Monthly Archives: April 2014

Dumfries – Day 6 (Tuesday)

Tuesday was the final day of round-robin play at the 2014 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship and World Senior Curling Championships.

Here are the final ‘home’ nation results and what they meant in terms of playoff qualification:

Mixed Doubles
Italy 8-2 England (W1 L7)
Wales 7-2 Belarus (W4 L4)
Scotland 10-4 Estonia (W6 L2)

Ireland had already completed their campaign on Monday with a W1 L6 record.

This all meant that of the ‘home’ nations only Scotland with Bruce Mouat and Gina Aitken could progress in the competition and they earned themselves a quarter-final qualification game against the 2013 World Mixed Doubles Champions Hungary.

Unfortunately, Scotland could not overcome the reigning champions and the Hungarian duo won 7-5.

The quarter-finals on Tuesday evening went like this:

Switzerland 9-7 Austria
Russia 7-9 Spain (EE)
Norway 4-7 Hungary
Sweden 10-5 Czech Republic

Wednesday’s semi-final games are as follows:

Hungary v. Switzerland
Spain v. Sweden

The medal matches are in the afternoon and you can catch the final day’s action here.

Senior Men’s

For the ‘home’ nations the round-robin stage of the competition had already concluded on Monday and Ireland, England and Scotland all made Tuesday’s quarter-finals. As you will see, however, none of them could carry on their excellent form from the group stage:

Ireland 4-5 USA
Norway 6-7 Sweden
Australia 7-4 England
Canada 6-5 Scotland

Wednesday’s semi-final games are as follows:

Sweden v. Australia
Canada v. USA

Senior Women’s
Switzerland 3-6 Scotland (W5 L1)
England 1-9 New Zealand (W3 L4)

This meant that Scotland got a quarter-final berth against Slovakia which they won 8-4 and they now progress to Wednesday’s semi-finals:

USA v. Scotland
Canada v. Sweden

So having had ten ‘home’ nation teams to cheer at the start of the events in Dumfries we are down to just one on the final day – Christine Cannon’s senior women’s team.

They are only two wins away from the big prize so keep your eyes on the scores or, better yet, head to Dumfries and watch it live.

The event websites are here and here.

Image is © WCF

Dumfries – Day 5 (Monday)

On the penultimate day of round-robin play at the 2014 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship and World Senior Curling Championships in Dumfries, here’s how the ‘home’ nations got on:

Mixed Doubles
Scotland 4-5 Sweden (W5 L2)
Wales 2-9 Korea (W3 L4)
England 11-7 Denmark (W1 L6)
Ireland 8-9 New Zealand (EE) (W1 L6)

England picked up the third six of this event so far in their 11-7 victory over Denmark – congratulations to Angharad and Bryan.

Markku Uusipaavalniemi, playing for Finland, set a new curling record on Monday with Slovenia becoming the 38th nation he has played against in his career – one can only assume that he has a lot of wardrobe space.

Senior Men’s
Wales 4-9 Denmark
Ireland 6-3 Italy
USA 8-2 Scotland (W5 L2)
Czech Republic 4-7 England (W6 L1)
Wales 1-12 Ireland (Wales W3 L4, Ireland W6 L1)

Senior Women’s
England 7-4 Austria (W3 L3)
Italy 2-8 Scotland (W4 L1)

The official event websites can be found here and here.

Image is © WCF

Dumfries – Day 4 (Sunday)

Mixed Doubles
Austria 15-4 England
Denmark 6-2 Wales (W3 L3)
USA 10-0 Ireland
Slovenia 2-12 Scotland (W5 L1)
Hungary 9-3 England (W0 L6)
Ireland 5-10 Spain (W1 L5)

Senior Men’s
England 7-8 Scotland
Ireland 11-2 Denmark (W4 L1)
Wales 6-4 Italy (W3 L2)
USA 5-8 England (W5 L1)
Scotland 8-4 Czech Republic (W5 L1)

Senior Women’s
Finland 3-10 Scotland (W3 L1)
England 7-4 Japan (W2 L3)

For those of you who like interesting scorelines then USA 9-4 Sweden in Sunday’s Senior Women’s event should be one to remember. Why? Because the USA stole a five in an extra-end to win it. Not one you see every day…

Official websites are here and here.

Image is © WCF

Dumfries – Day 3 (Saturday)

Mixed Doubles
Germany 5-6 Ireland
Finland 5-6 Scotland (EE)
Hungary 10-5 Wales (W3 L2)
England 2-10 Korea (W0 L4)
Ireland 2-9 Norway (W1 L3)
Scotland 8-9 Canada (W4 L1)

Norway scored the second six of the tournament in their 12-4 win over New Zealand on Saturday.

Senior Men’s
Switzerland 6-7 Ireland (EE) (W3 L1)
Netherlands 7-3 Wales (W2 L2)
Russia 6-7 England (W4 L0)
Hungary 3-5 Scotland (W3 L1)

Senior Women’s
Scotland 7-2 Australia
Scotland 8-2 Russia (W2 L1)
Sweden 7-3 England (W1 L3)

Image is © WCF

Dumfries – Day 2 (Friday)

Mixed Doubles
Kazakhstan 4-6 Scotland
Wales 1-14 Russia
England 8-9 Belarus
Ireland 8-9 France (EE) (W0 L2)
Brazil 1-14 Scotland (W3 L0)
Wales 9-7 England (Wales W3 L1, England W0 L3)

Spectators at the Ice Bowl witnessed a six being scored on Friday – Canada picked up the Mixed Doubles equivalent of an eight-ender in their 10-5 win against Latvia.

Saturday sees another Scotland game being broadcast and this time it’s against Canada. You can watch this one here from 2100.

Senior Men’s
England 11-5 Hungary
Sweden 7-5 Wales (W2 L1)
Scotland 6-3 Finland
Austria 2-10 Ireland (W2 L1)
England 7-4 Finland (W3 L0)
Scotland 2-5 New Zealand (W2 L1)

Senior Women’s
Slovakia 7-1 England (W0 L2)

The official websites are here and here.

Image is © WCF

Olympic Curlers In Lockerbie

Team GB’s Winter Olympic curlers (above) are going to be in Lockerbie today (Saturday) and you can be there to cheer them on.

Here’s the official release:

The Olympic Curlers are coming to Lockerbie on Saturday 26 April!

They are coming to Lockerbie so that the local community can acknowledge and honour the achievements of our curlers who achieved so much at the Olympics. It is also an opportunity for the curlers to visit the ice rink and the people there who have played a part in their journey. In recognition of their achievements, an exciting programme of events is being pulled together including events at the ice rink and also a parade. Local people are being encouraged to come along and cheer on the teams in recognition of their achievements in Sochi. We would like to request that all those attending should wear Team GB colours in support of the curlers.

Here is a schedule of the events:

  • Question and answer session with local young curlers at Lockerbie Ice Rink
    1030-1130 (Please note that this is a private event)
  • Procession from the Holy Trinity Church through the town centre to Lockerbie Academy
    Approx. 12 noon start (In the procession are the Scottish Schools winners and the Olympic Curlers)
  • Meet and greet the Olympic Curlers at Lockerbie Academy
    1300-1400
  • Official presentation by Dumfries and Galloway Council, Lockerbie Ice Rink and the town of Lockerbie at Lockerbie Academy
    1430-1730 (Free tickets for this event are available from Lockerbie Ice Rink, the Annandale Herald shop and Margaret’s Newsagents)
  • An informal celebration evening at Lockerbie Ice Rink for members of South of Scotland Ice Rink Club
    1830-2030 (P
    lease note that this is a private event)

There will be plenty of photo opportunities during all of the above events: in the club premises during the question and answer session for younger curlers, being piped down the High Street, during the meet and greet session at Lockerbie Academy and during the official presentation.

Michael Stevenson, Chairman of Lockerbie Ice Rink, said: “We are delighted that both of the Team GB Curling teams have found time in their busy schedules to come to Lockerbie for the homecoming event. The buzz that the teams generated in the ice rink and town from their double medal success has been amazing. The homecoming event is a fitting opportunity for everyone to celebrate their achievements. The ice rink has already benefitted from the medal success of the teams and there have been many people enquiring and taking part in the ‘Try Curling’ sessions. The interest and recognition for Lockerbie Ice Rink has been fantastic and this will be continued by the homecoming event.”

For more information please contact Katie Stevenson at Katie.stevenson@hotmail.co.uk or on 01576 202123.

Photo is © Ted Edmunds/TVFTH 2014

Dumfries – Day 1 (Thursday)

At the end of each day’s play, I’m going to post all the ‘home’ nation results.

Here’s how they got on on the first day:

Mixed Doubles
Austria 7-9 Wales
Scotland 8-4 Latvia (W1 L0)
China 9-4 Ireland (W0 L1)
Italy 5-8 Wales (W2 L0)
England 6-7 Russia (EE) (W0 L1)

Don’t forget to watch Scotland v. Brazil live on the WCF’s YouTube channel from 1745 on Friday.

Senior Men’s
Switzerland 5-6 Wales
Sweden 8-3 Ireland
Russia 2-7 Scotland (W1 L0)
England 9-3 New Zealand (W1 L0)
Austria 8-10 Wales (W2 L0)
Ireland 8-3 Netherlands (W1 L1)

Senior Women’s
England 4-9 USA (W0 L1)
Scotland 2-9 Canada (W0 L1)

Image is © WCF

Dumfries Welcomes The World – Part 2

As promised, here is the second part of my guide to the events in Dumfries and this time the focus is on the 2014 World Senior Curling Championships.

Like the World Mixed Doubles, these Championships run from Wednesday 23 to Wednesday 30 April.

The first link you should follow is this one to the official event website – get it bookmarked for the duration so you can get live scores.

This is the thirteenth edition of the World Senior Championships and the second time that they have been in Scotland – Greenacres was the host rink back in 2005.

To be eligible to take part in these Championships, players must not be less than 50 years of age by the end of 30 June in the year immediately preceding the year in which the Championships are taking place.

2014 sees 15 women’s and 25 men’s teams taking part in Dumfries and these are record numbers for both genders.

Play began early on Thursday morning and playoffs start on Tuesday evening – the full schedule is here.

All games are eight ends with an extra end (or ends) if necessary.

The Teams

Women

Group A: Austria, Czech Republic, England, Japan, New Zealand, Slovakia, Sweden, USA
Group B: Australia, Canada*, Finland, Italy, Russia, Scotland, Switzerland

*Reigning Champions

The England team is Jean Robinson (Skip), Judith Dixon, Susan Young and Deborah Higgins. Jacqueline Orr is Alternate while John Brown is their Coach.

Scotland, meanwhile, have Christine Cannon at Skip, Margaret Richardson, Isobel Hannen and Janet Lindsay – Margaret Robertson is Alternate and Jackie Lockhart is the Coach. Christine, Janet and the two Margarets were fourth last time out.

Men

Group A: Australia, Canada*, France, Germany, Japan, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Slovakia
Group B: Czech Republic, England, Finland, Hungary, New Zealand, Russia, Scotland, USA
Group C: Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Wales

*Reigning Champions

England are skipped by John Sharp who has Tommy Campbell, Keith Wilson and Alastair Fyfe in his team. Mike Robinson is Alternate and Elaine Turnbull is Coach.

Scotland line up with Keith Prentice (Skip), Lockhart Steele, Robert Anderson and Tommy Fleming – they have Robert Clark as Alternate and Coach. Keith, Lockhart and Tommy won this event in 2007 with Robin Aitken.

Ireland’s World Senior Champions from 2012 return with an almost identical lineup of Johnjo Kenny, Bill Gray, David Whyte and Tony Tierney – Neil Fyfe is Alternate and Gordon McIntrye is the Coach. The only change from 2012 is Neil Fyfe at Alternate instead of David Hume.

Go on, here’s the video again…

Wales have Chris Wells skipping with Hugh Meikle, Richard Pougher and Gary Waddell in the team. Andrew Carr is Alternate and Liz Meikle is Coach.

For those who like a local derby, England v. Scotland is on Sunday morning and Ireland v. Wales is on Monday afternoon.

Full team lineups are here.

The list of competition officials for the World Seniors also features a number of ‘home’ nation representatives, all from Scotland.

Dor Borthwick is Chief Umpire while David Higgins, Albert Middler, Stewart Robertson and Robin Aitken are Game Umpires.

Trivia

  • Gina Aitken, one half of Scotland’s Mixed Doubles duo in Dumfries, is the niece of Italian Senior Women’s Skip Fiona Grace Simpson.
  • Australia’s Senior Men’s Skip, Hugh Millikin, has more international curling medals than anyone else in history – his tally stands at 21.
  • Every team that has won the World Senior Men’s title since 2006 has done so undefeated and the same goes for the Senior Women since 2009.
  • Canada has won the last six World Senior Women’s titles.
  • Just five nations have won gold at the World Seniors: Canada (17), Scotland (2), Sweden (2), USA (2) and Ireland (1).

Where to Watch

The event, liked the Mixed Doubles, is ticketed – more details are here.

Image is © WCF

Dumfries Welcomes The World – Part 1

The 2013-14 season has been a busy one but it seems to have passed very quickly and now here we are in April ready for the final events of the season.

Happily, they are close to home and there are no pesky time differences! Sochi and Beijing in the same season…anyone else still catching up on sleep?

Dumfries, Scotland is currently hosting the 2014 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship and the 2014 World Senior Curling Championships and I think it’s fair to say that the town’s population has grown significantly thanks to the record number of teams taking part.

Of the 53 nations that make up the World Curling Federation, 34 have sent teams to this year’s World Mixed Doubles while there are 25 across the men’s and women’s events at the World Seniors – impressive numbers I’m sure you will agree.

‘Home’ nation interest is stronger than ever before as well with all four entering teams into the Mixed Doubles for the first time.

There are also six ‘home’ nation teams in the Seniors with a full complement in the men’s – excellent stuff.

All in all it’s set to be a busy week in Dumfries so here’s the first part of my guide to this end-of-season extravaganza.

World Mixed Doubles Championship

2014 sees the seventh edition of this Championship being held in Scotland for the first time.

Wednesday 23 was training day for all of the teams and play gets underway early on Thursday morning.

Round-robin play continues until the afternoon of Tuesday 29 with playoffs scheduled for later that evening with further playoffs and medal games on Wednesday 30.

The full schedule is here.

For those of you unfamiliar with Mixed Doubles curling I suggest you take a look at this page on the WCF website and watch the video at the bottom.

Oh and be sure to bookmark the official event website here.

This format of the game will be under real scrutiny in Dumfries as the World Curling Federation is proposing its inclusion in the Winter Olympic programme for Pyeongchang in 2018.

All games are scheduled to be eight ends and tied games will be decided by an extra end (or ends) – a minimum of six ends must be played in all games.

The Teams

The 34 teams have been divided into four groups – let’s meet them.

Group A: Austria, Belarus, Denmark, England, Hungary*, Italy, Korea, Russia, Wales
Group B: Brazil, Canada, Estonia, Finland, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Scotland, Slovenia, Sweden
Group C: Australia, Czech Republic, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland
Group D: China, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, New Zealand, Spain, USA

*Reigning Champions

Three nations are making their World Mixed Doubles debuts – Belarus, Kazakhstan and, of course, Brazil. More on them later.

Here’s who will be playing for the ‘home’ nations:

England – Angharad Ward and Bryan Zachary (Coach Rosaleen Boardman not pictured)

Angharad (18) is the youngest competitor in Dumfries.

Ireland – Louise Kerr and John Furey (Coach Peter Wilson not pictured)

Love the green laces John!

Scotland – Gina Aitken and Bruce Mouat (Coach David Aitken not pictured)

Wales – Dawn Watson and Adrian Meikle (Coach Chris Wells not pictured)

With England and Wales in the same group we are all set for a grudge match on Friday evening!

Full team lineups are here.

Watch this space for an interview I did with the Slovenian team a few days ago.

‘Home’ nation involvement doesn’t just stop with the players, however, as England’s Glenda Barrowman is Deputy Chief Umpire while Scotland is well-represented in the officials with Jill Donald, Peter Allan and Calder Benzies working as Game Umpires.

Harold Forrester and Brian Yeats are Chief Timer and Deputy Chief Timer respectively and Chief Ice Technician Mark Callan has Scott Henderson and Chris Noble working with him as deputies.

Team Trivia

I’ve been casting my eye over the other teams and here’s who else to look out for…

  • Expat Scot Kenny Thomson is playing for New Zealand.
  • Markku Uusipaavalniemi, playing for Finland, skipped his nation to Winter Olympic silver in 2006.
  • Kim Tuck, playing with her husband Wayne for Canada, is also coaching Brazil in Dumfries.

And talking of Brazil…

Say hello to Aline Lima Gonçalves and Marcelo Cabral de Mello who are making curling history this week by becoming the first Brazilians to play in any World Curling Championship event.

The Brazilian Ice Sport Federation has been part of the WCF since 1998 but didn’t play a game until 2009 when Marcelo skipped a team in the Americas World Curling Championship Challenge in Bismarck, North Dakota, USA against Todd Birr’s American side – they lost 13-2, 13-2 and 11-5.

Undaunted, they tried again in 2010 but this time in Grafton, North Dakota with Marcelo playing third against Pete Fenson’s rink – they lost 10-4, 8-1 and 8-2.

Marcelo and Aline have spent a week training intensively in Vancouver, Canada in preparation for this event and I am sure we wish them all the very best for the competition in Dumfries. Boa sorte!

Where to Watch

The event is ticketed and you can go along and watch all the action live – details here.

Alternatively you can watch some games at home as the WCF’s YouTube channel will be streaming games throughout the week – full schedule here (click on Webcasting Schedule).

Scotland are being broadcast twice:

Fri. 25 – 1745 – v. Brazil
Sat. 26 – 2100 – v. Canada

Be sure to tune in to not only watch Bruce and Gina try and improve on their seventh-place finish in Canada in 2013 but also to see the Brazilians in action. Commentary is being provided by Sara Carlsson, Kenny Edwards, Logan Gray and Richard Harding.

Part two of my guide, featuring the World Seniors, will be online soon.

Photos are © WCF/Richard Gray 2014
Image is © WCF

Scotland On Tour

With the 2013-14 season almost over, the final tour events on the curling calendar have been played over the past few weeks.

Several Scottish teams have been taking part both in Europe and further afield.

St. Gallen, Switzerland was hosting the final event on the Curling Champions Tour from 9-12 April with the European Masters.

This event saw the teams ranked in the top eight of the Tour standings play for the overall Tour title – Sweden, Scotland and Switzerland were all represented.

Scotland had teams skipped by Logan Gray and David Murdoch out in Switzerland. Glen Muirhead was replaced by Grant Hardie in Team Gray’s lineup for this competition.

Olympic silver-medallists Team Murdoch won their first game but then lost three straight, including a defeat to Logan Gray, but they won their final game to claim third place in the event.

Team Gray went one better by winning three and losing one to make the final where they lost out 4-1 to the Swiss outfit skipped by Pascal Hess.

A great effort from the two teams and you can see all the scores and stats from the event here and pictures here.

One last trip to Canada was in store for two of our top teams as they competed in the final Grand Slam event of 2013-14, the Players’ Championship in Summerside, Prince Edward Island 15-20 April.

Team Murdoch and Team Muirhead were two of the 24 teams competing and for Eve Muirhead there was the added incentive of going in as reigning champion but the likes of Rachel Homan, Jennifer Jones and Margaretha Sigfridsson stood in her way.

Olympic bronze-medallists Team Muirhead began really well with four wins and one loss to set up a quarter-final meeting with Jennifer Jones and her Olympic Champions but the Canadians proved too strong for Eve and the girls, winning 7-5 after stealing a two in an extra-end – Team Jones went on to win the women’s event.

Full details here.

The men, skipped by David Murdoch, won two and lost three which meant they just missed out on the playoffs. Kevin Martin’s team won the competition and this proved to be Martin’s last game as he had earlier announced his retirement. He leaves the game having been Canadian Champion four times and with World and Olympic titles to his name.

All the men’s scores and stats from Summerside are here.

Did you know that was the sixth North American tour event that Team Murdoch played in this season and the eighth for Team Muirhead?

I bet they are looking forward to a well-earned summer break.

Images are © CCT and GSOC