Monthly Archives: September 2013

Weekend Roundup 20-22 September

I’m on holiday in Spain just now so excuse the lack of regular content for the next couple of weeks – I’ll do what I can.

Team Murdoch were playing in the Shorty Jenkins Classic in Brockville, Ontario from 19-22 of this month.

With names like Edin, Fenson, Gushue, Howard, Martin and Stoughton in the lineup this was always going to be a tough event and the Scots came away with one win and four losses.

The event was won by Canada’s Brad Jacobs – the full results are here.

Team Muirhead were playing in the women’s draw at the same event and picked up three wins and two losses meaning they just missed out on the playoffs.

Mirjam Ott of Switzerland won the event – all the scores are here.

While not a World Curling Tour event, Logan Gray and Kerry Barr were in Beijing, China this week for the 2013 China Open.

Kerry and her team won two games and lost five – Ji-Sun Kim of South Korea won the event. Full details are here.

Logan and his team picked up four wins and three losses but ultimately lost in the bronze game against Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud – a great effort.

Canada’s Mike McEwen won the event – scores are all here.

The first leg of the women’s Curling Champions Tour took place in Sweden with the Stockholm Ladies’ Curling Cup.

Scotland were being represented by Hannah Fleming and Lorna Vevers – they ended up playing each other at one point.

Hannah made the quarter-finals winning three and losing three while Lorna and her team missed out on the playoffs, winning two and losing four.

Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni won the event – the website is here.

The junior version of the tour made its first stop of the season at Braehead for the Braehead Junior International where I am delighted to report that two Scottish teams came out on top.

Team Bruce Mouat won the boys’ event

Team Gina Aitken won the girls’ event

Many congratulations to both teams and thanks to Tom Brydone for the pictures – all the results from Braehead are here.

And finally, the first stop on this season’s Scottish Curling Tour was the Ice Bowl Open at Dumfries.

For the first time, an SCT event was won by an overseas team – Martin Lill of Estonia.

The report is here.

Images are © WCT, CCT and SCT
Photos are © Tom Brydone 2013

Kinross Curling

As you may have heard, Kinross Curling Trust have take over the running of the curling facility at the Green Hotel in Kinross.

They are to be applauded for all their efforts in keeping this popular rink alive and we wish them well for the future.

If you want to know more about the recent developments at Kinross, have a read of this press release sent to me by Eileen Thomas from the Trust’s media and fundraising sub-group:

Fresh start for Kinross ice rink

Curling enthusiasts were celebrating in Kinross on Sunday (1 September) as they took over the running of the local curling rink, formerly run as part of the town’s Green Hotel Golf and Leisure Resort.

Members of the Kinross Curling Trust, a charity, intend to renovate the ice rink and run it for the benefit of the local curling community.

Blair Melville, Chairman of Kinross Curling Trust, explained: “The ice rink was built in 1977 and now needs major refurbishment, which the owners are not in a position to carry out. The most urgent issue is the plant: it will be unusable after December 2014, because of EU laws on refrigerant gases. This will mean the closure of the rink unless something is done.”

In order to keep curling in Kinross, the Trust has taken on a 50-year lease of the ice rink, and is busy raising funds and applying for grants to finance the required upgrades.

If funding is secured, major renovations will be carried out in the summers of 2014 and 2015. The planned improvements include: laying a new, properly insulated, concrete floor, replacing the refrigeration plant, upgrading wiring, lighting and dehumidifiers, replacing the leaking roof and improving insulation.

The Trust, local curling clubs and individuals have already raised £330,000 towards the estimated £800,000 cost of these essential renovations. The Trust expects to receive some funding from sportscotland, and will apply to the World Curling Federation for a loan via the national governing body, the Royal Caledonian Curling Club. A decision on grant funding from Perth & Kinross Council is expected later this month.

On Sunday, the official start date of the lease, Mr Melville said: “This is a very exciting day for the Trust and for local curlers. We now feel we have some control over the future of curling in Kinross. Over 1,000 people curl at this ice rink every season, including wheelchair users, vision-impaired curlers and a thriving junior section, so it would be terrible if we lost this facility.

“I’d like to thank all the curlers who have worked hard to raise the sum reached so far, and who have made personal donations. Without some significant sums in the form of grants to add to this, however, we won’t be able to keep curling in Kinross long-term.”

Although major improvements cannot take place until more funds are raised, volunteer tradesmen and curlers have been hard at work giving the curling rink’s lounge and changing rooms a fresh look, with layout changes and lots of new paintwork. And to indicate the change of management, the facility has been renamed ‘Kinross Curling’.

Doug Ritchie, another trustee and head of operations, said: “It has been very heartening to see how many people have been willing to roll up their sleeves and get stuck into the cleaning and painting over the last few days. There has been a terrific team spirit.”

Mr Ritchie added: “With KCT taking over, we will see the continuation of four local jobs. We are delighted that Steven Kerr, the experienced ice rink manager here, and three other ice technicians will stay on with us. We’ll also be recruiting bar staff shortly.”

The Curling Trust’s next fundraising effort is a dinner and auction in October.

Last Sunday, Kinross Curling (as we should now be calling it) held its opening bonspiel and you can see pictures from the event here.

The new Kinross Curling website is here and the KCT website is here.

The RCCC also covered the news on their website including details of how much funding was secured from the Council.

Image is © Kinross Curling

Edinburgh – Day 7 (Saturday)

Saturday was finals day at the 2013 European Mixed Curling Championship and as you can see above, Germany went home with the gold medals and the championship title.

The morning’s semi-finals saw Scotland defeat Hungary 8-4 and Germany overcome Finland 7-5 to set up a Scotland v. Germany gold medal game and a Hungary v. Finland bronze.

Scotland’s only defeat of the tournament before Saturday’s final had come in the round-robin stage against Germany and Ewan MacDonald and his team were looking for revenge against the vastly experienced Andy Kapp and his team.

Hungary, meanwhile, were looking to pick up their first-ever medal in mixed curling against the Finns.

Ildikó Szekeres and György Nagy in the bronze match

Finland’s Anne Malmi

Germany’s third Petra Tschetsch in the gold medal game against Scotland

Hungary’s front-end of Ágnes Szentannai and Zsolt Kiss – Zsolt was one half of the Hungarian team that won World Mixed Doubles gold back in April

Pekka Peura of Finland

Ewan and Euan plan their next move

“I said sweep not sleep…”

Hungary skip György Nagy

Ildikó Szekeres instructing the sweepers

Anne Malmi

Ágnes Szentannai – who says being lead is boring?

Andy Kapp roars his team on

Spotted in the stands – Team France

Team Sweden – they’re hard to miss after all

Scotland’s second Euan Byers

Plenty of stones to deal with for Finland’s Tomi Rantamäki in the bronze game but he couldn’t quite get past Hungary

Scotland discuss their final stones

The medal games about to come to an end

Some of the fans feared the worst for Scotland

Ewan watches his last stone of the tournament slip by to give Germany a steal of one and the title

Because of the problems earlier in the week we didn’t get an opening ceremony but we did get a closing one – here’s Belarus in the parade

Murrayfield looked wonderful with lots of colour

Bronze medallists – Hungary (L-R): György Nagy, Ildikó Szekeres, Zsolt Kiss, Ágnes Szentannai, Zoltàn Jakab

Silver medallists – Scotland (L-R): Ewan MacDonald, Kay Adams, Euan Byers, Karen Barthelemy

Gold medallists and European Mixed Curling Champions 2013 – Germany (L-R): Andy Kapp, Petra Tschetsch, Holger Höhne, Pia-Lisa Schöll

Team Germany and the trophy

Germany become only the second nation to win the title more than once

Final scores:

Bronze medal game – Hungary 6-3 Finland
Gold medal game – Scotland 4-5 Germany

So the roll of honour for the European Mixed now looks like this:

2005 – Finland
2006 – Scotland
2007 – Wales
2008 – Germany
2009 – Scotland
2010 – Scotland
2011 – Switzerland
2012 – Scotland
2013 – Germany

It was a shame we didn’t see a Scottish victory on home ice and a title retention from 2012 but Andy and his team played brilliantly all week – many congratulations to them.

The ‘home’ nations ended the week in the following positions:

2nd – Scotland – W9 L2
15th – Wales – W3 L4
17th – England – W3 L4
18th – Ireland – W3 L4

The big-end award for the tournament was shared by Sweden and Germany who both scored sixes.

You can read all about the final games here on the official event website.

Photos are © Ted Edmunds/TVFTH 2013

Edinburgh – Days 5 and 6 (Thursday and Friday)

Days 5 and 6 at the 2013 European Mixed Curling Championship have come and gone and we now know the four teams who will play in the semi-finals on Saturday morning.

Ewan MacDonald (above) and his Scotland team were the only ‘home’ nation to make Friday’s knockout stages.

Here’s how the last two days of the competition have gone…

Thursday was the last day of group play and featured some cracking games – here are the results grouped by session:

Austria 6-7 Slovakia
Turkey 6-4 Slovenia
Belarus 6-5 Poland
Latvia 4-2 Romania
France 4-2 Czech Republic
Hungary 6-3 Germany

Wales 4-6 Sweden
Estonia 4-3 Russia
Spain 4-3 Norway
England 3-9 Switzerland
Finland 5-3 Italy
Denmark 1-9 Ireland

Czech Republic 6-8 Germany (EE)
Scotland 8-2 Hungary
Slovakia 8-10 Italy
Romania 3-6 Poland
Slovenia 2-9 Denmark
France 5-8 Belarus

Special mention to Spanish skip Antonio Vez who, at just 19, played in his 100th international game on Thursday – ¡Felicidades!

Scotland finished their group campaign with an impressive W7 L1 record while the other ‘home’ nations all ended on W3 L4, missing out on the later stages.

I went along to Murrayfield for the evening session and the action didn’t disappoint.

Czech Republic v. Germany was nearest the viewing area and what a game it was. After five ends the Czechs led 5-1 and looked set to inflict the Germans’ second defeat of the day and, indeed, the tournament.

Germany were resilient, however, and clawed their way back into the game.

6-3 down going into the last end, German skip Andy Kapp was left with a near impossible shot to score three and take it to an extra end – a split raise that required the shooter to end up in the house and for a Czech counter to be pushed out.

Kapp drew on his nearly 30 years of international experience and nailed the shot. I think the applause lasted into the extra end.

But the excitement wasn’t over yet as Germany now needed to steal in the extra to take the game that had seemed beyond them. Czech ticks failed and Germany ultimately stole two to win the game. The Czechs will no doubt have been very disappointed.

So the final group standings looked like this:

Group A (W-L)
7-1 Germany, Scotland
6-2 Hungary
4-4 Czech Republic, Latvia
3-5 Belarus, France
2-6 Poland
0-8 Romania

Group B (W-L)
6-1 Switzerland
5-2 Sweden
4-3 Spain
3-4 Norway, Wales, England, Russia
1-6 Estonia

Group C (W-L)
7-0 Finland
5-2 Denmark
4-3 Slovakia, Austria, Italy
3-4 Ireland
1-6 Turkey
0-7 Slovenia

Big end of the day went to Slovakia (x2), Turkey, Scotland and Italy who all got fours.

There was just one tie-breaker required on Friday morning between Slovakia and Italy who had played the night before. On that occasion Italy had prevailed 10-8 but in the tie-breaker it was Slovakia who took it 7-2.

The qualification game for the remaining quarter-final spot was between Hungary and Spain and in a one-sided affair the Hungarians took it 8-1.

This all meant that Friday’s quarter-finals were:

Germany v. Slovakia
Finland v. Sweden
Scotland v. Denmark
Switzerland v. Hungary

Before I tell you how those games went, here are some pictures from Thursday evening.

Szymom Molski and Karolina Florek of Poland

Hungary’s Ágnes Szentannai

Germany’s Holger Höhne in the Czech clash

The two skips who battled it out on Sheet A – Germany’s Andy Kapp and Miloš Hoferka of Czech Republic

Hungary’s Ágnes Szentannai again – the lighter side of international curling

I think this is the first time I have featured Team Romania – here’s their third Cristina-Teodora Adumitroaei

Andy Kapp showed why Germany are a force to be reckoned with in this tournament

Holger Höhne was as shocked as we were that the Czechs let their lead slip

Italy skip Federica Apollonio instructing her sweepers

Alina Pavliuchyk and George Kirillov of Belarus

Hélène Grieshaber and Lionel Roux of France discuss the angles

Great to see more people in the stands than on previous days

Poland skip Aneta Lipinska

Calm down, calm down – Belarus skip Alina Pavliuchyk

Team Slovakia – arguably the surprise quarter-finalists. Daniela Matulova and Zuzana Axamitova sweep Frantisek Pitonak’s stone

Team Poland taking a break

Andy Kapp roars on the incredible stone that I described – fantastic stuff

Germany discuss their final move in the extra end

Nice to see the front-end getting some recognition – Pia-Lisa Schöll taking her skip’s plaudits after a hard-fought win

Friday’s quarter-finals went like this:

Germany 9-4 Slovakia
Finland 7-3 Sweden
Scotland 6-4 Denmark
Switzerland 4-6 Hungary

So Saturday’s semi-finals at 1000 will be:

Scotland v. Hungary
Finland v. Germany

Hungary are the only semi-finalists to have never won this competition before – Scotland have beaten them once already in this tournament 8-2 so it looks like Scotland have a great chance to retain their title from last year.

Gold and Bronze games will be at 1500 so get down to Murrayfield – Scotland will definitely be playing for a medal now but what colour?

The event website is here.

Photos are © Ted Edmunds/TVFTH 2013

Edinburgh – Day 4 (Wednesday)

Wednesday was the penultimate day of group play at the 2013 European Mixed Curling Championships.

It was also the last day that will feature four rounds of games – Thursday will have three.

Here’s a rundown of the day’s results, grouped by session:

Germany 10-3 Belarus
Ireland 3-7 Finland
Latvia 2-7 Scotland
Poland 3-8 Czech Republic
Slovakia 8-3 Slovenia
Romania 3-9 Hungary

Estonia 7-10 Norway (EE)
Wales 10-2 England
Austria 7-5 Turkey
Spain 5-8 Russia
Switzerland 12-6 Sweden

Ireland 6-7 Italy
Finland 6-4 Denmark
Scotland 10-2 Romania
Hungary 6-5 Belarus
Latvia 4-9 Germany
Poland 6-3 France

Norway 2-8 Russia
Slovakia 5-3 Turkey
Sweden 4-6 England
Slovenia 1-8 Austria
Estonia 5-11 Spain
Switzerland 7-4 Wales

Of the ‘home’ nation performances, England beating Sweden has to go down as a fantastic result to go W3 L3 while Scotland have now stretched their unbeaten run to five games and are in great shape to qualify on W6 L1.

Wales, like England, are on W3 L3 having beaten their British rivals today but Ireland slumped to two defeats to go W2 L4.

Germany look unstoppable right now but it is Finland and Switzerland who are the only confirmed quarter-finalists after four days of play.

Big-end of the day was shared by Scotland and Germany who both picked up fives.

The ‘home’ nations have one game each on Thursday – Scotland’s game with Hungary looks set to be vital in the group table.

Group B meanwhile has developed into something of a jam – should be fascinating.

So, going into the final day of play on Thursday there is plenty at stake – here are the overnight standings:

Group A (W-L)
6-0 Germany
6-1 Scotland
5-1 Hungary
4-2 Czech Republic
3-4 Latvia
2-4 France
1-5 Belarus, Poland
0-6 Romania

Group B (W-L)
5-1 Switzerland Q
4-2 Sweden
3-3 England, Norway, Russia, Spain, Wales
0-6 Estonia

Group C (W-L)
6-0 Finland Q
4-1 Denmark
4-2 Austria
3-2 Italy, Slovakia
2-4 Ireland
0-5 Slovenia
0-6 Turkey

Get down to Murrayfield on Thursday as the play is sure to be competitive and exciting.

The event website is here.

Image is © WCF

Loose Ends – 18 September

What with all the action taking place at Murrayfield just now, it’s easy to forget that there are other things going on in the world of curling.

Here’s a wee midweek selection…

Team Murdoch were in Canada last weekend for The Shoot-Out in Edmonton, Alberta.

The Scots were one of only two non-North American teams competing and it was fellow Europeans Team Sven Michel of Switzerland who knocked out Team Murdoch in the quarter-finals.

The event was won by 2010 Winter Olympic champion and local hero Kevin Martin.

You can see all the details from Edmonton here.

Team Muirhead are also in World Curling Tour action this week – they are playing in the 2013 Shorty Jenkins Classic in Brockville, Ontario from tomorrow (Thursday) until Sunday.

This year’s event will be especially poignant as Shorty Jenkins passed away in April.

Team Muirhead are joined by just one other European team in the shape of 2012 World Champion Mirjam Ott from Switzerland.

Eve and her team were runners-up last year so let’s see if they can go one better as they prepare for Sochi – you can keep track of their progress here.

Discussion of late has been about who Team Muirhead’s alternate will be for the Winter Olympics – Robin Copland has been sharing his thoughts on this and the likely men’s team on his blog.

Staying with Scottish teams abroad, Logan Gray (above) and his new lineup of Glen Muirhead, Ross Paterson and Richard Woods are in Beijing, China for the 2013 China Open.

The event features eight teams from eight different nations and takes place from 18-24 September.

With the likes of Peter de Boer, Oskar Eriksson, Mike McEwen and Thomas Ulsrud to compete against, Team Logan Gray will have to be at their best to progress in Beijing.

There is also a women’s event and Scotland are represented by Team Kerry Barr over in China.

Like the men’s draw, the competition looks tough with opponents such as Jennifer Jones and Bingyu Wang to contend with.

Best of luck to both Scottish teams – be sure to follow their progress here (men) and here (women).

In an earlier post, I gave details of the new countries that have been accepted as members of the World Curling Federation.

One of these was Israel and I came across this article on the website of the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz about their readmission.

In the piece, it is stated that Canada abstained from the vote to admit Israel due to a ‘technicality’.

I found this puzzling – can anyone shed any light on this? My fear is another example of politics creeping into sport but I remain hopeful that there is another reason…

Some RCCC news and stories from closer to home now.

The Royal Club held its second Ladies’ Day at Braehead today – read about it here.

Lanarkshire Ice Rink, Hamilton recently held an Umpire Refresher Day before the domestic season gets fully underway. You can read how it went including Jackie Lockhart’s advice for better athlete/umpire relationships and the introduction of time clocks for the new U21 Slam events here.

Some good news for Scottish Wheelchair Curling – the team chosen to represent Team GB at the Paralympic Games in Sochi won an event last weekend.

They were playing at the 7th Annual Danish International Wheelchair Curling Cup and saw off teams from all over Europe to claim the win – read all about it here.

The RCCC are encouraging members to nominate people in the curling community for a BBC Sports Unsung Hero Award. To find out how to do this, read the item on the RCCC website here.

This weekend sees the start of the 2013-14 Scottish Curling Tour at Dumfries for the Ice Bowl Open – read a preview here on the SCT website.

Photo is © Ted Edmunds/TVFTH 2013
Images are © WCT, WCF, RCCC and SCT

Edinburgh – Day 3 (Tuesday)

With Day 3 of the European Mixed Curling Championships complete, the group stage of the competition is over halfway through.

After Tuesday’s play, four teams remained undefeated: Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

With seven more rounds of play until the round-robin is over, however, there is still plenty of exciting action ahead.

Here are Tuesday’s results grouped by session:

Poland 3-8 Hungary
Romania 1-9 Belarus
Czech Republic 5-3 Latvia
France 3-7 Scotland
Turkey 0-13 Ireland
Italy 3-6 Denmark

England 4-5 Spain
Sweden 7-5 Estonia
Russia 3-4 Wales
Norway 5-6 Switzerland

Belarus 5-9 Scotland
France 5-7 Latvia (EE)
Hungary 6-5 Czech Republic
Italy 8-2 Slovenia
Germany 15-2 Romania
Austria 6-9 Finland (EE)

Switzerland 8-1 Spain
Slovenia 1-13 Ireland
Wales 5-4 Estonia
Slovakia 5-8 Finland
Norway 8-6 England
Russia 3-6 Sweden

The ‘home’ nations had a very mixed day.

Ireland and Wales were both on W0 L2 after Day 2 but turned things around on Tuesday to go W2 L2.

By contrast, England were W2 L0 but are now W2 L2 as well.

Scotland have enjoyed three wins on the bounce and are now looking in good shape to progress on W4 L1.

Big-end of the day went to Germany who scored a six against Romania.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) sees the big one between Wales and England at 1230 as well as six other games involving ‘home’ nation teams – why not get along to Murrayfield to watch some international curling for free?

The current standings, then some pictures from Day 3:

Group A (W-L)
4-0 Germany
4-1 Scotland
3-1 Hungary
3-2 Czech Republic, Latvia
2-3 France
1-3 Belarus
0-4 Poland, Romania

Group B (W-L)
4-0 Sweden
3-1 Switzerland
2-2 England, Norway, Spain, Wales
1-3 Russia
0-4 Estonia

Group C (W-L)
4-0 Denmark, Finland
2-2 Austria, Ireland, Italy
1-2 Slovakia
0-3 Slovenia
0-4 Turkey

Scotland skip Ewan MacDonald against Belarus

Ewan is being ably assisted in the head by Kay Adams

Sweden’s Gustav Eskilsson

Team England’s supporters were in town today

And here they are, practicing ahead of their game against Norway – that’s skip John Sharp delivering

Lorna Rettig

Nigel Patrick

Team Ireland during practice – coach Bill Gray and Johnjo Kenny

Estonia’s Harri Lill

Lorna Rettig among the stones against Norway

Mariia Duiunova delivers in Russia’s game against Sweden

And here she is sweeping with teammate Valeria Shelkova

Gustav Eskilsson

Sweden’s Jesper Johansson and Anna Gustafsson working on Towe Lundman’s stone

Adrian Meikle knows how to win this tournament – he lead his Welsh side to European Mixed gold in Madrid in 2007

While we are talking about Spain and seeing as I am a certified Hispanophile, here’s a profile of their team: lead, Estrella Labrador

Second, Alberto Vez

Third, Irantzu García

And their skip, Sergio Vez

Switzerland’s Nora Baumann

Slovenia’s Matevž Javornik and Irena Manček

Ireland’s third, Louise Kerr

“I do wish that Finnish player would keep quiet…”

I’ll leave the last word to Finland’s Anne Malmi…

The event website is here.

Photos are © Ted Edmunds/TVFTH 2013

Edinburgh – Day 2 (Monday)

Monday was the second day of play at the 2013 European Mixed Curling Championships.

The first full day’s play meant a quick turnaround for teams that had been playing the night before. Monday saw four rounds of games played due to the earlier delays in the tournament starting.

Tuesday and Wednesday will be equally as busy.

Here are the results grouped by session:

Finland 8-2 Turkey
Czech Republic 10-1 Romania
Denmark 6-4 Slovakia
Scotland 3-6 Germany
Hungary 5-6 France
Latvia 3-2 Poland

Russia 0-6 England
Switzerland 4-2 Estonia
Ireland 3-5 Austria
Norway 5-4 Wales
Italy 11-2 Turkey
Sweden 12-2 Spain

Romania 2-9 France
Germany 10-3 Poland
Slovenia 1-10 Finland
Belarus 4-7 Latvia
Czech Republic 3-8 Scotland

Spain 10-7 Wales
Sweden 7-4 Norway
Russia 6-3 Switzerland
Ireland 2-7 Slovakia
Denmark 7-4 Austria
England 5-3 Estonia

So after two days play, how are the ‘home’ nations faring?

Ireland and Wales are both searching for their first wins on W0 L2, defending champions Scotland have started solidly on W2 L1 while England have had a great start on W2 L0.

Eight matches involving these four are scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday).

Big-end of the day went to Sweden who picked up a six against Spain.

Current Standings – Group A (W-L)
3-0 Germany
2-1 Czech Republic, France, Latvia, Scotland
1-1 Hungary
0-2 Belarus, Romania
0-3 Poland

Current Standings – Group B (W-L)
2-0 England, Sweden
1-1 Norway, Russia, Spain, Switzerland
0-2 Estonia, Wales

Current Standings – Group C (W-L)
3-0 Denmark
2-0 Finland
2-1 Austria
1-1 Italy, Slovakia
0-1 Slovenia
0-2 Ireland
0-3 Turkey

The event website is here.

Image is © World Curling Federation

Edinburgh – Day 1 (Sunday)

After a 24-hour+ delay due to technical issues with the ice cooling plant, the 2013 European Mixed Curling Championships got underway at Murrayfield, Edinburgh.

The updated version of the schedule can be found here.

It was great to finally see some play at Murrayfield – I thought the rink looked very smart and worthy of a big tournament.

It was just a shame that we didn’t get an opening ceremony because of the technical issues.

The day’s results first and then some pictures:

Hungary 6-4 Latvia
Italy 3-8 Austria
Germany 7-2 France
Turkey 7-8 Denmark (EE)
Poland 1-13 Scotland
Belarus 2-7 Czech Republic

Scotland were the only ‘home’ nation involved on Day 1 and never looked like being threatened in their game against Poland – a great start for the defending champions to go W1 L0.

Big-end of the day went to Denmark and Scotland who both picked up fours in their games.

The event website is here.

Four faces familiar to Murrayfield oversaw the ceremonial throwing of the first stone. Trevor Dodds gave ice, Colin Campbell (European Mixed champion 2009) threw the stone while Bruce Mouat and Jennifer Dodds swept

Four players who have all represented Scotland at different levels over the years

A video of Colin’s stone can be seen here.

Here’s Team Turkey during practice – Alican Karatas delivers while Muhammet Oguz Zengin times

And here’s Scotland skip Ewan MacDonald

Some great symmetry was seen on the ice – Latvia’s Sabīne Jeske and Italy’s Malko Tondella

Latvian skip Arnis Veidemanis

Don’t sweep or no publicity? Italian skip Federica Apollonio

Team Austria’s Mathias Genner and Andrea Höfler working hard

Euan Byers and Ewan MacDonald, snacking and skipping

Czech skip Miloš Hoferka

Handshakes in the Scotland v. Poland game at 13-1 to the hosts after six ends

Team Czech Republic – Martin Štěpánek, Michaela Nádherová and Lenka Kitzbergerova

Denmark showing great team spirit – Søren Jensen, Joel Ostrowski and Pavla Rubasova

Turkey’s Elif Kizilkaya

More symmetry as the first round of games came to an end

The clock and the scoreboard say it all. Denmark were 7-1 up at the fourth-end break but Turkey stormed back into it to take it to a late-night extra end where the Danes finally won with the last stone

Photos are © Ted Edmunds/TVFTH 2013

European Mixed Curling Championships 2013

So here it is. My preview of the first international competition of the 2013-14 season – the European Mixed Curling Championships.

Taking place at Murrayfield Curling in Edinburgh, I have been excited about this event being at my home rink for a long time now.

The event starts today and ends on Saturday 21 September but before I get started, I should point out that earlier today the following appeared on the event’s Facebook page:

Due to technical issues with the chilling plant all ice activity today (Saturday 14 September 2013) is postponed, including the opening ceremony.

A new draw is currently being prepared and further information will follow in due course.

The team meeting is still taking place at 1340 hours at the ice rink as scheduled.

I had been planning to get along this evening for the opening ceremony and the first round of games to get some photos but this now appears to no longer be possible. Memories of Innsbruck 2012 come to mind.

It looks like my new tripod will have to wait for its first outing…

Nevertheless, here is everything you need to know about the 2013 European Mixed.

As I have already mentioned, the tournament is taking place at Murrayfield Curling in Edinburgh – that’s the rink above during last season’s Edinburgh International.

This will be the ninth edition of the European Mixed and only the second time the event has been hosted by Scotland after Greenacres in 2010. This is also the first European Mixed to be organised by the World Curling Federation after the dissolution of the European Curling Federation.

Scotland now becomes the first nation to host the tournament more than once.

So who is competing?

Well, there are three groups comprising an impressive 25 teams from across Europe.

Each group will play a round-robin series, playing each opponent once. At the end of the round-robin series, and any necessary tie-breaker games, the teams ranked first and second qualify directly for the quarter-finals, as well as the third ranked team with the best Draw Shot Challenge result. The other two third ranked teams will play a qualification game to decide the last team entered into the quarter-finals.

Semi-finals will take place the following day to determine which two teams will play for the gold medals and which two will play for bronze.

Here is the full lineup:

Group A (Red) – Belarus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Scotland

Group B (Blue)England, Estonia, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Wales

Group C (Yellow) – Austria, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey

As you can see, all four ‘home’ nations will be represented in Edinburgh and we will get a clash between England and Wales on Day 6 (Thursday 19 September).

Here are the team lineups:

Scotland – Ewan MacDonald, Kay Adams, Euan Byers, Karen Barthelemy
England – John Sharp, Lorna Rettig, Nigel Patrick, Alison Hemmings
Wales – Adrian Meikle, Dawn Watson, Andrew Tanner, Laura Beever
Ireland – Robin Gray, Louise Kerr, Hazel Gormley-Leahy, Johnjo Kenny

A full list of all 25 teams can be found here on the official event website.

Scotland have enjoyed great success in this competition in the past with four gold medals (2006, 2009, 2010 and 2012). Finland, Germany, Switzerland and Wales all have one title each but only Scotland have struck gold more than once.

The team that won last year in Erzurum, Turkey return to defend their title in Edinburgh but without Eve Muirhead who has Olympic training commitments – Kay Adams comes into the team in her place.

Group stage play takes place from Saturday evening (although this has now had to be rescheduled) until Thursday evening.

Games are at 1000, 1430 and 1900 and entry is free so get along to Murrayfield to watch some of Europe’s best competing here in Scotland.

There is only one session where no ‘home’ nations are in action – Wednesday at 1900.

The schedule is here but keep checking the official website, Facebook page and Twitter feed for rescheduling news.

The WCF preview of the event is here.

I will be providing a daily roundup of the event and, hopefully, some pictures too.

Best of luck to all the teams competing and welcome to Edinburgh!

Image is © World Curling Federation and photo is © Ted Edmunds/TVFTH 2012