Monday, April 25, 2011

Summer Time

More blogging, that's what we need. Do you follow Danny Lamoureux's Business of Curling articles on the Canadian Curling Association website? I enjoyed this one from Resby Coutts, and that is where this illustration of a 'different' house comes from. Where is the club? I want to join.

Now that the World Seniors and Mixed Doubles Championships in Saint Paul are over, Skip Cottage Curling will revert to a 'summer schedule'. That's not to say there won't be any posts in the weeks ahead - curling really doesn't disappear over the summer - just that you should not expect to find something new every day on the blog!

Before I head for the garden and various other train spotting activities, let me just tidy up a couple of things that are on my desk.

The Third Stirling Summer Skins will take place August 5-7 at The Peak, Stirling. The competition is run in a skins format and is open to all abilities. Organiser Logan Gray reminds me that in 2009 he had twenty-one teams, and last year there were thirty teams. You can see a little bit of the fun if you look back here, here, and here.

This year Logan hopes to reach a capacity of 36 'colourful' teams. The popular competition is now cemented as one of the great social events of the summer curling calendar in Europe. The competition is open to anyone - last year there were Olympic players and world champions competing with virtual club curlers and wheelchair curlers. There truly is something for everyone. Entry costs £200, although you will of course recover money through the skins format.

If you are interested in entering please contact Logan at:

And if you are just getting withdrawal symptoms, curling ice is available at the Peak Wednesdays and Thursday mornings 10am-12.30pm, until Thursday 23rd June. Ice is available for practice, club outings, private coaching or corporate bookings.

In the 'catching up on what happened', David Aitken reports that the Ninth International Junior Club Curling Bonspiel was held at Murrayfield, April 1-3. Twenty-eight teams from Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Norway, Italy, England and Scotland enjoyed a festival of curling, social, and cultural events.

The competition opened on Friday night with a memorable opening ceremony. The teams were piped onto the ice parading club banners and their national flags. Deputy Lord Provost Rob Munn made welcome remarks and stood in the head for the opening stone which was thrown by Tom Killin - gold medallist in the 2008 World Wheelchair Championships and silver medallist in 2010. Kerry Barr and Robin Aitken - gold medallists at Junior and Senior World Championships - swept the stone to the button. All the teams enjoyed a welcome meal at the ice rink and each team introduced their players.

The teams were divided into the A and B Leagues with fourteen teams in each. There were four Schenkel games to determine the top six teams in each. A final game was played to determine the winner and rankings within each league.

The A-League started at 08:00. Lausanne’s Isabella Maillard edged past Michael Reid’s team from Galleon 4-3 in a top class game, while the reigning Swiss Junior Champions Manuela Siegrist lost to the Italian team from Pinerola. Gogar 1 team skipped by Karen Munro edge past the Swiss team from Luserna. And Craig Joiner had an excellent win over Camille Crottaz from Geneva. The Canadian boys team scored an 8-5 win over a young Gogar 2 team skipped by David Baird.

In the second round, the Canadians skipped by Evan Sheppard from Mindemoya beat the team from Norway skipped by Wilhelm Naessjr, and Isabella Maillard also enjoyed a second win along with Aylin Lutz from Baden-Hills, Germany. However, when the Canadians came up against the Swiss girls in the third round it was the Isabella Maillard who came out on top. Meanwhile David Baird’s team scored a noteable win over Manuela Siegrist.

The B-League, the two Italian teams from Lago Santo opened with good wins, along with the teams from Lausanne, Obersdorf, and Oppdal from Norway. And after the second round, both Italians remained undefeated along with Obersdorf and Arlesheim. The pick of the 3rd round games was a 6-6 tie between Obersdorf and Lausanne. Meanwhile the Italians continued their winning ways against the Ayr team skipped by Kirsty Morton, and the Arlesheim team skipped by Fabian Leutwiler.

All teams were treated to an open top bus tour of Edinburgh on Saturday afternoon, which went down very well, even with the Scottish teams! Another evening meal was laid on at the ice rink for all players, coaches and spectators. An amazing 185 were catered for and all enjoyed an excellent dinner. The evening finished with a ceilidh where the visiting teams were challenged to learn some new skills.

The final league game for the A-League saw Lausanne’s Isabella Maillard beat the Germans from Baden Hills, and Michael Reid won 8-3 against the Canadians. David Baird won against the Norwegian team to qualify for the final game.

And in the B-League the two teams from Lago Santo played each other and drew 4-4. Obersdorf and Lausanne also won, as did Gogar 3 skipped by Naomi Brown who beat Ayr 1. So the final game in League A saw the Switzerland’s Isabella Maillard have a rematch against Germany’s Aylin Lutz, and she maintained her impressive unbeaten record and lifted the title by winning 5-3. Michael Rid beat the Pinerolo team 10-7, and David Baird had a rematch against Evan Sheppard from Mindemoya and lost 8-3.

In the B-League, the Italian girls from Lago-Santo 2 beat Obersdorf’s Andy Buttner, and the Italian boys from Lago-Santo beat the Norwegian team skipped by Ola Hindseth. Lausanne’s Adrian Timofte beat Arlesheim’s Benjamin Sommerhalder in the final game.

At the closing ceremony David Aitken introduced the prizewinners who were presented with their prizes by Anne-Marie Ross and Marjorie Kidd. All players received a framed photograph of the Opening Ceremony and were given commemorative teeshirts which had all participants' names printed on the back. The sportsmanship prizes voted by all the players were won by Anna Fowler, and Bastian Wyss.

Full Results and photographs can be found here. Taking the photos was Bob Kelly. Welcome back Bob to the ranks of the curling snappers! David has sent me a full disk of Bob's pics, and excellent they are too. Here are three that jumped out at me.

I liked this unusual composition.

Fashion statement from the Italian team!

This would be a caption competition had the Scottish Curler still been in existence!

One further thing I must do. That is to thank all those who have supported me in different ways this season. Thank you all!

And a special thank you to this group, the Irish squad in Saint Paul:

I mentioned already that the Irish seniors teams were sponsored by Albert Bartlett. I also liked the daily blog, written by Louise Kerr, see here.

More blogging, that's what we need!

Have a great summer everyone.

PS: The Capreol Club is/was a two sheeter in Northern Ontario. Can anyone tell me if it is still active? Curling and heritage steam. What more could one want!

Irish pic courtesy of Leslie Ingram-Brown.