Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Latvian Selection

They were queued three deep at the Volvo Sporta Centrs for the final games of the Reform Bonspiel in Riga, Latvia.

It perhaps comes as little surprise that neither of the finalists were from Scotland. Team Hanza Real Estate came out on top in the championship (!) game, Sandris Buholcs (above) skipping his team to victory (photo here).

Runners-up were the Lassie and Three Laddies team skipped by Renars Freidensons, above.

Hanza in discussion. These guys took the game as seriously as if they were playing in the World final!

Except sometimes. It's what every skip needs - a cuddle from your third player when things are not going well!

More final action.

Now, those who are followers of my perambulations will know I've taken hundreds of pics this weekend. You can see the Reform curlers every Thursday evening at Greenacres, so here just are some of the colourful Latvian curlers I had the privilege of meeting these past few days.

I'm even going to make an exception to my rule about black garbed curlers. Kitija Zake brings an elegance to the ice as lead for Team Aurice.

Ieva Berzina is certainly colourful.

Gints Caune not only made the ice, but competed in the competition with Team Force.

Gints' wife Liga demonstrates secret Team Aurice communication signals.

Normunds Kalnins

Janis (John) Laizans

Ieva Stauere

Maija Prozorovica, flanked by Silards Stakans and Gints Caune.

Team Nike - Anete Zabere, Dace Regza and Aivars Gavars.

Team Nike skip, Ansis Regza

Iluta Linde

Iveta Stasa-Sarune will skip the Latvian Ladies' team at the Le Gruyere European Championships in Aberdeen.

Una Grava-Germane is on that team too.

As is Dace Munca!

And so is Ieva Krusta. Ieva brought a cue along for me so I could take part in a singles match against Chuck, from the USA, which diplomatically ended 1-1. Fortunately no photos are extant from this significant event.

Vineta Smilga is now a Reform Club member with husband Karlis, who skipped a Scottish team with Michael and Helen Burton, to win the Reform Touring Club trophy.

OK, just one pic of a Reform member then. This is Jim Jamieson, a colourful character at the best of times, modelling our new uniform!

Seriously, we have had just the best time in Riga. Everyone has been so friendly and hospitable. Friendships have been made. Put Latvia on your 'must visit' list. I certainly hope I will be back.

Pics by Bobs