Wednesday, April 07, 2010

WCF politics in Cortina

Here, courtesy of Hugh Stewart, is the Scotland squad who are doing so well at the Capital One World Men's Curling Championship in Cortina. Back L-R: David Murdoch (alternate), Alan Smith (Team Coach), Derek Brown (National Coach). Front: Ross Hepburn (lead), Craig Wilson (second), David Smith (skip and third) and Warwick Smith (fourth).

With seven games played, Scotland have six wins and one loss. It's a great record. All the results and stats can be found here. And Mike Haggerty's reports are on the RCCC website here. The team have yet to play USA, Italy, Japan and Switzerland.

The arena is in a splendid setting. Off the ice though, things are not all sweetness and light. Today is a big day for the World Curling Federation as delegates gather for the Annual General Meeting. Rodger Schmidt, writing for The Curling News Blog has actually penned the words 'Black Wednesday'.

A number of rule changes will be voted on, such as a move to eight ends, getting rid of extra ends, and timeouts, and tiebreakers, and a change to using 'thinking time' rather than 'playing time'. More in this CP article here.

But that's not all.

Here are the current WCF president, Les Harrison, and vice-president, Kate Caithness, in a photo I took at Fussen some two years ago. Things are not so friendly these days. It is hard to believe that Kate is standing against Les for the presidency. Kate's nomination was put forward by the Royal Club. The election is today. I am not privvy to the reasons behind this move to oust the standing president of the Federation, called by Rodger Schmidt a 'hostile takeover', see here.

Les has been involved with the organisation for some thirteen years, and that, perhaps, might be significant - the simple need for change in a sport that is facing massive challenges in the years ahead. Politics, politics! It will be interesting to hear what happens today. Will we have a new WCF president, or not?

Top two photos are courtesy of Hugh Stewart. The photo of Les and Kate is mine.