Monthly Archives: July 2013

2013 Stirling Summer Skins

Last weekend saw The Peak, Stirling host the fifth annual Stirling Summer Skins.

I was playing and taking pictures between games – my team came away with a respectable £85 if you are curious.

It was my first experience of Skins curling and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Logan Gray and all the staff at The Peak should be commended on an excellent weekend’s curling and hospitality.

Here is a taste of the event:

Jennifer Dodds with Abi Brown and Alice Spence the sweepers. Just a normal day’s curling right?

But look what was on the next sheet! It’s Graham Shedden, the royal baby.

Scotland’s World Junior Champion lead Cammy Smith delivers

Hannah Fleming

Royal babies, animals, onesies and Loudmouth trousers – it must be the Summer Skins

Pretty in pink

Some great team uniforms were on show over the weekend

Sweden’s Sara Carlsson enjoying her trip to Stirling

Striking a pose

There’s a tiger on the ice

A new design of Loudmouths on show here – they are called Drop Cloth and are available here

Hannah’s house

This was the scoring system for this year’s Skins – smiley arrows meant a carry-over and palm trees meant you had won the skin

Graham Shedden and his royal babies would get my vote for best-dressed team of the competition

Team Logan Gray were accused of bringing in a Spanish international ringer for their games…

The great thing about the Skins is that it is probably the most ‘open’ entry event you could hope to find with all ages, abilities, nationalities and genders welcome – long may it continue and here are Gregor Ewan and Robert McPherson from the Scottish wheelchair performance programme

David Edwards making the effort to co-ordinate trousers and shirt with spectacular results

‘Morphsuits’ like the black and white one here could enable curlers to become more streamlined in the future – thoughts?

Alan Mitchell and John Furey from Team Ireland figuring out how to deal with fifteen stones in play

Here’s Alan sporting some of his Foxglide clothing. Remember my competition to win a bag? You have this man to thank…

Controversy in the Alan Mitchell v. Ian Keron game! Did this stone cross the hogline?

Where’s an umpire when you need one?

If the royal babies were the best-dressed, then these guys were surely a close second – disco fever hits Stirling!

A royal calf?

Even in a hooded onesie, Robin Brydone’s delivery is smooth

One of my favourite pictures from the weekend – Murray Young in the house

These next photos are from iceman Andy Macpherson during the draw in which my team was playing.

Martin Sutherland

Rachael Simms from Team Bee

Norwegian visitors Sander Rølvåg and Magnus Nedregotten

And here are the winners who took home a cool £420 after beating Michael Goodfellow’s team in Sunday’s final:

2013 Stirling Summer Skins Champions (L-R): Logan Gray (presenting), David Edwards, Kenny Edwards, Scott Robertson, David McMiken

Photos are © Ted Edmunds/TVFTH, Logan Gray and Andy Macpherson 2013

Loose Ends – 26 July

A few things to get through before I tell you all about this year’s Stirling Summer Skins…

News of the opening event of next season’s Scottish Curling Tour is now on the tour website – the Dumfries Ice Bowl Open takes place from 20-22 September. You can find out more about the event here.

The Royal Caledonian Curling Club celebrated its 175th birthday yesterday (Thursday). The Grand Caledonian Curling Club (as it was back then) came into being on 25 July 1838 and Scotland’s governing body is still very much alive. Not many sports can boast that kind of longevity I’ll bet. Find out more here on the RCCC’s website.

Sticking with the RCCC, applications are being sought for the 2014 Four Nations. Open to all RCCC members, entries close on 31 October. Details are here.

Further afield but still related to the RCCC, you’ll be aware of the Olympic/national championship clash I wrote about in my last post.

It seems that over in Canada, Sochi 2014 is at the forefront of many curlers’ minds. Nolan Thiessen from Team Kevin Koe has written a blog entry for the CCA about the pre-Olympic buzz in Canada. It couldn’t be more different to the controversy over selections and clashes we have seen of late in Scotland – have a read here.

Also, yesterday (Thursday) marked 200 days to go until the start of the curling events in Sochi. It’s getting closer…

Finally, for collectors of curling memorabilia and stones in particular, you might want to take a look at these beauties currently for sale on eBay.

And so to Stirling and the 2013 Summer Skins!

Now in its fifth year, The Peak in Stirling is holding its annual skins tournament this weekend from Friday to Sunday. A record 36 teams are playing in three groups with playoffs scheduled for Sunday.

For those unfamiliar with the skins format, every end is worth cash – increasing as the game goes on.

Expect music, colour, a barbecue and teams from all over the curling world coming together for some summer fun – despite having a lot on my plate just now I am playing with my teammates in the hope of winning some holiday money.

Will I be a happy (richer) hack come Sunday? Given my lack of on-ice activities this summer probably not but I am sure it will be a lot of fun.

Best of luck to everyone competing and look out for pictures of the event in the near future – a taste of the event can be seen in this video from 2011.

Loose Ends – 14 July

Apologies for the lack of content these past few weeks – I’ve been a very busy Hack of late, filming a documentary for my MA in Journalism.

It took me to Norway, Manchester, Sheffield and Liverpool but I am back in Scotland now and keen to update you with some stories you might have missed from the world of curling.

I spent a very enjoyable day at the Royal Highland Show on Friday 21 June where I visited the Royal Caledonian Curling Club’s offices for the first time. For those of you who have never seen Cairnie House before, here’s a photo:

And here is the RCCC stall that was up during the show – many thanks to Judith McFarlane who provided me with some much-needed refreshment.

I highly recommend the Royal Highland Show for a great day out – lots to see and do, free food and drink samples and of course the chance to meet our national governing body face-to-face.

Continuing with the RCCC, there has been one story dominating our sport in the off-season and that is the issue of national representation for our top teams.

When will we see this again?

The issue is simple, yet frustrating.

In 2014, the Winter Olympics take place between 7-23 February while the Scottish Curling Championships are to be held 10-16 February.

This clash means that if Team Muirhead (pictured above) are to be Team GB’s women’s curling team – a very likely prospect – then they will not be able to defend their Scottish title from 2013. More importantly this means that they cannot defend the wonderful gold medal and world title they won in Riga in March.

The issue had already been spotted by some in the curling community but was brought to the attention of more people when past-President Robbie Scott stood up and addressed the attendees at the RCCC AGM on 15 June.

Since then, there had been debate on the Scottish Curling Forum about the decision but no official comment from either the RCCC or any players that the decision could potentially affect.

Then, this article appeared on the BBC Sport website on 25 June but with no mention of the clash.

Finally, last Friday morning, the RCCC posted this on their website, explaining their decision and within a few hours, the BBC Sport website had comment from Eve Muirhead in this piece.

The debate will no doubt continue until the medals have been given out come the end of the curling events in Sochi. If none of those medals are sitting proudly around the necks of any Team GB athletes, will the RCCC’s decision to put everything into the Winter Olympics have been the correct one?

Some other RCCC news now.

In early June I wrote about the potential for an U21 Slam event for the 2013/14 season. Sure enough, the RCCC have confirmed it – full details are here.

Two full-time jobs are currently being advertised on the RCCC website. Take a look at the positions here.

For fans of Canadian curling, the CCA has launched a virtual Hall of Fame. Details, including a link to the Hall can be found here.

Some more news from Canada that appeared on the WCF website early this month. Matt Dumontelle who was the alternate for Team Canada at the 2013 World Men’s Championship has been found guilty of committing an anti-doping rule violation. He has been given a two-year ban and has been stripped of the silver medal he won with Brad Jacobs’ Canadian team. Read the full story here.

Dumontelle gave his reaction in this TSN article.

Finally, I spotted this video of New Zealand’s Peter de Boer concerning their national championships – the Scottish expat and his team missed out on gold in this year’s tournament.

Photos are © Ted Edmunds/TVFTH, Richard Gray/WCF and CCA 2013