Category Archives: Irish Curling

Zoetermeer Roundup

ECCC2014poster

Saturday saw the final games at the European Curling Championships ‘C’ Group in Zoetermeer.

When I last wrote about the competition, Ireland’s women were struggling on no wins and three losses but, happily, they did not go home winless as they won their last game of the week against Romania 7-6 – the final round-robin table looked like this:

1. Slovakia (6-0)
2. Netherlands (4-2)
2. Spain (4-2)
4. Slovenia (3-3)
5. Croatia (2-4)
6. Ireland (1-5)
7. Romania (1-5)

This meant that Slovakia played the Netherlands in the 1v2 game and it was the Netherlands who came out on top 8-5 after an extra-end, winning the gold medal and gaining promotion to the ‘B’ group.

Spain saw off Slovenia 8-4 in the 3v4 meaning it was Spain v. Slovakia for the silver medal and the remaining spot in the ‘B’ group. This time Slovakia prevailed with a 4-3 win and got themselves promoted.

Congratulations to the Netherlands and Slovakia – we’ll be seeing them in Switzerland at the end of November.

The men’s event proved to be fascinating and you’ll recall that Ireland’s men were doing very well – they continued this form to finish on top of the standings with Belgium after the round-robin:

1. Belgium (7-2)
2. Ireland (7-2)
3. Israel (6-3)
3. Slovakia (6-3)
5. Belarus (5-4)
6. Slovenia (5-4)
7. Iceland (3-6)
8. Serbia (3-6)
9. Luxembourg (2-7)
10. Bulgaria (1-8)

So Ireland qualified for the 1v2 game with Belgium – a fantastic achievement and ‘B’ group qualification in their hands.

They started the game well taking a 3-0 lead after three ends but a steal of three by the Belgians in the fifth proved costly and Ireland were ultimately beaten 7-5.

The second chance for qualification would come against the winners of the 3v4 game and in this one it was Israel who saw off Slovakia 7-6 meaning Ireland would face Israel in their final game of the competition with everything to play for.

Ireland had beaten Israel in the round-robin (6-4) but unfortunately they picked the wrong time to lose two consecutive games as the Israelis proved too strong and took the game 7-3 and with it, promotion to the ‘B’ Group.

Craig Whyte from Team Ireland said he was disappointed to miss out on the qualification but that a medal was a good improvement on last year – watch this space for a report on his experience in Zoetermeer.

So, to clarify, here’s who won what:

Women
Gold medal – Netherlands*
Silver medal – Slovakia*
Bronze medal – Spain

Men
Gold medal – Belgium*
Silver medal – Israel*
Bronze medal – Ireland

*Qualifies for European Curling Championships ‘B’ Group

Many congratulations to Ireland for collecting a bronze medal and I’m sure we’ll be seeing them back in the ‘B’ Group before too long.

A cracking result for Israel too and testament to what can be done when a reformed national association really goes for it.

Photos from the event can be found here.

Image is © WCF

European Curling Championships ‘C’ Group

Sunday 5 October saw the start of play at the 2014 European Curling Championships ‘C’ Group in Zoetermeer in the Netherlands.

Seven women’s and ten men’s teams are in attendance all hoping to secure promotion to the European ‘B’ competition that takes place in Switzerland at the end of November.

The teams are playing a round-robin competition until Friday afternoon when the teams who are ranked first to fourth play a knockout round to decide the four nations (two men’s, two women’s) heading to Switzerland.

Women’s teams: Croatia, Ireland, Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain

Men’s teams: Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Luxembourg, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia

You will see there is ‘home’ nation interest as both Irish teams find themselves in this season’s competition – here’s how they line up:

Men: James Russell (Fourth), Craig Whyte (Third), Alan Mitchell (Second and Skip), Arran Cameron (Lead), John Furey (Alternate), Martin Sutherland (Coach)

Women: Katie Kerr (Fourth), Margarita Sweeney Baird (Third and Skip), Hazel Gormley Leahy (Second), Clare McCormick (Lead), Ailsa Anderson (Alternate)

Did you know that everyone in the Irish women’s team except for Hazel Gormley Leahy is making their first appearance at an international tournament? Katie Kerr, meanwhile, has made the trip from the USA for this event – read more about her here and here.

I would like to wish both Irish teams the very best of luck in the Netherlands not least because in Craig Whyte they have a good friend and clubmate of mine!

I’ll also be keeping an eye on my Slovenian friends hoping they can get themselves promoted this year.

It is worth noting that ‘home’ nation interest also extends to the competition officials where we find Scotland’s Anne Malcolm as Chief Umpire, Ireland’s John Burns as a Game Umpire and Mark Callan from Scotland as Chief Ice Technician.

A special mention should go to the men’s team representing the Israel Curling Federation in Zoetermeer – Israel was a member of the WCF from 1999 to 2008 but rejoined the international curling community in 2013.

I have previously linked to this article about a recruitment drive that the ICF had in North America and it seems to have worked – see here.

If you follow the World Curling Tour at all then you may have noticed that a certain Team Freilich, listed as being based in Jerusalem, Israel, now appears on the WCT website – the very same team currently in the Netherlands.

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So from Israel to Ireland and a review of how the tournament has gone so far.

Ireland’s women have found it tough going with no wins and three losses after three days of play – they were defeated by Slovakia 10-1, Croatia 12-6 and Spain 8-6.

The men, meanwhile, have been enjoying more success than their female counterparts and are sitting on four wins and one loss going into Wednesday’s draw – they have beaten Belarus 12-8, Serbia 9-7, Israel 6-4 and Iceland 9-4 while their only defeat was against Slovenia 8-3.

For all the latest scores, news, pictures and information I suggest you visit the comprehensive event website here.

Zoetermeer is one hour ahead of the UK if you are planning to follow games as they happen.

It wouldn’t be an international event post without me mentioning some kind of statistic, interesting scoreline or piece of trivia so spare a thought for the Dutch women’s team who, on home ice, scored a five against Slovenia but still lost 10-7.

Images are © WCF, ICF and ICA

Loose Ends – 6 March

I’ve been saving up plenty of wee stories from the world of curling and I think it’s about time I put them up on the blog.

First of all, the Winter Paralympics are just around the corner and I’ll have more information about that in the coming days. For now, you can find out about a team change for Team GB here.

It seems that Tom Killin fell ill last week and will not be travelling to Sochi for the Games – we all wish him a speedy recovery.

Louise Kerr pointed me in the direction of this nice story about a man from Belfast who jumped on a ferry to try curling for the first time at Stranraer – now that’s dedication!

It seems he’s pretty good too…

Sticking with ‘home’ nation news, it was the English Men’s Championship at Fenton’s in the last weekend of February.

Alan MacDougall and his team won their fifth-straight national title after beating Michael Opel 10-2 in the final.

A full report of the Championship is available here.

Fenton’s also appears in this Dyson advert. Make of it what you will…

While we are on English curling, I hope you have been following the progress of what could become only the second curling rink in England. The proposed facility just north of Bracknell, Berkshire featured in this news item, is live on the local council’s planning pages and the project website is here.

It would be great to see this rink in action in the near future – stay tuned for more information.

The World Curling Federation has announced that the 2016 World Men’s Curling Championship will be held in Basel, Switzerland.

You may recall that in August I had heard that Edinburgh’s bid for this Championship had failed and it seems that this was indeed the case.

Basel held the Europeans in 2006 and the World Men’s in 2012.

More information on the 2016 event is here.

Israel rejoined the WCF in 2013 having previously been a member association from 1999 to 2008 but not much information seems to exist about the Federation or curling in the country itself.

Recently, I came across this article which made for a really interesting read about the recruitment of Jewish curlers in North America as well as giving some more details about curling in Israel.

The piece says that Israel are hoping to compete in the European C Group in the near future – best of luck to them.

Talking about the Europeans brings me on nicely to this post from John Brown on his Toothy’s Curling blog where he reminisces about his own European Championship experiences.

I love John’s star-rating of the various European cities that have hosted the Championships.

Nominations are being sought for the 2014 Scottish Curling Awards in four categories:

  • Young Curler of the Year
  • Team of the Year
  • Grassroots Coach of the Year
  • Ice Diamond Award

For more details on the criteria and to make your nominations take a look at this page on the RCCC’s website. The awards will be presented at the RCCC AGM on Saturday 14 June in Perth.

With Sochi still fresh in our minds, another Winter Olympic cycle has begun and the selection policies for the World Class Performance programme are now available to read here.

Selection for the 2014-15 Royal Club Academy is now open as well – all you need to know is here.

Since I last pointed you in the direction of the Curling History Blog two new posts have appeared.

The first builds on Bob Cowan’s extensive research into the 1924 Winter Olympics and here we find him investigating a mystery woman…

The second piece is about one James Ritchie, an Inspector of the Ice.

While Bob no longer runs his Skip Cottage Curling blog he does have another blog which is still active – take a look here to see how one of our Olympic medallists looked when she was just twelve!

I bumped into Bob at the recent Scottish Finals in Perth where he told me about a new e-book that has come out called End Game.

This digital title was written by the author of the Curl With Math blog, Kevin Palmer, and it claims to be the essential guide for watching curling. If anyone fancies reading it and sending me a review then I would be glad to publish it here on the blog. Or send me a Kindle so I can read it, whichever you prefer…

Images are © ICA, ECA, WCF, ICF and RCCC

Weekend Roundup 10-12 January

It certainly was a busy weekend – no less than seven events to roundup from home and abroad.

First of all, the 2014 Pacific-Asia Junior Curling Championships came to an end in Harbin, China today (Tuesday) and we now know who will be representing the Pacific-Asia zone at the World Juniors in Flims, Switzerland at the end of February.

That’s Jinbo Wang’s Chinese team above and they beat Korea 8-6 in the final to take the title and earn the right to play in Switzerland.

New Zealand picked up bronze having lost to Wang’s team in the semi-final.

Kyeong-Ae Kim and her Korean team above had an unbeaten week which culminated in their 11-6 victory over China in the final.

Japan got the bronze having lost to China in the semi-final.

All the scores and stats from Harbin are available here.

In Switzerland the latest Curling Champions Tour event, the International Bernese Ladies’ Cup, was won by Scotland’s Eve Muirhead – great preparation as the clock ticks before Sochi. Many congratulations to Eve and her team.

They saw off Russia’s Anna Sidorova 6-3 in Sunday’s final to claim their first CCT title of the season.

Scotland had two other teams in Bern. Lorna Vevers was eliminated early on in the consolation event while Hannah Fleming made it to the semi-final of the same competition before losing out to Michele Jäggi’s Swiss team.

Scores are available here and there are some great pictures of Eve and the girls here on the event website.

The ICA was holding its World Seniors Playdowns at Dumfries over the weekend.

This one took the form of a best-of-five event with Johnjo Kenny taking on Peter Wilson and it was the former who triumphed by three games to two.

Johnjo and his team of Bill Gray, David Whyte, Tony Tierney, Neil Fyfe and coach David Hume will now return to Dumfries in April for the World Seniors.

Read all about the weekend’s action here and there is a video of the final game here.

It was a weekend of qualifiers for various RCCC competitions over the weekend with the Scottish Senior Curling Championship Qualifiers at Ayr and Forfar and the Scottish Men’s Curling Championship Qualifiers at Braehead.

Starting with the seniors, here are the teams who qualified and will be competing at the Scottish Seniors in Hamilton at the start of February:

Ken Horton, Billy Howat, Graham Lindsay, Don Stark, Robin Aitken, Gary MacFarlane, Mike Dick, Keith Prentice, Willie Jamieson, David Hardie, Graeme Adam, Norman Brown

For all the scores from Ayr and Forfar click here.

Braehead saw the first of two rounds of qualifying for this season’s Scottish Men’s finals – the second round is at Dumfries this coming weekend.

After the first round it’s Moray Combe, Grant Hardie, Ewan MacDonald, Kyle Smith, Lee McCleary and David Edwards who are the undefeated skips with the likes of Ross McCleary and Logan Gray close behind – all will become clear after Dumfries.

The latest standings are here.

Finally, last weekend saw the final Under 21 Slam take place at Greenacres.

The Under 21 Slams were new for this season and from what I have heard they have proved to be very popular events – I expect we will see them again next season.

This final Slam was won by Robin Brydone in the boys’ event and Gina Aitken in the girls’.

The Slam titles, however, went to Bruce Mouat and Katie Murray who had already secured the overall championship in the previous event.

All the Greenacres scores are here.

Photos are © WCF
Images are © CCT, ICA and RCCC

Weekend Curling 10-12 January

There is a lot going on this weekend all over the curling world so here’s what you should be looking out for.

The Curling Champions Tour is in Switzerland just now for the International Bernese Ladies Cup.

32 teams are in attendance including eight of the ten teams who will be representing their countries at the Winter Olympics – quite a field it has to be said.

Three Scottish teams are in Bern for this one skipped by Hannah Fleming, Eve Muirhead and Lorna Vevers respectively. For Eve and her World Champions, this is their first European tour event of the season.

So how are they all getting on?

Well Hannah Fleming and her team picked up two straight wins but then lost three to drop to the consolation event where they have won two and need to win two more to take home the consolation event title.

Keeping up so far?

Eve and her team, meanwhile, started like Team Fleming with two wins but then lost one. They then picked up three straight wins to see them through to the quarter-finals.

Lorna Vevers’ team have had a mixed weekend – their progress was lost, won, lost, won, lost, lost which saw them eliminated from the consolation event.

You can follow the final day of play on Sunday here and here.

The CCT YouTube channel will also be streaming some games so keep your eyes peeled.

Various domestic events are also underway this weekend.

Qualifiers for the Scottish Senior Men’s Curling Championship are taking place in two venues – Forfar and Ayr.

31 teams are trying to make it to the finals in Hamilton in early February – the Forfar scores are here and the Ayr scores are here.

The first of two rounds of qualifiers for the Scottish Men’s Curling Championship is also underway at Braehead this weekend with Dumfries hosting the second round in a week’s time.

22 teams are battling it out and there are some former champions among them – all the scores and teams are available here.

The final Under 21 Slam of the season is taking place at Greenacres over the weekend although we already know the champions for both the boys’ and girls’ events – Bruce Mouat and Katie Murray.

In fact, seeing as Bruce and his team have already secured this title, they are involved in the aforementioned Scottish qualifiers at Braehead.

The Slam scores can be found here.

The ICA are having their World Seniors Playdowns at Dumfries this weekend to see who will represent Ireland at the World Senior Curling Championships in April in the very same place.

I’m sure you all remember Ireland’s wonderful World Seniors win from 2012 – go on, relive the magic here!

You can follow the best-of-five playdown between Johnjo Kenny and Peter Wilson here including news of a dodgy hack.

Finally, don’t forget that the Pacific-Asia Junior Curling Championships are taking place in Harbin, China where the New Zealand boys are proving the surprise package – undefeated so far, they are attempting to make their first-ever World Juniors.

And for all you stats fans out there, the Australian junior women’s team have won their first game. EVER. It took them 59 attempts and came against New Zealand – worth waiting for I’m sure. In fact, John Brown wrote a wee piece about this team last year.

Scores from Harbin are here.

Images are © CCT, RCCC and ICA

Weekend Roundup 6-8 December

The qualifiers for the Scottish Junior Curling Championships were taking place in Perth over the weekend and we now know who has made it to January’s Aberdeen finals.

In the junior men’s section it was Bruce Mouat, Grant Barr, Ross Whyte, Cameron Bryce, Kyle Smith, Robert Tait, Stuart Taylor, Robin Brydone and Andrew Callander.

From the junior women’s section Jennifer Martin, Lesley Young, Karina Aitken, Fiona Spain, Gina Aitken, Katie Murray, Kirsty Paterson, Katie Wright and Amy MacDonald are through.

Congratulations to all the teams that made it – full details are here.

Stranraer was hosting the Double Rink Championship this weekend and the scorelines would suggest that Kilsyth ended Musketeers three-year reign as champions – a huge score of seven in one end of one of the final games sealing their win.

Scores are here.

One event I forgot to mention in my preview of the weekend’s action was the US Open International Wheelchair Bonspiel in Utica, New York where Team Scotland skipped by Aileen Neilson were playing.

Happily, I can report that they won the event – more great preparation ahead of Sochi. Details here.

The ICA was holding its Mixed Doubles Playdowns at Dumfries on Saturday and Sunday and this one was won by John Furey and Louise Kerr who will now represent Ireland at the World Mixed Doubles Championship also at Dumfries.

There was to be no fairytale for Katie Kerr on her transatlantic Irish curling adventure but she did make the semi-final with Alan Mitchell before losing out to the eventual winners.

All the reports from Dumfries are here.

Canada now has its two teams for the Winter Olympics after the Roar of the Rings came to an end on Sunday.

Jennifer Jones and her team won the women’s final in front of a home crowd in Winnipeg to seal their place in next year’s Winter Olympics – they saw off Sherry Middaugh’s team 8-4.

Despite being reigning Canadian champions, I don’t believe Brad Jacobs and his team were favourites by any stretch going into the men’s event but, sure enough, they came through the pre-trials and then the trials to earn the right to wear the maple leaf in Sochi.

Jacobs and his team beat John Morris 7-4 in the final.

All the stories from Winnipeg are here.

Images are © RCCC, ICA and CCA

Weekend Curling 6-8 December

The Scottish Junior Curling Championships got underway on Friday with the men’s and women’s qualifiers taking place in Perth.

This event that runs until Sunday sees the best under 21 curlers in the country trying to qualify for the finals in Aberdeen in January.

18 junior men’s teams and 11 junior women’s teams are in action with the top nine going through from each – the top three from each men’s section and the top four from the women’s plus a fifth place eliminator match for the final spot.

All the details of the event are here.

Kyle Smith and his World Junior Champions are in Perth and I would expect to see them qualify along with the likes of Bruce Mouat and Robin Brydone who have both had great seasons so far.

In the junior women’s section Lesley Young, Jennifer Martin, Katie Murray and Gina Aitken should safely progress but with a place at the Aberdeen finals at stake, expect the competition to be keenly fought.

Stranraer is hosting the Double Rink Championship from Friday until Sunday – sixteen teams are in this one.

Musketeers have won this title the last three years running and the other teams will be out to prevent a fourth success.

All the details are here.

The ICA are holding their Mixed Doubles Playdowns at Dumfries this Saturday and Sunday.

All the details of this event are here – the winners will return to Dumfries for the World Mixed Doubles Championship in April.

One story to come out of this event is the identity of one of the competitors.

As the draw says, Alan Mitchell is playing with one Katie Kerr who has travelled all the way from the United States to play in this competition – now that’s dedication.

California-based Katie is part of the ‘Bond Girls’ curling team but it is her Irish grandparents that give her eligibility to play in this weekend’s playdowns.

There is a full interview with Katie here on the ICA website – what a story and the very best of luck to her in Dumfries.

Don’t forget that the final weekend of Canada’s Olympic curling trials is upon us as the Roar of the Rings reaches its climax.

Follow all the action here.

In the men’s event Brad Jacobs, Kevin Martin and John Morris made it to the playoffs – Jacobs and his team went undefeated and are in the final while Martin and Morris, former teammates, play a semi-final.

The major casualty of the group stage was four-time World Champion Glenn Howard who managed just two wins and five losses.

The women’s event saw Jennifer Jones top the table with Rachel Homan in second. Sherry Middaugh and Chelsea Carey played a tiebreaker which Middaugh won meaning its an all-Ontario affair Homan v. Middaugh for the right to play Jones.

I’ll have a roundup of all of the above at the start of next week.

Images are © RCCC, ICA and CCA

Loose Ends – 10 September

I mentioned in my last post that there is a lot of World Curling Federation news – I will cover that in a separate post. Firstly, some things you might have missed…

The first Curling Champions Tour event of the season was played over the weekend of 30 August-1 September.

The Baden Masters in Baden, Switzerland featured twenty top men’s teams from Russia, Switzerland, France, Sweden, Latvia, Germany, Czech Republic, Denmark and Norway. Scotland were represented by Team David Murdoch and Canadian Brad Gushue made the trip to Europe with his team.

According to the teamlist on the event website, Team Murdoch were playing with David Murdoch at skip, Tom Brewster third, Greg Drummond second and Michael Goodfellow at lead.

It’s fair to say that the Scots didn’t enjoy a hugely successful trip to Switzerland, coming away with one win and three losses to finish fourteenth.

Brad Gushue and his team justified their trip from Canada by winning the final 4-3 against Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud.

For more information on the tour, the CCT website is here.

The Irish Curling Association are having an open-day later this month. Here’s some more information courtesy of Louise Kerr:

The Irish Curling Association is holding an open-day at Greenacres Ice Rink in Renfrewshire on Sunday 22 September for existing members and also for anyone wishing to join.

The refresher course/come-and-try day will run from 1100 until approximately 1500 with additional coaching and ice available from 1500-1700 for the especially keen.

The day will be structured with approved coaching drills to improve curling techniques, however it will also be a fun day suitable for all levels and to allow those attending time on the ice before the new season.

One of the other objectives of the day is to get curlers together at an early stage of the season to try and encourage more participants and teams for the various events on the ICA fixture list this season and indeed in seasons to come.

Open-day organiser, Johnjo Kenny, said: “This season the World Mixed Doubles and the World Seniors are taking place in Scotland in April 2014 and hopefully Ireland will have representatives in all categories. The men’s development and international squad are always looking for new recruits and we need to get a similar squad for a ladies team, if not to compete internationally this year then certainly in future years. The Mixed Playdowns are not until March or April 2014 so there is plenty of time to get your team in shape!”

The cost of participation will be in the region of £15 and places can be booked by emailing Johnjo at johnjokenny@btinternet.com or by calling on 01383 514075.

The third stop on this season’s Scottish Curling Tour is the Forfar Open and the organisers are still looking for entries.

Taking place from 11-13 October, there is also a ladies event. More details are available here.

Some RCCC news to finish this post.

There have already been two Assistant Coach Courses this season and there are more to come. If you want to get involved in coaching our sport then I highly recommend you get along to an RCCC course near you. More details can be found here.

Likewise, applications are now open for the RCCC’s Umpiring Course. Taking place in Dumfries at the end of this month, all you need to know about getting this qualification is here.

Scotland’s governing body have recently welcomed two new members of staff to their ranks. Rachael Lee becomes an Administrator while Jonathan Strandberg is the new Marketing Assistant. Best of luck to both of them and you can find out more about the new recruits here.

Club secretaries and treasurers should also take a look here at details of the RCCC’s Subscriptions and Insurance for this season.

Images are © CCT, Baden Masters, ICA, SCT and RCCC

Loose Ends – 11 August

A few points of interest this week as we rapidly approach the new season.

Louise Kerr from The Galloway Gazette (and Irish Senior Women’s player) has been in touch with a piece about Irish curling.

Ireland’s World Senior Men’s Champions 2012 (L-R): David Hume, Tony Tierney, David Whyte, Bill Gray, Johnjo Kenny

The Irish Curling Association celebrated its 20th birthday this year and can look back with pride on the achievements of its small band of curlers which includes a world title in 2012.

But, with most members in bus pass territory, the association is always keen to attract new curlers – of all ages, sizes, abilities and nationalities.

The ICA was only officially recognised by the World and European Curling Federations in 2003 but the nine years of international competition since have harvested one world title at senior level for the men; one gold, two silver and a bronze for the men at European B Division, plus an appearance at the men’s world championships, and a gold medal at European C Division for the ladies.

For the association’s talented and competitive members, regular international competition could become a pathway to representing Ireland at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

The players who represent Ireland in international competition are either born in Ireland, live in Ireland or have Irish parents and since 2011 the WCF rules mean that sometimes even an Irish grandparent may suffice to be eligible to compete in international events.

This small nucleus who fit the criteria required are fully supported by what could loosely be called the ‘ordinary’ members, those who cannot qualify but play in ICA competitions through the curling season. The fixture list consists of five one-day bonspiels at various ice rinks and a weekend competition at Stranraer that combines four games of curling with a dinner dance and fundraising raffle. There are also training days organised throughout the season to improve skills.

On the third weekend of January each year it’s the popular ‘Four Nations Weekend’ with on-ice battles between male, female and mixed teams from Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland. Although a step down in quality from official international competition, the players from each nation fight tooth and nail for each valuable point and the Four Nations has produced some terrific down-to-the-wire, nail-biting finishes over the years.

If you are interested in joining the Irish for serious competition or just for the chance to curl with a group of people who love the game – including its social side – contact Secretary Bill Gray at secretary@irish-curling.org

If you want to relive Ireland’s Senior Men winning gold in Denmark in 2012, then this video should do the trick.

The excellent Irish Curling Association website is here.

The latest Royal Caledonian Curling Club Annual is now available to buy from the RCCC website. You can find out how to order here – orders received on or before Saturday 31 August will get a discount.

The Curling History Blog has a new post about curling stone handle pouches – have a read here.

Finally, you may remember this story from June on the RCCC website about our sport being featured on the BBC programme Songs of Praise. The piece said that the episode in question would be broadcast sometime in August and, sure enough, it will air one week from today on Sunday 18 August at 1700 on BBC One.

Photo is © ICA 2012

Weekend Roundup 10-13 January

It’s Monday so it’s time to review what was happening in the world of curling this weekend.

The World Financial Group Continental Cup was won by Team North America (above). They beat Team World by 37 points to 23. This was Team North America’s fifth title and they now edge ahead of Team World who have won it four times. You can see the full points breakdown on the official event website here.

Photo is © Michael Burns/CCA 2013

The first weekend of qualifiers for The Co-operative Funeralcare Scottish Men’s Curling Championship was taking place in Perth. In Section A, Glen Muirhead and David Edwards are undefeated so far, Section B is topped by Warwick Smith and Grant Hardie who are also enjoying a 100% start while Section C sees only one team without a defeat – Kyle Smith.

Scores and standings from the weekend are here and here.

Dumfries was hosting the 2013 Skills Award Challenge – the report is here. Congratulations to George Ballantyne’s winning team.

The Bernese Ladies Cup was won by the Swiss team skipped by Silvana Tirinzoni. All the scores from the event are here. Scotland’s Hannah Fleming went out of the C Road on Saturday night to Sweden’s Anette Norberg while Lorna Vevers went out in the quarter-finals to the eventual winners.

The English Mixed Doubles Championship was being held at Fenton’s – this one was won by Ben Fowler and Hetty Garnier. You can read about the event here.

Finally, one event I didn’t have on my calendar was the Irish Senior Playdowns. The news from this one was that Johnjo Kenny and his team, World Senior champions from last season, will not be defending their title as they lost this qualifying event to Peter Wilson. The report is here.