Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fenton's Here I Come

I've visited every curling rink in Scotland but, to my embarrassment, I have never set foot in England's sole dedicated curling facility, Fenton's Rink in Kent.

That will be rectified this weekend as I plan to visit the rink when the Four Nations is on. I'll have my camera with me, of course.

It's not that I haven't followed our sport south of the border. The Scottish Curler featured a monthly column from John Brown in the seven years when I was Editor, and John continues to keep us up to date on what's happening in Toothy Tales. Recently he posted extensively from Prague at the European Junior Challenge. I was interested in how the English juniors performed. I met them when they played at the Lockerbie Junior event in December.

Minnie Garnier has sent me the photo below of some of the English youngsters, on their return from competing in Prague. The girls came sixth and the boys ninth, under the guidance of their coaches John Brown and Greg Dunn. They were sponsored by Kent Reliance Building Society.

The teams were: Girls - Anna Fowler (skip - not in photo as she was already back at university), Hetty Garnier, Naomi Robinson, Lauren Pearce and Angharad Ward. Boys - Ben Fowler (skip), Harry Mallowes, Ben Alexander (not in photo as back at uni), Oliver Kendall and Matt Spicer. Photo courtesy of Minnie Garnier.

A rink is only as healthy as its juniors, as I've said before, so every success to the growth of junior curling at Fenton's.

Now, I know what your next question will be. And no, I've not yet visited the Deeside Leisure Centre in Queensferry, Wales. However, I did find this recent YouTube footage here, which gives an idea of what it is like.

What else is there to follow this weekend? The second weekend of the Bruadar Scottish Men's Qualifiers is on in Perth. But only for Section A. Section B is on NEXT weekend. The draw, the results and the standings can be found here.

The Glynhill Ladies' International is at Braehead. Chistine and Hugh Stewart are the 'guest bloggers' for this. The event website is here.

Team North America with the Continental Cup. Photo credit: CCA/Michael Burns. Lots more photos here.

I haven't mentioned on the blog that Team World got completely flattened by North America in last weekend's Continental Cup. I did try to watch some of this from Aberdeen, but had no success in getting the webcast to work either with Firefox or with Safari on my Mac. Sandy Morton on Millport watched some of it and says it became embarrassing, so maybe it is as well that I couldn't connect. (Athough I would value some tech input into why I was unable to.)

Here are a couple of links which might give you a flavour. I enjoyed reading the Curling Librarian's behind-the-scenes thoughts and photos from the event here.

And World Curling TV now has its own YouTube channel. See here for an example, or click on the image below.

But do explore all the WCTV YouTube offerings (see here). Lots of archive footage is going up. I expect I'll be spending some time looking at it all in the weeks ahead!

Speaking of David Murdoch, his team (just who will no doubt become clear) is competing in the Casino Rama Skins event in Ontario. This is the big money competition which his team won last year. Murdoch v world champion Kevin Koe is one semifinal on Saturday. The battle of the sexes is the other, matching Kevin Martin against Cheryl Bernard, see here.