Thursday, April 14, 2011

World Seniors and Mixed Doubles

The final World Curling Federation championships of the 2010-2011 season get underway on Sunday, April 17, when Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA, plays host to the 2011 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship and the 2011 World Seniors Curling Championships.

The two events will run until Saturday, April 23, and will be staged simultaneously in the historic eight-sheeter St Paul Curling Club which was originally founded in 1888 and is currently the largest curling club in the United States.

The Mixed Doubles World Curling Championship is now into its fourth year, having been inaugurated in Vierumaki, Finland in 2008 and then held in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy in 2009 and last year in Chelyabinsk, Russia.

Altogether twenty-four nations will participate in the Mixed Doubles event in St Paul: Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and hosts USA.

The twenty-four teams will play in three groups. Scotland is represented by Paul Stevenson and Louise Soutar who won the Scottish Mixed Doubles Championship in December. Their photo is here. (We like the trews!) They are in the same group as Austria, China, Czech Republic, France, Latvia, Spain and USA. First up is Latvia on Sunday. The draw is here.

This is the tenth edition of formally-sanctioned WCF World Senior Curling Championships. Altogether twenty-one senior men’s teams and eleven senior women’s teams will be competing in eight-end games.

The nations represented in the men’s event are: Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, USA and Wales. The senior men will play in three groups, the same competition format as the Mixed Doubles.

Ken Horton, Gordon Butler, Angus Storrie and Eddie Binks will represent Scotland. The team photo is here. They are in a group with England, France, Hungary, Japan, Netherlands and USA. The draw is here. They play the Netherlands at 08.00 local time on Sunday and France later in the day.

The nations involved in the women’s event are: Canada, Czech Republic, England, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland and USA. These eleven teams will be in one group and will play a single round robin. Linda Young, Margaret Scott, Hazel Swankie and Fiona DeVries are Scotland's representatives. Liz Horton is alternate. The team photo is here. England is the first opposition, and Japan next. The draw is here.

In both the Mixed Doubles and Seniors events the round robin play leads to quarterfinals on Friday 22, with semifinals and medal games being staged on Saturday 23.

Let's hope there are no natural disasters this year. Last year’s Mixed Doubles and Senior World Championships in Chelyabinsk, Russia, were affected by the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud with a number of teams, including Scotland, not being able to make it to compete.

The website for both competitions is here.