Thursday, September 30, 2010
I'll be keeping my eye on Arlesheim, where three Scottish teams, skipped by Tom Brewster, David Murdoch and Ally Fraser, are among the thirty-two teams entered in the Swiss Cup Basel. It's the first competitive outing for Scottish Junior Champion Ally's new team of Blair Fraser (3rd), Thomas Sloan (2nd) and Kerr Drummond (lead). Great experience for them.
The Curling Champions Tour event is triple knockout with first games tomorrow (Friday) at 09.30, leading to quarterfinals on Sunday. Semifinals and final are not until Monday (08:15 and 12:15). Look out for webcasting too on the Laola1 TV site.
The event website is here for the draw and results.
I plan to look in at the Braehead rink to see how the Braehead Open competition translates into a weekend format. I hope too that the organisers have found another rink to fill in for the one that withdrew.
The same problem, a late call off, has beset the organisers at Forfar. There is now one space in the Forfar Open next Friday and Saturday (October 8-9). Contact the Forfar rink (details here) if your team would like to take part, or for more information you can email Jill Macdonald at the rink (jill /at/forfarindoorsports.co.uk).
I mention this today as the rink prepares to open for a new season on Saturday morning, October 2 - forty years of curling in the North West Castle Hotel rink. The Stranraer Ice Rink Curling Club has organised four sessions of curling over the day with 32 teams representing the majority of Clubs who support the rink taking part in an Anniversary Bonspiel.
In the evening there is to be a dinner, with guest speaker, Robin Copland, followed by dancing.
And there's more. Gail Munro says, "We firmly believe that the Juniors are the future of the Club and they have their own bonspiel on Sunday 3rd October starting at 10am with further sessions at 12pm and 2pm; a total of 96 players will mark the start of the next 40 years."
I first played at Stranraer in a weekend competition in season 1971-72. The David Horton team had a great time both on and off the ice and we were made very welcome, a welcome that continued over the years. We made many friends on that first visit. Indeed one of these friendships (with Johnny and May McFadzean, from Airylick, Port William) led to me being 18,000 feet up in the Himalayas some years later, as well as having many fun weekends on the ice in the 1980s. But that's another story!
Many great curlers have emerged from Stranraer! Let's join the celebrations today with the first of 'Great Hammy Moments' from the video archive. This dates from 1999 in Saint John, New Brunswick, the final of the Ford Men's World Championship. Canada was represented by Jeff Stoughton (skip), Jonathan Mead, Garry Vandenberghe and Doug Armstrong. Hammy McMillan's Scottish team was Warwick Smith, Ewan MacDonald and Pete Loudon.
This was a Canadian (CBC) feed broadcast by the BBC, retaining the Canadian commentary, Don Duguid and Don Wittman (and with the late Sandra Schmirler, I've also learned now). Kirsty Letton once again supplied the original VHS tape. I've edited just ten minutes from the game, see here, or click on the image below.
I hope you enjoy this 'great sporting moment'! And look out among the fans for Hammy snr and wife Janet, complete with knitting!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Wheels were first introduced to the ice at the Peak a year ago (see here), and the Stirling Wheelchair Curling Club will become a member of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club next month, the tenth such wheelchair club to be affiliated. That's Logan on the left in the photo above.
On the day I visited, Sheila Swan, the Royal Club's Adult and Disabilities Development Manager, was on hand to help with several curlers attracted to a 'Come and Try' session. One thing I did learn was that it is no easier managing a first time wheelchair curler than it is their able bodied counterparts!
Great to see so many wheels on the ice at the Peak. Coaches Sylvia Barclay and Fiona Glass were there to make it all happen.
There were even visitors from up the road. Maria Duncan was a visitor from the Kinross Wheelchair Curling Club, keen to get some practice and instruction as the season gets underway.
Did I say 'keen'? There cannot be many keener than Neil Hogg. He saw curling on a news programme on the box last year, came for a try, and has hardly been off the ice since!
John Fyfe is on the cue in this pic. I enjoyed my visit, and wish Stirling, and all the other wheelchair curling clubs, every success and 'good curling' this season.
It may be that out of these grass roots that our future Paralympians will come. I note that British Curling is seeking a registration of interest from any athletes within the UK who wish to be considered for the future Great Britain Paralympic Curling Squad. A series of events has been established to identify the best athletes in the country who may represent Great Britain at future Paralympic games. The details are here.
The countries that missed out were Turkey, Serbia, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Iceland
Silver medal winners, Belarus: (L-R) Dmitry Kirillov, Dmitry Yarko, Pavel Petrov and Ilya Kozlovski.
Photos courtesy of Hugh Stewart
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Braehead Curling Rink will host the Camp between Monday October 11 and Wednesday October 13, 9.30am and 3pm each day.
One teenager, Stuart Cannell, 13, from Renfrew, is encouraging young people to give curling a try. Stuart himself has been curling for four years and says, “It’s great fun and you get to meet lots of people from different places when you play. It’s a young person’s sport and a lot of people my age play curling. I would say that young people should come along to the Curling Camp and give it a try. They might find that they like curling just as much as I do.”
The three-day Braehead Curling Camp is open to youngsters between 10 and 16 and costs £60.
The young people taking part will receive curling lessons from qualified coaches and also get the chance to play in a special tournament on the final day with certificates and prizes. Campers should bring their own packed lunch and wear a pair of clean trainers with soles that have a good grip and wear loose-fitting trousers – not jeans – and a warm jumper!
The details are online here. To book a place at the Curling Camp, call 0141 885 4611. You can also enrol by visiting the Curling Office at Braehead between 9am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.
Sounds fun, and a great idea. May I ask anyone reading this in the Glasgow/Renfrewshire area in particular to spread the word!
Top photo of coaching at the Braehead Rink is courtesy of David Horne
The plaque acknowledging sportscotland's contribution.
Rhona Martin was invited to throw the opening stone at the newly refurbished rink.
Photos are courtesy of Ian Mackin
... and to Oznur Polat (fourth), Aysun Ergin (skip), Seyda Zengin (second), Melis Akyildiz (lead), Burcu Pehlivan (alternate)
All the event results can be found here.
These photos are courtesy of Hugh Stewart
New Zealand's curling's first ever 'Cash Bonspiel' was won by a team skipped by Pete, who is now in Wellington, along with three curlers from the Auckland Curling Club: third Iain Craig, second Kenny Thomson and lead Haymon Keeler. Kenny will be known to many blogallies too. Well done guys!
Five teams took part in this inaugural cashspiel last weekend at the Dunedin Ice Stadium. You can read more about it here. Top flight events like this can only help progress the elite side of the game in NZ.
Thanks to our special New Zealand correspondent for this post!
A PS added later: Two blogallies have been in touch to say that Iain Craig is the son of Julia Craig who plays with Troon Portland CC. Iain learned to curl with TPCC Juniors at the Ayr rink before going to Edinburgh University, where he played with the University team and also with Corstorphine CC.
Monday, September 27, 2010
The linescores can be found here. Slovakia, Croatia and Serbia are the countries which missed out.
The seven country men's qualification is ongoing.
The Champery website is here.
Team Turkey, on their way to a win over Ireland on Saturday. There's another pic of the girls in the Photo of the Month page above (or here).
Team Ireland. That's skip Carolyn Hibberd delivering, with Hazel Gormley Leahy and Mel Porter ready to sweep. Louise Kerr is in the head. Dare I just mention that Carolyn and I first met when we competed in the schoolboy (yes, really) curling league at Crossmyloof in the early 1960s, and she is a member now of Reform CC! Well done ladies.
Photos © Skip Cottage
He says, "The competition has attracted a very high standard of team and we presently have 31 out of a maximum of 32 teams."
If you have an interest in filling this slot then please reply ASAP to Gary at firstname.lastname@example.org. Teams are guaranteed four games at least, and the entry is £120.
The times of play for the first two games are 8.30pm Friday and 10.30am Saturday. It is an open competition with special prizes in the following categories: under 25s, best overseas, seniors, ladies, and Braehead members!
Sunday, September 26, 2010
David Murdoch made it though the quarterfinals but lost to Niklas Edin in the semi, the Swedish side going on to win the event.
Eve Muirhead and her junior team notched up a considerable scalp by beating Canada's Jennifer Jones in the quarters. The girls led Mirjam Ott at the half way stage of the semi, but finished down 6-4. Ott won the competition.
All the results are here.
For a flavour of the event, you could watch some of the archived webcasts from Laola1 Curling Channel. Or click the image below which is from the Linn Githmark - Eve Muirhead game.
Duncan Menzies with Stuart Taylor, Robert Fawns and Angus Dowell finished third, edging Andrew Neilson, John Ballantyne, Graeme Allan and Mark Guthrie into fourth place.
Stuart Marshall, James Carswell, Euan Dagen and Angus Bennie beat Ross Whyte, Zack Stewart, Gregor McMillan and Christopher Howat in the Low Road 3-4 playoff, at the last stone of an extra end.
Thomas Muirhead won the singles competition, with Ross Fraser the runner-up.
Photos © Skip Cottage
Here they are. Back (l-r): Burcu Pehlivan (alternate), Ilhan Osmanagaoglu (alternate), Didem Deniz (assistant coach, translator), Brian Gray (coach). Front (l-r): Ali Osman Sahin (2nd), Aysun Ergin (3rd), Kadir Cakir (4th), Oznur Polat (lead).
All pics © Skip Cottage, except the last which is courtesy of Brian Gray
Saturday, September 25, 2010
I'll get down the road from Greenacres soon, once I've seen a little of the European Championship C Group on the ice, but it will probably be tomorrow (pm?) before I have more pics from the final session here on the blog. Please check back then.
Photo © Skip Cottage
Germany won the bronze. In a game tied at 4-4 in the eighth, England's skip Alan MacDougall was just a fraction short trying to hide his last and Rainer Schoepp and his team had no need to play their final stone.
It's Scotland v Switzerland in the final this afternoon. England will play Germany for the bronze.
Photos © Skip Cottage