It bills itself as the World's Greatest Open Air Curling Tournament. The forty-fourth Coppa Romana will be held January 8-11, in Silvaplana, in the east of Switzerland. Seventy-six teams are lined up for this year's event, see here. I'm just hoping that the photo on the programme cover (above) is not an example of a new style of curling team uniform. That might indeed be taking 'colourful curling' a step too far.
Or maybe not.
Seriously, there are lots of photos from last year's event here, and I've even discovered some video of the 2010 competition here. Looks like great fun.
I know what you're thinking. "What about Scotland's Grand Match?" This was last held of course in 1979. Certainly, the conditions were such that the Match could have been held in each of the last two years, but, as has been discussed fully, the necessary permits and permissions were not in place then, and the opportunities passed by. This year, according to Royal Club Board Member Trevor Dodds, featured on national television, everything is in place should conditions be right this season for the Match to go ahead on Piper Dam.
I cannot confirm this. Yes, the Royal Club's Grand Match Committee met on November 15, 2011, see here, but the minutes of this meeting 'will be posted once they have been ratified'! Ratifying minutes is a long and difficult task, apparently part of our governing body's policy to ensure that members don't learn in a timely fashion what it is doing. Shame, really.
Not that it makes much difference, as this mild winter passes by. Time yet of course, although the latest date that a Grand Match has ever been held was on February 15, see here.