-up (L-R): Gary Tapp, Angharad Ward, Mark Wilkinson, Fiona Hawker

Low Road Winners (L-R): Alison Hemmings, John Sharp, Lorna Rettig, Nigel Patrick

Low Road Runners-up (L-R): Tony Tierney, Bill Gray, David Whyte, David Hume

Photos are © Hugh Stewart 2013

Weekend Curling 25-27 January

While there may not be too many events happening this weekend, they are big ones nonetheless.

The Scottish Junior Curling Championships began at Curl Aberdeen on Wednesday and they will conclude this Sunday.

Eight junior men’s and eight junior women’s teams are competing for the title:

Junior Men: Kyle Smith (defending champion), Robin Brydone, Ross Whyte, Stuart Taylor, Bruce Mouat, Fraser Thomson, Frazer Keil, Grant Hardie

Junior Women: Jennifer Martin, Gina Aitken, Alison Wood, Rebecca Kesley, Lauren Baxter, Hannah Fleming (defending champion), Katie Murray, Tasha Aitken

So far, Grant Hardie and Hannah Fleming are the only undefeated teams – Hannah and her team have already qualified out of the junior women’s draw.

Full team lists, draws and scores are available here.

The penultimate stop on the Curling Champions Tour this season is the German Masters in Hamburg this weekend.

Scottish interest lies with Team Brewster who are playing as Team Murdoch in this competition – skip Tom Brewster is in Aberdeen working at the Scottish Junior finals. This being the case, David Murdoch is skipping Greg Drummond, Scott Andrews and Michael Goodfellow over in Germany.

Twenty teams from across Europe are playing – you can follow the event on the official homepage (in German) here. As with many of the CCT events this season, Laola1.tv is showing some live games – take a look here. Murdoch v. Baumann is on right now.

Seeing as it’s Burns Night, here’s an old post on the Curling History Blog and here are some lines to get you in the mood for supper…

When Winter muffles up his cloak,
And binds the mire like a rock;
When to the loughs the curlers flock,
Wi’ gleesome speed,
Wha will they station at the cock?
Tam Samson’s dead!
When Winter muffles up his cloak,
He was the king o’ a’ the core,
To guard, or draw, or wick a bore,
Or up the rink like Jehu roar,
In time o’ need;
But now he lags on Death’s hog-score-
Tam Samson’s dead!

Tam Samson’s Elegy, Robert Burns

Weekend Roundup 18-20 January

Apologies that it is later than usual but here is my roundup of what was happening this past weekend.

The Glynhill Ladies International was won by the Swiss team skipped by Binia Feltscher – they beat Canada’s Heather Nedohin in Sunday’s final. You can see all the scores and pictures here.

I am very grateful to Hugh and Christine Stewart for sending me this report and pictures:

Binia Feltscher from Switzerland made it to the final of the Glynhill Ladies International at Braehead beating another Swiss team skipped by Michele Jaeggi in the Semi-final.

That put her up against the Canadian team skipped by Heather Nedohin who put Scotland’s Eve Muirhead out of the running in the Semis.

The first half of the game went Feltscher’s way, she led by five shots at the halfway point. Nedohin, 2012 World bronze medallist, hadn’t managed to win any of the first four ends.

It was a disappointing final for Nedohin and her team of Beth Iskiw, Jessica Mair and Laine Peters. They put a single shot on the board when Nedohin drew for one against two Swiss counters.

The game was over after just six ends when once again the Swiss team dominated the play, they scored three shots for a lead of seven. With just two ends left that was enough for the team from Canada, they conceded the game. Final score 8-1 to Feltscher.

Runners-up (L-R): Heather Nedohin, Beth Iskiw, Jessica Mair, Laine Peters

Winners (L-R): Christine Urech, Franziska Kaufmann, Maroulla Nicholas (The Glynhill Hotel), Irene Schori, Binia Feltscher

Photos are © Hugh Stewart 2013

The lineup for The Co-operative Scottish Men’s Curling Championship is now known after the second round of qualifying. Here are the teams who will be fighting for the national title in Perth for 2013:

Tom Brewster
Glen Muirhead
David Edwards
Ross McCleary
Grant Hardie
Neil Joss
Warwick Smith
Logan Gray
Kyle Smith
Hammy McMillan

Read more here.

Callum Kinnear’s team won the latest U14 Slam this weekend at Stranraer. You can read the full report here.

Ayr was hosting the Four Nations – read the review here and see what John Brown made of the competition here and here.

Congratulations to all the weekend winners.

That’s all for now but keep checking back because the Scottish Junior Championships begin in Aberdeen tomorrow (Wednesday).

Weekend Curling 18-20 January

I am actually writing this on Wednesday evening but I have scheduled it to publish on Friday morning – here’s hoping it has worked…

The final Curling Champions Tour event in Scotland this season is at Braehead this weekend with the sixth edition of the Glynhill Ladies International.

One piece of news I have from Alan Sloan is that Norway’s Team Linn Githmark have pulled out of the competition and have been replaced by Iveta Stasa-Sarsune’s team from Latvia.

Four Scottish teams are competing – Eve Muirhead, Lorna Vevers, Kerry Barr and Jackie Lockhart will all be facing some of the very best women’s teams in the world.

All the event information is here on the official website.

Some of the teams arrived midweek:

Last season’s Canadian champions and world bronze medallists, Team Heather Nedohin

Six-time Pacific-Asia champion Bingyu Wang and her Chinese team

Photos are © Hugh Stewart.

It is also the second weekend of qualifying at Perth for The Co-operative Scottish Men’s Curling Championship. Unbeaten teams so far include Glen Muirhead, David Edwards, Warwick Smith, Grant Hardie and Kyle Smith. Follow the remaining games here and here.

Stranraer is hosting the second U14 Slam on Saturday – you can follow the event here.

Finally, Ayr is hosting the Four Nations this Saturday and Sunday. Read all about it here.

I will have a full review of the weekend’s action at the start of the week including a full list of teams who will be competing for the Scottish men’s title.

Midweek Miscellany

A few things to catch up on from around the world.

The 2013 Pacific-Asia Junior Championships came to an end today (Wednesday). Japan’s junior women and China’s junior men won their respective events and will now compete at the World Junior Championships in Sochi, Russia.

The full report is here. John Brown made some interesting observations on the event here.

Applications are now open for the RCCC’s 2013 Summer Camp. Spaces on the camp, in Stirling, are limited to 48 – full details here.

The World Curling Federation has announced that the 2014 World Men’s Curling Championship will be held in Beijing, China. This will represent the first time that a WMCC is held in the Pacific-Asia zone. You can read all about this landmark decision here.

A new RCCC Tartan has been produced for this year’s Strathcona Cup tour to Canada and you can now order some for yourself. Take a look here. Talking of the tour, the Scottish tourists are currently winning 876-738. Keep track of their progress across Canada here.

Weekend Roundup 10-13 January

It’s Monday so it’s time to review what was happening in the world of curling this weekend.

The World Financial Group Continental Cup was won by Team North America (above). They beat Team World by 37 points to 23. This was Team North America’s fifth title and they now edge ahead of Team World who have won it four times. You can see the full points breakdown on the official event website here.

Photo is © Michael Burns/CCA 2013

The first weekend of qualifiers for The Co-operative Funeralcare Scottish Men’s Curling Championship was taking place in Perth. In Section A, Glen Muirhead and David Edwards are undefeated so far, Section B is topped by Warwick Smith and Grant Hardie who are also enjoying a 100% start while Section C sees only one team without a defeat – Kyle Smith.

Scores and standings from the weekend are here and here.

Dumfries was hosting the 2013 Skills Award Challenge – the report is here. Congratulations to George Ballantyne’s winning team.

The Bernese Ladies Cup was won by the Swiss team skipped by Silvana Tirinzoni. All the scores from the event are here. Scotland’s Hannah Fleming went out of the C Road on Saturday night to Sweden’s Anette Norberg while Lorna Vevers went out in the quarter-finals to the eventual winners.

The English Mixed Doubles Championship was being held at Fenton’s – this one was won by Ben Fowler and Hetty Garnier. You can read about the event here.

Finally, one event I didn’t have on my calendar was the Irish Senior Playdowns. The news from this one was that Johnjo Kenny and his team, World Senior champions from last season, will not be defending their title as they lost this qualifying event to Peter Wilson. The report is here.

Weekend Curling 10-13 January Part 2

So here is what else is happening across the world of curling besides what I talked about in Part 1.

Over this weekend and next, qualifiers are taking place in Perth for The Co-operative Funeralcare Scottish Men’s Curling Championship.

Qualification for the finals in February is up for grabs with play in a round-robin format. 25 teams are competing across three sections.

The top three in each section will join reigning champion Tom Brewster at the finals 11-17 February.

Details and scores will be available here and here.

Dumfries is hosting the 3rd annual Skills Award Challenge this Sunday. For more information about this unique event, check out the RCCC’s page here.

The Curling Champions Tour is back this weekend with the Bernese Ladies Cup in Bern, Switzerland. Among the 32 teams competing in the 45th edition of this tournament are Team Lorna Vevers and Team Hannah Fleming. 12 different nations are competing this year. The event homepage is here. Laola1.tv are streaming some games here too.

Finally, Fenton’s is hosting the English Mixed Doubles Championship. Information is here on the English Curling Blog.

Don’t forget to keep an eye on the Continental Cup and the Pacific-Asia Juniors as well this weekend. The Continental Cup website is here while all the information from Japan can be found here. Games from the Continental Cup are being streamed here. Jennifer Jones v Mirjam Ott is on right now.

Have a great weekend whether playing or watching.

Weekend Curling 10-13 January Part 1

I will preview all the weekend’s domestic action tomorrow (Friday) but in the meantime, there are two big events already taking place on opposite sides of the globe.

The World Financial Group Continental Cup 2013 got underway today (Thursday) in Penticton, British Columbia, Canada.

Always exciting, curling’s equivalent of the Ryder Cup for this year concludes on Sunday.

This is the ninth edition of the tournament and the all-time score is currently Team World 4-4 Team North America so one ‘continent’ is going to edge ahead this year.

Six teams are representing each side – three men’s and three women’s. Here’s the skips on each side:

Team World
Tom Brewster
Niklas Edin
Eve Muirhead
Mirjam Ott
Margaretha Sigfridsson
Thomas Ulsrud

Team North America
Glenn Howard
Jennifer Jones
Kevin Martin
Heath McCormick
Heather Nedohin
Allison Pottinger

They will be playing regular team games, mixed doubles, singles, mixed skins and skins games.

A new points system is in place this year meaning that the first team to earn more than 30 points is the champion.

All the event information is here and the official website is here. Games are also being streamed here.

To get in the mood for the event, why not watch this great Tom Brewster shot from last year’s competition.

The other event that started today was the Pacific-Asia Junior Curling Championships 2013 in Kitami, Japan. The winners qualify for the World Junior Championships.

Five teams are competing in both the junior men’s and junior women’s events: Australia, China, Japan, Korea and New Zealand.

The playing schedule and team line-ups are here and the event website is here.

EJCC / Strathcona Cup

This is my 100th post since I began back in September – I’m sure I can manage at least 100 more before the season is out…

The European Junior Curling Challenge ended in Prague yesterday (Tuesday). The last remaining places at the World Junior Championships were secured by the Italian junior men and the Danish junior women – congratulations to them both. England’s junior men finished 10th out of 13 while the junior women came in 8th out of 12.

The full report is here. John Brown was over in Prague coaching the English junior women’s team – see what he made of the tournament and see how England fared here and here.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Strathcona Cup Tour departed today (Wednesday). Read the RCCC’s preview here and don’t forget to check the official tour website regularly – safe journey and best of luck to all involved.

Perth Pictures

As promised, a midweek treat for you with the best of my pictures from finals day at the Mercure Perth Masters.

Finals day means cars on the ice at Perth

Mike McEwen v. Ewan MacDonald was one semi-final – Matt Wozniak and Denni Neufeld of Team McEwen are on BJ Neufeld’s stone

Duncan Fernie of Team MacDonald with the slightest hint of a backswing – Euan Byers and Ally Fraser are the sweepers

Euan and Ally ready on Ewan’s stone as their skip does his cat pose

Honda are one of the main sponsors of the event hence the automobiles on the ice

Brad Gushue v. Thomas Ulsrud was the other semi – here Brad Gushue calls his sweepers Geoff Walker and Adam Casey on Brett Gallant’s stone

With two great trouser designs on show, here’s Team Ulsrud – Markus Høiberg, treading carefully, and Thomas Løvold are sweeping Christoffer Svae’s stone

Geoff Walker and Adam Casey on Brad Gushue’s stone

Markus Høiberg and Christoffer Svae watch Thomas Ulsrud’s stone

Ewan MacDonald contemplates two guards

Christoffer Svae delivers a big weight shot with Duncan Fernie of Team MacDonald in the foreground

Thomas Ulsrud settles in the hack with Euan Byers in the background

So onto the final which featured this man, Thomas Ulsrud

Against this man, Mike McEwen in a repeat of the 2012 final – McEwen was also going for three titles in a row

Matt Wozniak and Denni Neufeld on skip Mike McEwen’s stone

Now for some expressive Thomas Ulsrud shots

Norway’s skip concentrates

Ulsrud roars his sweepers on – note the two brush styles favoured by the opposing skips

The Neufelds, BJ and Denni, working hard

Same team, different trousers – Markus Høiberg and Christoffer Svae

Third for Team McEwen, BJ Neufeld, and a busy sheet

The fifth and final end – Team Ulsrud kept piling in those yellow stones

As the scoreboard suggests, it was a close final up to this point but when Alan Stanfield had completed the measure, Team Ulsrud had scored a five and it was game over

The presentation with Thomas Ulsrud on the microphone while Christoffer Svae gets his hands on the trophy next to Thomas Løvold – Peter Loudon, Chairman of the organising committee and 1999 World Champion lead for Hammy McMillan was presenting

Team Ulsrud with Provost Elizabeth Grant, sponsors’ representatives and their new trophy

One for the sponsors from Thomas Ulsrud

A brief moment of panic as Norway’s skip locked himself in – he managed to escape

Team Ulsrud and the 2013 Perth Masters Trophy (L-R): Christoffer Svae, Thomas Ulsrud, Markus Høiberg, Thomas Løvold

Second for Team Ulsrud, Christoffer Svae, gets the celebrations underway

Time to put the cars away for another year – always an interesting sight on a curling rink

So that was the 2013 Mercure Perth Masters.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I would talk about the Calcutta auction that took place on the Thursday evening.

All the teams were available to buy and depending on their progress in the tournament, the buyer stood to win some cash. Higher bids were offered for the favoured teams while some outsiders were had for bargain prices.

For the record, here’s what the teams competing on finals day went for:

Mike McEwen – £650
Rui Liu – £140
Ewan MacDonald – £150
Grant Hardie – £30
Brad Gushue – £400
Tomi Rantamaki – £30
Thomas Ulsrud – £200
Alexey Tselousov – £90

Considering Team Ulsrud’s backers won 40% of the prize pot, I think this was a shrewd investment!

The third and final Curling Champions Tour event in Scotland for this season will be the Glynhill Ladies International at Braehead, 18-20 January – watch this space for a preview and results.

All pictures are © Ted Edmunds/TVFTH 2013