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 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