The curling season is most definitely in full swing and it has already proved very successful for some of Scotland’s teams at home and abroad – let’s start with some Champions Tour news.
Three Scottish teams were competing at the Swiss Cup Basel 3-6 October.
Logan Gray, Grant Hardie and David Murdoch all had their teams over in Switzerland.
Team Hardie failed to make the playoffs but an all-Scottish affair between Gray and Murdoch saw Logan and his team advance to a semi-final against Sweden’s Oskar Eriksson which they lost.
Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud won the event – all the details are here.
Next, it was the women’s turn…
The Women’s Masters Basel was taking place from 11-13 October and featured two Scottish teams skipped by Hannah Fleming and Lorna Vevers.
Hannah picked up two wins and three losses eventually being knocked out by fellow Scots Team Vevers.
Lorna came away with four wins and three losses but didn’t make the playoffs.
The event was won by Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni – all the results are here.
Most recently on the tour was the Thompson Curling Challenge in Urdorf, Switzerland.
Taking place from 18-20 October, this event was the first in the Curling Champions Tour’s newly-formed Challenger Series – you can read more about the series here.
The event, which featured no Scottish teams, was won by Switzerland’s Mike Wenger.
I couldn’t help noticing that seven-time European and two-time World champion Andrea Schöpp of Germany was competing in the event despite it being a competition intended for teams who aren’t usually on the circuit to work their way up to major events – perhaps it was just as well that she came third…
Event info is here.
The Scottish Curling Tour had two stops in October – the Forfar Open (11-13) and the Stirling Invitational (18-20).
The Forfar event was won by Ross McCleary who beat Ladies’ event winners Team Kerry Barr in the final.
The report is here and pictures are here.
Team Fraser Hare took the Stirling title against Bruce Mouat – scores are here and a report is here.
There was also some international curling in October at the European C-Group Curling Championships in Tårnby, Denmark.
Taking place from 8-12 October, ‘home’ nation interest was strong as Ireland and Wales featured in the men’s draw alongside Belarus, Iceland, Luxembourg, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia all looking to get a spot at this season’s European B-Group competition in Stavanger, Norway.
The women’s group saw just four teams fighting it out – Belarus, Croatia, Slovakia and Slovenia.
In the women’s group Belarus took gold, Slovenia silver and Slovakia bronze meaning Belarus and Slovenia will feature in Stavanger.
In the men’s group, Alan Mitchell’s Ireland found it tough and finished sixth but Wales can be rightly proud of their curling team as they picked up a superb gold medal to earn the right to go to Norway, beating Romania in the final – Serbia won the bronze, their first ever medal in international curling.
Romania’s silver was their first ever medal too.
So we’ll be seeing Wales and Romania in Stavanger – many congratulations to Adrian Meikle and his team.
The event website is here.
Back in Scotland, there were two ‘slams’ and two events at Stranraer.
Starting with the ‘slams’, the first of the new Under 21 events took place at Kinross 4-6 October with the Kinross Junior Classic.
This was also the first ‘slam’ to feature an English team – Hetty Garnier and her team from Fenton’s.
Bruce Mouat won the boys’ event and Gina Aitken took the girls’ title – these were the two teams who won the Braehead EJCT events back in September, a great start to the season.
All the scores from Kinross are here.
At the other end of the junior age spectrum, Braehead hosted the first Under 14 event on 13 October – this was won by Callum Kinnear and a full report can be found here.
Stranraer held the Unders & Overs from 5-6 October but I have not been able to find any results. Can anyone out there help?
One event at Stranraer we do know the result of is the Scottish Senior Mixed Curling Championship which was won by Team Gary MacFarlane over the weekend of 11-13 October. Full details are here.
The Saturday and Sunday of that weekend saw Murrayfield host the English Curling Association’s Duncan Stewart Trophy.
It was won by Team John Brown (above) who had Ian Paxton (not pictured), Andrew Woolston, Judith Dixon and Alison Barr in his team.
Yours truly was playing for Tommy Campbell’s runners-up. Must try harder…
In wheelchair curling, Kinross was hosting the Kinross Curling International from 15-17 October. That’s Norway’s Jostein Stordahl in last year’s event above.
Six teams who will be representing their countries at the 2014 Paralympics were in attendance along with some Channel 4 television cameras. Watch this space for a transmission date.
Team GB and Scotland’s Aileen Neilson skipped her team to victory over Norway in the final while Sweden claimed the bronze.
A full report can be read here.
Back to the Curling Champions Tour now and its junior incarnation the European Junior Curling Tour – there were two events in October, the first being the Live Channel Cup in Härnösand, Sweden from 11-13 October.
No Scottish teams were present in either the boys’ or girls’ events that were won by Switzerland’s Michael Brunner and Norway’s Nora Hilding respectively.
There was, however, Scottish representation at the Oslo leg of the tour 18-20 October.
Robin Brydone and his team were in Norway along with Gina Aitken and Jennifer Martin.
Team Martin didn’t reach the playoffs with one win and three losses but there was much better news for Brydone and Aitken.
Gina and her team picked up a bronze medal but Robin and his team of Thomas Halder, Calum Greenwood and James Carswell went all the way and beat Switzerland’s Team Hauser to claim a fantastic tour title, trophy and 10,000 Norwegian Kroner!
I would make these boys team of the month, never mind team of the weekend after their performance in Oslo – many congratulations to Robin and his team.
Sweden’s Isabella Wranå claimed the girls’ title.
All the scores are here and a report is here.
Finally for this post, news of Team Muirhead’s recent exploits in Canada.
From 3-6 October, Eve and her team were in Vernon, British Columbia competing at the Prestige Hotels & Resorts Curling Classic.
32 teams from all over the world were competing and Team Muirhead came away with four wins and three losses, losing out to eventual champion Bingyu Wang of China in the quarter-finals.
All the event information is here.
Better things were to come…
Barely a week later, Eve and her world champions were playing in the Curlers Corner Autumn Gold Curling Classic in Calgary, Alberta from 11-14 October.
The first Grand Slam event on the tour, 32 of the biggest names in women’s curling were in attendance and I’m delighted to say that Eve along with Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Claire Hamilton won seven straight games including the final against Bingyu Wang to win the event – superb stuff from Eve and the girls.
All the details are here and the RCCC gave the victory a mention here.
Beating Jennifer Jones, Bingyu Wang and Rachel Homan (twice!) is worthy of winning any tournament I’d say.
So that’s me right up to date – always great to report on Scottish victories overseas, long may it continue.
Images are © CCT, SCT, WCF, RCCC and WCT
Photos are © Susan Young 2013 and Andy R Macpherson 2012