Sunday, July 04, 2010

World Junior Championships: a look forward and back

The committee for the 2011 World Junior Curling Championships, to be held at the Dewar's Centre, Perth, is already hard at work. The event will be held from Saturday March 5 to Sunday March 13, 2011.

I am looking forward already to the championships. Eight months will no doubt pass very quickly! Indeed, life goes past very quickly. It hardly seems like yesterday when I was watching the 1976 Uniroyal World Junior Curling Championship, held in Aviemore in February of that year. This was the second 'official' world junior event. The first had been at East York, Ontario, the previous year. Just for the boys then. The first world junior event for the girls did not take place until 1988.

The records for the Aviemore championship event can be found within the World Curling Federation website here.

From the WCF records, here are the names of those who took part:
Canada: Paul Gowsell (skip), Neil Houston, Glen Jackson and Kelly Stearne.
Denmark: Tommy Stjerne (skip), Oluf Olsen, Peter Andersen and Steen Hansen.
France: Claude Feige (skip), Jean-Louis Sibuet, Christian Marin-Pache and Marc Sibuet.
Germany: Hans Dieter Kiesel (skip), Rainer Schöpp, Wolfgang Artinger and Norbert Petrasch.
Italy: Massimo Alvera (skip), Franco Sovilla, Fabio Bovolenta and Marco Lorenzi.
Norway: Sjur Loen (skip), Morten Søgaard, Hans Bekkelund and Roar Rise.
Scotland: Bob Kelly (skip), Ken Horton, Willie Jamieson and Keith Douglas.
Sweden: Jan Ullsten (skip), Mats Nyberg, Anders Grahn and Bo Söderström.
Switzerland: Jean-Claude Stettler (skip), Marcel Ruefli, Hans Peter Ringli and Christoph Stiep.
USA: Donald Barcome Jr (skip, Dale Mueller, Gary Mueller and Earl Barcome.

One challenge for any of us interested in the history of curling is to preserve images of the sport. I have already posted, on the Curling History Blog here, some photos from 1976. What about video? In the digital age this has become easier to produce, and share online. But back in 1976 the visual record of the world event was in the form of a 16mm reel to reel promotional film brought out by the sponsor, Uniroyal.

Two years ago Bob Kelly (the skip of the Scottish team in 1976, and now a director on the board of the Royal Club) lent me a VHS tape, converted from the film. I was able to further convert the tape to DVD. Last week I finally learned enough to be able to rip the contents of the DVD into a form that could be imported into iMovie. That allowed me to edit the footage a little on my computer, really just cutting out the traditional distillery trip and tourism distractions from the actual curling. I've today uploaded the results, in three parts, to YouTube, and you can view these by following the links.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

Part 3 is here.

The clips are unlisted and can only be accessed from the links, and shouldn't appear on a YouTube or external search. Or you can watch the clips embedded below. Each runs for 8-10 minutes.

The quality is not great, given the history! But I must admit that I find footage like this compulsive viewing. Memories of the Aviemore ice rink, long gone now. I particularly like watching some of the young European teams using the corn broom. Then of course there are the Canadians. Paul Gowsell is a legend in the sport! The commentary is by Bob Picken, a friend who is another curling legend in my eyes.

What stopped me in my tracks though, was to see the shots of the fans in the stands. Many are no longer with us - Philip Moore was a Glasgow young curler, sadly killed in a car accident. There he is, on screen. And there are others too. This is a tribute to them.

But some audience shots made me smile! There's even one of me. When I had hair!

Part 1 is the round robin:

Part 2 is the semifinals:

Part 3 is the final and the presentations: