Category Archives: World Curling Tour

Weekend Roundup 17-19 October

I am out of the country from tomorrow so I thought I’d get in a roundup of this weekend’s action before I go.

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The European Playdowns in Perth proved to be very exciting and we now know which teams will be representing Scotland in Champéry, Switzerland at the end of next month.

The women’s event was won by Eve Muirhead after she won all four round-robin games and then beat Lauren Gray twice in the final round to secure her team’s place at the Europeans.

Hannah Fleming’s team lost all their games in Perth – not something we are used to seeing from the young skip.

The men’s competition, meanwhile, went right to the wire after David Murdoch qualified from the round-robin alongside David Edwards, the latter needing a tie-breaker against Tom Brewster on Saturday afternoon.

So the best-of-three final was between David Murdoch and David Edwards and it was Edwards who won the first game 6-4 before Murdoch took the event to a deciding game with a 5-4 victory on Sunday morning. The teams met for the crucial decider in the afternoon and it was 6-6 after ten ends meaning the place in Switzerland would come down to an extra-end, Murdoch with hammer.

Sensationally, Team Edwards stole a two against Team GB’s Winter Olympic Skip from Sochi and earned themselves a well-deserved place at the upcoming European Championships – well done boys!

All the scores are here and you can read a report with pictures of the winning teams here.

The European Junior Curling Tour was in Oslo, Norway this weekend for the International Junior Bonspiel.

All four teams from the Royal Caledonian Curling Club’s Academy were in attendance – that’s rinks skipped by Cameron Bryce, Robin Brydone, Karina Aitken and Katie Murray.

Twelve junior men’s and fifteen junior women’s teams from Norway, Russia, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Sweden were taking part alongside the Scottish representatives.

Despite Karina Aitken scoring a seven in one of her team’s games it was Katie Murray and Robin Brydone who managed to make the quarter-finals – Karina missed out in a tie-breaker.

Ultimately the quarter-finals proved to be as far as any of the Scottish teams would go but great to see them making the latter stages of these tournaments. Switzerland’s Yannick Schwaller took the junior men’s title while Isabella Wranå of Sweden won the junior women’s tournament.

Full results are here.

Finally, Kyle Smith and his team are in Canada just now for the World Curling Tour’s Canad Inns Men’s Classic in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.

As I type, they are fighting to stay in the tournament against Reid Carruthers of Winnipeg – watch this space to find out how they get on.

Event scores and lineups are here.

Images are © WCF, CCT and WCT

Weekend Roundup 19-21 September

The European Mixed Curling Championship came to an end on Saturday in Tårnby, Denmark and my last report saw the event heading into the semi-finals – here’s how they panned out:

Norway 5-4 Scotland
Sweden 4-2 Switzerland

This meant that Scotland dropped to the bronze medal game where they would play Switzerland while Norway and Sweden contested the final.

The bronze game was close all the way but the Swiss were able to make better use of last stone advantage and they came away with a 7-5 win in a match that featured no steals.

By contrast, the gold game was virtually over before it started as Sweden took a 5-0 lead against Norway after two ends thanks to a steal of four in the second – the game ended 9-2 after six ends.

Sweden become the sixth nation to win the European Mixed and also the last as next season sees a World Mixed Championship being added to the calendar.

Pictures from the final day’s play are here.

Officially, the ‘home’ nations finished in the following positions (out of 25 teams):

4 – Scotland
14 – England
18 – Wales

Reports on all of Scotland’s games can be found here.

Teams Muirhead and Murdoch were in World Curling Tour action over the weekend at the Shorty Jenkins Classic in Brockville, Ontario.

Team Murdoch won four and lost one to make the playoffs where they faced Team Adam Casey of Prince Edward Island in the quarter-finals but they would go no further as the Canadians took it 6-3. The men’s event was won by Olympic Champions Team Brad Jacobs from Ontario who beat the aforementioned Casey 7-1 in just four ends.

Team Muirhead, like Team Murdoch, won four and lost one to qualify for the playoffs and after seeing off Ontario’s Rachel Homan 6-4 a place in the final was their reward.

Another Ontario team, skipped by Sherry Middaugh, were the opponents and despite Eve and the girls battling back from 4-1 down to lead 5-4 it was a four for Team Middaugh in the seventh that killed it and the Canadians won 8-5.

All the men’s scores from Brockville are here and the women’s are here.

Finally, the first leg of the Curling Champions Tour’s European Junior Curling Tour, the Braehead Junior International was taking place in Glasgow.

It may have been the advantage of home ice but Scotland came away with both the boys’ and girls’ titles at Braehead as well as both third-place spots – well done all!

Bruce Mouat and his team of Duncan Menzies, Derrick Sloan and Angus Dowell saw off reigning World Junior Champion Yannick Schwaller from Switzerland 4-3 after an extra end while Gina Aitken’s team of Naomi Brown, Rowena Kerr and Rachel Hannen beat Switzerland’s Elena Stern 6-5.

Pictures of the winning teams can be found here.

Cameron Bryce and Karina Aitken claimed third place in the boys’ and girls’ events respectively.

Not a bad weekend’s work for Scotland’s junior teams I’m sure you will agree.

Images are © WCF, WCT and CCT

Weekend Curling 19-21 September

Two of Scotland’s teams find themselves in Canada this weekend for the Shorty Jenkins Classic – a World Curling Tour event in Brockville, Ontario.

Play got underway on Thursday with the final games scheduled for Sunday.

Sochi Team GB skip David Murdoch is there with Greg Drummond, Scott Andrews and Michael Goodfellow and they find themselves in a formidable field of 24 teams from around the world – look out for the likes of de Cruz, Edin, Gushue, Howard, Jacobs, Ménard, Michel and Stoughton.

Oh and don’t forget Dumfries-born William Lyburn playing with his Winnipeg, Manitoba team.

Team Murdoch started with a defeat (10-5) to Ontario’s Mark Kean but bounced back with a 6-4 win against another team from Ontario, skipped by Jeff McCrady, despite being 4-2 down going into the seventh.

Their third game is against Rob Rumfeldt from (you guessed it) Ontario and you can watch it LIVE here right now.

Keep track of all the scores from the event here.

In the women’s competition, Eve Muirhead is skipping the only non-Canadian team in a field of twelve which includes Rachel Homan.

If you weren’t already aware, Eve has a slightly different team to the one we have been used to seeing for the past few seasons after lead player Claire Hamilton decided not to continue with the team for the 2014-15 season.

You can read Claire’s statement here (scroll to 1 May) and I’m sure we all wish her well in any future endeavours.

EDIT: Andy Macpherson got in touch with a link that should shed some light on what Claire is up to now – it looks like she is swapping the brush for a bike!

Team Muirhead’s new lead player is a familiar face in the form of Sarah Reid – read what she said of the move here (scroll to 15 August).

Sarah made her first international appearance ten years ago skipping Scotland at the World Juniors where she finished seventh but just three years later she won the event with a certain Eve Muirhead at third. Sarah was also alternate for Eve when she won silver at the Women’s Worlds in 2010 and the same colour medal at the Europeans in 2012.

So back to the here and now where the new Team Muirhead started with a 6-3 win against Lauren Mann of Quebec which was followed up by a big 10-1 win in five ends against another Quebec team, skipped by Kimberly Mastine – a steal of five in the fifth ended the game.

Their next game is against Ontario’s Lisa Farnell and you can follow all the scores from Brockville here.

The first leg of the European Junior Curling Tour, part of the Curling Champions Tour, begins this weekend with the Braehead Junior International in Glasgow.

Ten junior men’s and six junior women’s teams are competing including nine from Scotland, five from Switzerland and two from Sweden – disappointing numbers given the event was hoping to attract twelve teams of each gender.

Scores are nowhere to be found on any of the official sources but Forfar Young Curlers’ Facebook profile is doing a grand job of keeping us all up to date – the final games at Braehead are on Sunday.

Images are © WCT and CCT

Scotland On Tour

Having been in Switzerland last weekend for the Baden Masters, Team Murdoch now find themselves in Oakville, Ontario, Canada for the Stu Sells Oakville Tankard.

This event began on Thursday 4 September and features thirty men’s teams from around the world – Edin, McEwen, Ménard and Shuster should be familiar names as well as our own Olympic medallists.

David Murdoch and his team of Greg Drummond, Scott Andrews and Michael Goodfellow were drawn in a group with two teams from the USA, John Shuster and Greg Eigner, as well as two Canadian teams skipped by Chris Gardner and Dumfries-born William Lyburn.

Happily, Team Murdoch won all four of their group games:

4-2 v. Lyburn
5-3 v. Shuster
7-2 v. Gardner
8-2 v. Eigner

A great effort so far and in doing so they have made it to Sunday’s quarter-finals, opponent as yet unknown.

To follow all the action, check out the WCT event page here.

EDIT: Team Murdoch saw off Niklas Edin’s Swedish outfit in the quarters but lost out to Team Epping of Canada in the semi-finals. The event was won by Mike McEwen.

Also, as you can see here, a Scottish team came fourth in the weekend’s wheelchair curling Danish Cup – Gregor Ewan, Robert McPherson, John Doyle and Hugh Nibloe were the players involved.

Image is © WCT

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

Weekend Roundup 28-30 March

Did you know that Winter Olympic bronze medallists Team Muirhead were in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada over the weekend playing in the Pomeroy Inn & Suites Prairie Showdown?

Neither did I until I spotted some information about the draw on Claire Hamilton’s Twitter feed. There was no mention of this event whatsoever on the RCCC’s website so here’s a little review of how they got on.

The event was running from Thursday 27 to Sunday 30 and saw 16 top women’s teams competing including the likes of Chelsea Carey, Sherry Middaugh, Heather Nedohin and Silvana Tirinzoni

Eve and the girls enjoyed five straight wins in the competition, including victories against the aforementioned Canadian outfits of Middaugh, Carey and Nedohin, to progress to the final against Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni – an all-European final in Canada, great stuff!

Sadly, a sixth win was beyond Team Muirhead as they lost 7-2 in six ends but what a great effort so late in the season. In two weeks they will be defending their Players’ Championship title in Summerside, Prince Edward Island – watch this space to see how they get on.

All the scores and stats from Grande Prairie are here.

Back home, Braehead was hosting the National Virtual Club Challenge but I am unable to find any scores or details of winners.

Can anyone out there assist?

EDIT: Braehead won the event on home ice and the RCCC now have a report available here but I also got an email from the winning skip who compiled her own review:

The event was won by a Braehead team of skip Kirstie Meikle, third Gordon Whitelaw, second Margaret MacAulay and lead Madeleine Sharp who were unbeaten all day. They beat another Braehead outfit (skip Eleanor MacDougal, third David Shanks, second Alan Barker and lead Tim Tindall) in the final.

It was a great day with lots of good play across the board and loads of new friendships forged which is how it should be! There are even one or two ‘challenge’ matches being talked about between some clubs for next season to help each other out!

We stole a two in the opening end then Eleanor drew well to take a single in the second but the third end was really what decided it. We had a couple of stones go awry, Alan Barker and Alan Shanks punished us with excellent shots and they were sitting three when I played my first. I tried for an in-off but was too narrow with the ice and went sailing through a gap. Eleanor then elected to put another one in rather than guard but it went deep so I just readjusted the ice to play the in-off again to sit almost on the button and take a single.

In the final end everyone was tiring and we were concentrating on just minimising what Eleanor’s team could do. Gordon Whitelaw played a good takeout with his first stone followed by a lovely draw behind the front guards with his second. I was a little too far in with my guard leaving Eleanor a chance but her shot was wide and we took the win 6-1, a score that flattered to be honest.

As I was playing, it is hard to give any information on any of the other games as the only one I saw was in our break session when I watched a really good quality game between Kinross and Lockerbie which Kinross came out on top in. Lockerbie had the youngest player of the day in young Robbie and it was brilliant to see how much he was enjoying himself – and he played well too!

Ayr’s skip, Chris, had the wackiest head gear of the day with a sheep’s head hat and the cheesiest opponent I came across would have to go to Sandy of Dundee – the Dundee team were fantastic company.

Gordon Whitelaw and Glenn Nash have been working hard behind the scenes to get sponsorship and prizes and the event was sponsored on the day by George Leslie with a trophy and lovely keepsakes from Kays.

There are some pictures of me on the day wearing a hard hat – I landed myself in hospital after knocking myself out on the ice a couple of weeks before the event so Gordon decided I needed extra protection!

Many thanks to Kirstie for her report and congratulations to her team.

Murrayfield was the venue for the Edinburgh International Curlers’ Gathering and again, I can’t find out who was victorious in this one, but it certainly looks like a lot of fun was had if the Murrayfield Facebook pictures are anything to go by.

EDIT: Debbie Kerr said it was an excellent weekend as always and provided me with some information about how the event went. I’ll summarise:

Group A – Trevolution (Switzerland) and overall winners
Group B – T.I.T.S (The Ice Technicians)
Group C – Union (Russia)
Group D – Rock Stars (Canada)
Group E – DAFS
Group F – Midcalder
Group G – Ambassodoren (Switzerland)

The Friendship Quaich went to Awesomesauce (The Netherlands).

Finally, the Canadian Senior Curling Championships concluded in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories over the weekend.

Nova Scotia, skipped by Alan O’Leary, won their province’s first Senior Men’s title while Lois Fowler took the Senior Women’s crown back to Manitoba for the first time since 1983.

They will represent Canada at the 2015 World Seniors at a venue so far unannounced by the WCF.

Images are © WCT, RCCC and CCA

Weekend Roundup 13-15 December

The Olympic Qualification Event came to an end on Sunday in Füssen, Germany and we now know who will be on the plane to Sochi in 2014.

In the men’s event Germany and the USA booked their places while in the women’s event China and Japan ensured that two more Pacific-Asia teams will be in Russia.

Full details of all the games in Füssen are here.

The Red Sky Challenge event at Braehead was won by Mirjam Ott and her Swiss team – they beat Eve Muirhead and the Team GB girls 11-5 in Sunday morning’s final. In fact, Ott’s team won every game they played over the weekend.

I popped down to catch some of the action on Saturday – pictures to follow.

All the scores are here.

Bruce Mouat and Gina Aitken successfully defended their Scottish Mixed Doubles Curling title in Perth over the weekend. They won all their games to earn the right to represent Scotland at the World Mixed Doubles Championship in Dumfries in April.

All the scores are here.

The Kinross Open, the penultimate event on this season Scottish Curling Tour, was won by David Edwards who saw off Grant Hardie 6-1 in Sunday’s final – this now puts Team Edwards top of the leaderboard with one event to go just ahead of Ross McCleary (assuming I’ve done the maths correctly…)

Scores from the weekend are here.

The third Under 17 Slam was being held in Hamilton on Saturday and Sunday – this one was won by Ross Whyte and his team who beat Robin McCall 6-4 in the final.

Cameron McNay won the Low Road final.

All the scores are here.

David Murdoch and his team made the playoffs at the Curl Mesabi Classic in Eveleth, Minnesota, USA over the weekend.

Having won three and lost one in their group, Team Murdoch secured a quarter-final berth against Ontario’s Trevor Bonot. 3-2 down going into the sixth, the Scots lost a big six which killed the game and knocked them out of the competition.

Bryan Burgess beat European Champion Sven Michel 7-2 after just five ends in the final.

All the scores from Eveleth are here.

Don’t forget that Team GB’s curlers are still involved at the 2013 Winter Universiade.

Kyle Smith and his junior men’s team finished the round-robin with a W6 L3 record to make the playoffs – these begin on Thursday and sees GB taking on Canada.

In the women’s event Hannah Fleming and her team also completed the round-robin on W6 L3 to get a playoff spot against Russia.

Follow the action here.

Images are © WCF, Red Sky Management, RCCC, SCT, WCT and FISU.

Weekend Curling 13-15 December

There is a lot happening in the world of curling this weekend and as you may have gathered from my social media posts I have been moving house hence the lack of content of late.

But fear not! I have an internet connection and I am ready to write once again even if I can’t find my favourite curling/blogging mug for now…

We start in Füssen, Germany where the Olympic Qualification Event is taking place ahead of next year’s Winter Olympics.

This competition began on Tuesday and will conclude on Sunday – it’s the first time such an event has been held before a Winter Olympics.

Eight men’s and seven women’s teams are fighting for the last two places in their respective curling events in Sochi in February. Here’s who is in Füssen:

Men’s teams – Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, USA
Women’s teams – China, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Norway

They are all playing for the right to join the following teams in Sochi:

Men’s teams – Canada, Sweden, Great Britain, Norway, Denmark, China, Switzerland, Russia
Women’s teams – Sweden, Switzerland, Great Britain, Canada, USA, Denmark, Korea, Russia

You can follow all the latest from Füssen here on the official event website and you can watch some of the games live here on the WCF’s YouTube channel.

Now for an event that continues with the Olympic theme but one that had little publicity until very recently.

The Red Sky Challenge might not mean much to you and until 10 days ago I had no knowledge of this event whatsoever.

Sounds mysterious I know so I’d better explain what it’s all about.

Red Sky are a sports management company who look after, among others, Eve Muirhead and her team and they are sponsoring a pre-Olympic challenge event at Braehead arranged by Team GB’s 2002 Olympic Champion Rhona Martin.

The event, which began on Thursday and concludes on Sunday, features four women’s teams who are all heading to Sochi – Great Britain, USA, Sweden and Switzerland.

The games at Braehead are mirroring Olympic conditions to give the teams some top-level practice.

With Eve Muirhead, Mirjam Ott, Erika Brown and Cissi Ostlund all here in Scotland to strut their stuff ahead of Sochi you would think that this event would have been given top billing and the curling community informed about a real spectacle but this does not seem to be the case.

Someone who works at Braehead told me that the event was seemingly kept a secret and that they didn’t know why.

So before this turns into a rant about curling not being given the publicity it deserves, get down to Braehead and watch! Or failing that, games are being streamed according to this post on the Curl Braehead website.

I’ll be heading to Glasgow on Saturday to catch Eve and the girls against Sweden – they are on two wins and one loss so far.

More information about the event is here.

The international curling just keeps coming as Trentino, Italy is currently hosting the 2013 Winter Universiade.

Held every two years, this is the 26th edition of the winter equivalent of the World University Games and some of Scotland’s top young curlers are in Italy representing Great Britain.

Thomas Muirhead, Derrick Sloan, Cameron Smith, Kyle Smith and Kyle Waddell are in the men’s event while Abigail Brown, Jennifer Dodds, Hannah Fleming, Lauren Gray and Alice Spence feature in the women’s.

Cate Brewster, Dave Ramsay and Debbie Knox are in Italy as the coaching team – the RCCC has a full rundown of the Great Britain team here.

After three games, both of Great Britain’s teams have two wins and one loss – follow the action here.

Some domestic action now.

The Scottish Mixed Doubles Curling Championship is taking place in Perth this weekend with sixteen teams in attendance.

Last year’s winners Gina Aitken and Bruce Mouat are back to defend their title – the winners will represent Scotland at the World Mixed Doubles Championship in Dumfries in April.

All the information is here.

The Scottish Curling Tour makes its penultimate stop of the season with the Kinross Open this weekend.

Sixteen teams are fighting for tour points – event information is here and scores are here.

One of the linescores from Friday night suggests that Ewan MacDonald beat Kay Adams 21-5 after seven ends! Can anyone confirm this huge scoreline?

EDIT: I had the scoreline confirmed by Stuart Brand although it was Kate Adams not Kay – apologies.

Finally from a domestic point of view, the third Under 17 Slam is taking place on Saturday and Sunday at Lanarkshire Ice Rink, Hamilton.

24 teams are playing in six sections and you can follow their progress here.

Last but not least, Team Murdoch are in World Curling Tour action in the United States just now at the Curl Mesabi Classic in Eveleth, Minnesota.

They are one of three non-North American teams at the event along with Sven Michel and his European Champions from Switzerland and David Misun from Slovakia.

David Murdoch and the boys have won their first two games and are leading Kent Beadle 4-1 after three ends as I type.

Follow their progress here.

I spotted this tweet from David – it looks like the team are enjoying their pre-Christmas trip abroad!

Images are © WCF, Red Sky Management, FISU, RCCC, SCT and WCT

Weekend Roundup 1-3 November

A quick roundup of what was happening this weekend – I have some more content to come…

The fifth event on this season’s Scottish Curling Tour was taking place over the weekend.

The Inverness Skins was won by Team Ross McCleary who beat Keith Prentice in the final to claim their second tour title.

All the scores from Inverness are here and a picture of the winning team is here.

The Masters of Curling in Abbotsford, British Columbia came to an end at the weekend with both Scottish teams reaching the playoffs.

David Murdoch and his team enjoyed three wins and just one loss in the group stage of this grand slam event to earn a quarter-final berth against Jeff Stoughton.

This battle of the two-time world champions was won by the Canadians, however, who took it 6-4.

Glenn Howard’s Ontario team won the event – all the scores are here.

It was another Ontario team, skipped by Rachel Homan, that stood in the way of Eve Muirhead and her team picking up another tour title but it wasn’t to be for the world champions who went down 7-5.

Overall, another great effort from the girls.

There is only about a year’s age difference between Eve and Rachel Homan and people are already talking about a great rivalry in women’s curling between the two – long may it continue!

All the women’s results from Abbotsford can be found here.

Images are © SCT and WCT

Weekend Curling 1-3 November

The Scottish Curling Tour is already halfway through and this weekend it makes a stop in the Highlands for the Inverness Skins.

The event began this morning (Friday) with the finals scheduled for Sunday.

24 teams are taking part – the draw is here.

For results and tour standings, keep an eye on the official website here.

Don’t forget that Team Muirhead and Team Murdoch are in Canada just now at the Masters of Curling in Abbotsford, British Columbia.

Team Murdoch are looking good to make the playoffs but for Team Muirhead, nothing less than a win in their final group game will do.

Follow the men’s event here and the women’s event here.

Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud (above) and his team are playing at the Masters and have caused something of an internet sensation and not just because of those fantastic trousers!

Ulsrud played this shot against Canada’s two-time world champion Jeff Stoughton – a raise quad takeout to take a two.

It wasn’t enough though, Ulsrud lost the game 7-5.

Images are © SCT and WCT