Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Catching up on the Baljaffray

Thanks go to Ian Taylor for this photo of the winning team at the Greenacres U-17 competition at the weekend. L-R: Angus Dowell, Robert Fawns, Stuart Taylor and Duncan Menzies (skip) with the Baljaffray Trophy. You can find linescores here.

Ian provides this report, admitting himself that he's somewhat biased!

"Forfar Young Curlers had four teams travelling to the event and all four managed to qualify for the second day, which was a great achievement considering the age and experience of some of the teams. Lesley Young and her all girl team reached the quarterfinal of the low road but were defeated by a strong Stuart Marshall team. The other low road quarterfinal was the young Craig Joiner team against Sophie Jackson from Dumfries with three Forfar Young Curlers in her side. Craig won this exciting game 8-6 having pulled back from 5-0 down after two ends. Craig’s team ran out of steam in the semifinal but should take great pride it this achievement ahead of the Scottish Qualifiers where they have received a late entry.

Andrew Neilson beat young Ross Whyte (Great Whyte Shark) 5-4 in the final of the low road.

The Duncan Menzies team made it through to the high road semifinal undefeated where they met a very plucky young team from Stranraer skipped by Calum Lammie. Duncan eventually won 6-5 after an extra end. In the other semifinal Gina Aitken defeated Kyle Waddell 7-5. Kyle required a 2 to win in the final end but crashed on the guard trying a hit and lie on Gina’s stone in the four foot.

Duncan’s team were comfortable winners of the final to take the trophy home to Forfar."

Many thanks Ian, and a 'well done' to Duncan and his team, and all the competitors at Greenacres.

Almost a Grand Match: The Musketeers on Lake of Menteith

This is the front cover of a marvellous publication which records events earlier this year. The Grand Match planned for the Lake of Menteith on Tuesday, January 12, was cancelled on Health and Safety grounds. The disappointment was immense.

This did not stop small groups of keen curlers organising their own bonspiels on the loch, particularly on Sunday, January 10. At the heart of the rebellion were the 'Musketeers'!

The twenty page book is packed with great photos by Greg Forbes, and narrative by Paul Baughan. It has been privately published. There are a few copies available, with any profit going towards the Musketeers CC funds. Contact Alan Chalmers NOW, if you want to purchase a copy - his email address is chalmers32 /at/ Cost is £18 plus post and packaging.

It is a wonderful record of a great day on outside ice!

And with temperatures falling this week, and most of the winter still ahead, if any blogallies get the chance to curl outside, don't forget to send me the evidence and I will publish the photos here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

European Championships Beckon

The adverse weather presents a degree of uncertainty for those heading from Scotland for the European Championships which begin on Saturday. The teams and support staff are due to fly out on Wednesday. I trust they will get to Champery OK. I plan to travel to Switzerland with many others on Friday. Hopefully Edinburgh Airport will be open by then. Given the difficulties of escaping the capital this morning after my weekend at Murrayfield, this could be an interesting week!

In my emails is the 'official' release about the event. I'll reproduce this below. I see that games will be available to view on the Eurosport Player on your computer again, for a fee, if you don't have access to Eurosport on your TV. Definitely something for you to consider if you are not planning to be in Champery in person, or if any of us fail to make it through. I'm nothing if not a pessimist! Fingers crossed.

Here's the summary of what's ahead.

"CURLING: Champéry, Switzerland, ready to host 2010 Le Gruyère European Curling Championships

The 2010 Le Gruyère European Curling Championships for both men’s and women’s teams gets underway on Saturday 4th of December in Champéry, Switzerland. It is the 36th edition of the event since it began in Megève, France in 1975.

In both the men’s and women’s events, ten national teams will compete in the ‘A’ Group while a further ten women’s teams and sixteen men’s teams will compete in the ‘B’ Group.

Both reigning champion skips will be in Champéry at the Palladium Ice Hall to defend their titles. Sweden’s Niklas Edin won his first senior international title in Aberdeen last year while Germany’s Andrea Schöpp also won European gold in Aberdeen in 2009 – her seventh - before going on to win the women’s world championship title in Swift Current, Canada at the end of last season. This will be Schöpp’s 24th appearance at the European Championships, a new record which beats the 23 appearances made over the years by Norway’s Dordi Nordby.

Two former European champions are among the men’s skips – twice winner Andreas Kapp from Germany (1997, 1992) and Scotland’s Hammy McMillan - making a return in the blue of Scotland after an absence from the international arena of eight years. McMillan has won the European title a total of five times, including three successive wins in the mid-90s, making him the most successful men’s skip in European Championship history.

Also in the men’s ‘A’ Group are Norway, the in-form European team from last season with silver medals in both the Olympic Winter Games and 2010 world championships, led by Thomas Ulsrud.

2002 Olympic Bronze medallist, Christof Schwaller, leads Switzerland and 2009 World Junior Men’s Champion Rasmus Stjerne skips Denmark. Thomas Dufour and Jiri Snitil, familiar names from previous Championships, skip France and the Czech Republic.

The men’s ‘A’ Group is completed by two nations promoted from last year’s ‘B’ Group - Russia (skip Andrey Drozdov) and the Netherlands (skip Rob Vilain).

As well as Germany’s Andrea Schöpp, the women’s ‘A’ Group line-up includes Switzerland’s Mirjam Ott, who will be looking to improve on last season’s European silver medal, and world silver medallist Eve Muirhead from Scotland.

Stina Viktorsson skips the team representing Sweden and follows in some illustrious footsteps, not least double Olympic champion Anette Norberg. Liudmila Privivkova leads an experienced Russian team, four of whom won the European title in 2006. Lene Nielsen returns to the international scene skipping this year’s Danish team, while Ellen Vogt skips Finland and Linn Githmark is skip for Norway.

The two women’s teams promoted from last year’s ‘B’ Group are Latvia, making their nation’s debut at this level, skipped by Evita Regza, and The Netherlands, whose skip Shari Leibbrandt-Demmon will play lead stones.

The ‘B’ Group games will be played in the nearby town of Monthey at Verney Ice Rink.

The competing women’s teams there will be Austria, Czech Republic, England, Estonia, England, Hungary, Italy and Wales. They are joined by the two teams that topped the recent ‘Group C’ qualifying event in Scotland – Ireland, and making their debut in top international championship competition, Turkey.

The sixteen men’s ‘B’ Group teams will be split into two round-robin sections. They are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, England, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Spain and Wales. They are joined by the ‘Group C’ qualifiers Belarus and Slovakia.

Both ‘A’ and ‘B’ Groups will open with round-robin play on Saturday and, after tie-breakers on Thursday 9th December if needed, semi-finals and promotion challenge games (including a challenge from the top ‘B’ Group teams as they try to qualify for this season’s world championships). Medal games take place on Friday 10th for the ‘B’ Group and Saturday 11th December for ‘A’ Group.

Extensive televised coverage of the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships can be seen by viewers in Europe on Eurosport. Additional live and on demand coverage will be available via the internet on the Eurosport Player. Swiss Television TSR will also air daily live coverage of Swiss games. For more details of the TV and Web TV coverage schedule visit

SPECIAL OFFER: in Europe see for subscription details. The promo code: Curling2011.

Links to results can be found on the event website here. All results will be mirrored on the World Curling Federation (WCF) results database here.

Full team line up and schedules of play can be seen on the event website here and on the WCF site here."

If you are in a nostalgic mood, the blog from last year's event in Aberdeen is still online here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

That was the weekend

You may already have seen the results of my weekend at Edinburgh. If not, go here. Congratulations to Graham Shaw and his team of David Hay, Robin Niven and Kerr Drummond, the Edinburgh International Curling Champions 2010.

And a 'well done' Eve Muirhead, Kelly Wood, Jackie Lockhart and Annie Laird who reached the semifinal of the International ZO Tournament in Wetzikon, losing to the eventual winners Mirjam Ott, in an extra end.

I'm away from my computer until Monday evening. Look out for Kay Adams' weekend roundup on the Royal Club website here.

Edinburgh International

The blog for the Edinburgh International is here.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Behind another lens

I'm not the only photographer at the Edinburgh International Curling Championships today (see the EI blog here). Calder Benzies has been shooting the curlers too. I rather liked this one of the David Murdoch team in action!

Ross Hepburn is saying, "Where has the stone gone?"

Photo © Calder Benzies

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friends score eight-ender

I was delighted to hear that friends - or should I say graduates from coaching classes at Greenacres in the 1980s - have scored an eight ender. Which is more than I ever accomplished in my curling career!

It was apparently the first ever eight-ender for Abercorn CC, and it occurred during the John Cochrane match between Alan Cochrane and David Arkley at the Kinross rink at the Green Hotel on Tuesday, November 23. In the fourth end of the match, Alan's rink counted eight shots.

Congratulations to Alan and his rink of Laurie McKerrow, Alex McGill and Pam Paxton, in the photo above. And my best wishes to David and his team, who win the virtual 'Rhona Martin Try Harder Award' (in case you don't know, Rhona lost an eight in the same season that her rink won Olympic Gold).

Photo credit Harry Brodie

Curling IS an old man's game

I'm blogging here. (Click to link to the Edinburgh International blog)

Keith Prentice, Lockhart Steele, Robin Aitken and Tommy Fleming, Scottish Senior Champions, struck a blow for silver sliders everywhere this morning with a comprehensive victory over David Murdoch, Warwick Smith, Glen Muirhead and Ross Hepburn this morning at the Edinburgh International!

The results and standings are all here. Don't forget there's a webcast from the event here.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Curlwatching this weekend

There's lots of curling to keep your eyes on this weekend. Sarah Reid (above) takes her team of Kerry Barr, Kay Adams and Barbara McFarlane to the Curling Champions Tour event in Wetzikon this weekend. Kay, in her role as the Royal Club's Web Content Officer, has posted the details of where to find all the results from Switzerland in her weekend preview here. Eve Muirhead and Anna Sloan also have teams at the ZO International.

Kay's weekend preview also has detail of the third leg of the CCT Junior Tour in Thun, where Hannah Fleming, John Penny and Kyle Smith are the Scots teams in action, and of the Under-17 Slam at Greenacres for the Baljaffray trophy.

I'll be at Murrayfield with my camera this weekend for the Edinburgh International Championship, and blogging here.

In the meantime, if you want a little nostalgia, I've posted a clip from the 1986 Edinburgh International here. Just as they are this weekend, Hammy McMillan and David Smith were together twenty-four years ago, although David was the skip back then. Bob Martin's English side had difficulty buying a shot in this game! Commentary is from Brian Alderman and Gordon Muirhead. I have to apologise for the small size of the YouTube clip. What is different this time is that the ripped footage comes, not indirectly from an original VHS tape, but from a DVD which had already been converted professionally from a tape. I suspect that the resolution on this DVD is different from that on the DVDs I make myself. Anyway, thanks to Ken Horton for lending me this, and other DVDs from his own collection. Note that you can expand the YouTube clip using the button on the bottom right of the screen.

Sarah's photo is from last weekend in Aberdeen and is © Skip Cottage

Performance Director Appointed

The news this morning is that an appointment has been made to the key position in the performance curling strategy in Scotland, and for GB leading towards the next Olympics. There is a photo of Dave Crosbee, currently one of sportscotland Institute of Sport's High Performance Managers, here. He does not have a curling background, but has been involved in the sport at Institute level, see below. Although he does not officially take up his post until January, I believe he is involved this week on the interview panel for the three team coaches and the high performance coach (see here, and here).

Today's press release says, "British Curling in partnership with sportscotland and the Royal Caledonian Curling Club today announced the appointment of Dave Crosbee as Performance Director to lead the High Performance Curling Programme.

In his new role Dave will head up the new fully integrated British and Scottish Performance programme (Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair). Dave Crosbee has a strong background in performance sport. He spent five years as national coach in canoe slalom before joining the high performance team at the institute in 2003 as Head of Performance Planning and Coordination. In 2008, he took on the post of High Performance Manager with specific responsibility for key sports including curling, swimming and cycling. Over the past few years Dave has become very familiar with the specific demands of the curling programme, which will allow him to hit the ground running.

Speaking about his appetite for the challenges that lie ahead, Dave said, 'This programme is extremely important to Scotland and I am honoured to take up this position. I look forward to building on the past world class successes with the aim of delivering Olympic and Paralympic success in Sochi 2014.'

While the Scottish teams are concentrating on the immediate demands of the European Championships in Switzerland, the winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014 will provide the longer term focus for the GB programme and Dave’s appointment was welcomed by Mike Gillespie, Chair of British Curling, who said, 'British Curling is delighted with Dave Crosbee’s appointment as Performance Director. He brings a wealth of high performance experience to the sport of curling and we look forward to the leadership he will provide over the next four years as we work towards Sochi.'

Bruce Crawford, Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club is equally enthusiastic about the future direction for high performance curling in Scotland, 'We are developing strong partnerships in the high performance area of curling and Dave brings great skills and experience to lead this area for us all. He describes his focus as being athlete centered with the best coaches and support that we can collectively find. I look forward to working with Dave and his team of experts.'

Dave will take up his new post in January 2011 and will be joined by a new team of three head coaches. The programme currently receives investment from both UK Sport and sportscotland. It is anticipated that UK Sport will confirm its new investment for the 2010-2014 cycle in mid December and Dave Crosbee can plan his programme with the support of all partners."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Edinburgh Seniors

Bob Tait and Bob Smith acknowledge a good shot as Helen Burton, Alison MacLennan and Elaine Semple make sure that Jacqui Crawford's stone is in for two in their match in the Edinburgh International Seniors which began today.

Marion Craig and Catherine Raeburn discuss options.

There are more photos here, with the link to all the results. Sixteen teams are competing in four sections.

Photos © Skip Cottage

A Tale of Four Calendars

There will not be a Fire on Ice glamour calendar this year from Ana Arce, whose website is here. Some will be disappointed. Neither will there be a calendar from the Royal Caledonian Curling Club's Ladies Branch. This one never got off the drawing board. Now, before you get too excited by thoughts of Calendar Girls in blue blazers, I understand from talking with LB President Brenda Macintyre that the plans were for pics of outdoor curling! But, as I've said, it won't be on sale this year.

There is a 2011 Women of Curling calendar available thanks to George Karrys, publisher of The Curling News. The models, all thirteen from Canada, arranged for their own photos, and the proceeds will go to charity.

But there is calendar good news much nearer to home. Lynn Cameron's successful efforts last year in persuading some of Scotland's men to get their kit off for a good cause are continuing for 2011. Read last year's story here. Lynn is raising money for the charity Children with Leukaemia. She wants to thank all those who have sponsored a month in the new calendar, and her models of course!

Ice and a Slice 2011 will be on sale mid-December. You can contact Lynn now to reserve one: lynny999 at It could solve your stocking filler Xmas present problems, or it could be a good firstfooting gift at New Year! I'll have more details here on how to obtain one when it is published.

Of course, Skip Cottage Curling is a family blog, and we could not be condoning anything in bad taste! Photographer Brad Askew has let me have this photo of David Reid to promote the calendar. It gives you an idea of what to expect - tasteful photographs of handsome male curlers, in scenarios which reflect their careers or interests! Some of the models from last year are back again. Some are different. I can reveal that David is in the calendar, but with a different pic. Anyway, click on the image to make David bigger.

And get your wallets out.

Brad Askew Photography is here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Final Leg for Canadian Tourists

The Canadian women are in the final stages of their friendship tour to Scotland. Today they are at Greenacres. That's Olympian Rhona Martin throwing the first stone this morning, with Liz Knox and Christine Miller as the sweepers. I see from the results here that the visitors are well up overall.

Brenda Macintyre, Ladies Branch President, has been the courier and her regular blog reports (here) make a fine read, and form a good record of the tour.

Braehead and the Waterfront are the remaining stops.

Photo is courtesy of Hugh Stewart. Click on the image to see it in a larger size.

Eye on Murrayfield

My focus will be on the Murrayfield Rink from tomorrow when the Edinburgh Seniors International Championship gets underway there. The seniors play Wednesday and Thursday, and the Curling Champions Tour event begins on Friday. The finals of both events will be on Sunday.

You can find info about the webcast of the International on the event blog here.

The website for the draws and results is here.


Don't forget that this is official 'Hug a Curler' day. So if you are on the ice somewhere today, make sure you give all your team a hug, AND your opposition. Indeed, everyone in the rink! In fact, you don't even need to be curling. If you know a curler, you are required to give them a hug! Note that hugs are only valid between 07.00 and 22.00.

Hug a Curler Day is the brainwave of Brian Will who hails from Wisconsin, USA (I think). You can find more about it on Facebook here.

Virtual hugs are emanating from Skip Cottage today, so if you are reading the blog, consider yourself duly hugged. The Donate Button is on the sidebar if you would like to reciprocate!

Of course, some curlers have a head start when it comes to Hugs. Left is a pic of Claudia Hug, the Swiss second player at the World Junior Championships last season. "This is not an instruction," except today of course!

Claudia's pic is by Jim Law.

World Qualifiers from Pacific Region

China has won gold at this year’s Pacific Men’s Curling Championship, beating Korea 9-3 in the final in Uiseong, Korea. In the women’s event, the Korean women’s team won the gold medal game 10-7, beating Bingyu Wang and her team from China. Both finalists in each competition secured the World Curling Federation Pacific zone berths at the 2011 World Curling Championships.

Australia won the bronze medal in the men’s competition beating New Zealand 9-4. Japan won the women’s bronze medal with a win over New Zealand 7-4.

You can find more details and results here. And there are lots of photos of the competitions and presentations here.


1. CHINA (Skip: Fengchun Wang) - Gold & qualification for WMCC 2011
2. KOREA (Skip: Dong Keun Lee) - Silver & qualification for WMCC 2011
3. AUSTRALIA (Skip: Hugh Millikin) - Bronze
4. NEW ZEALAND (Skip: Sean Becker)
5. CHINESE TAIPEI (Skip: Randie Shen)
6. JAPAN (Skip: Makoto Tsuruga)

1. KOREA (Skip: Ji Sun Kim) - Gold & qualification for WWCC 2011
2. CHINA (Skip: Bingyu Wang) - Silver & qualification for WWCC 2011
3. JAPAN (Skip: Mayo Yamaura) - Bronze
4. NEW ZEALAND (Skip: Bridget Becker)
5. AUSTRALIA (Skip: Kim Forge)

Last word from Aberdeen

The success of the two Women's Tour events at Forfar and Aberdeen has been the result of the work of Judith McFarlane (above) and Kay Adams (below). The demise of the Mini Tour left a void for women's curling which these two had the courage and initiative to try to fill. Well done to them both. The Tour was not an official Royal Club event, although it received financial support from Ladies Branch. The cash prize for the overall winning team was £1000. There were individual prizes for the winners and runners-up of both events sponsored by Black Noir decorative glass.

Jeanette and Colin Galbraith travelled to Aberdeen from Durham to support the event and present the trophy (originally given for the Mini Tour, and now for the new Women's Tour) which bears the name of their son, also Colin, who was a promising young curler, no longer with us, but remembered by many. Jeanette and Colin are great company and it was good to meet up with them again!

I'm all for new things, and I think the Women's Tour accomplished much, bringing together junior and 'more senior' teams! I am sure both ends of the age spectrum, who don't often see each other on the ice, benefited from the experience. Helen King's team have said as much on their own blog (here), "The Ladies Tour has been a great competition and we have really enjoyed playing in it over the two weekends. A huge thanks has to go to Judith and all of the organisers for putting together such a fantastic event and we hope that it will continue next season."

I too hope that the Tour continues... and expands. There's lots of room for more entries next year, and even for teams from abroad, of any age!

And the results showed what can be accomplished, as well as highlighting - if I can be so bold - the inconsistency of play that is the particular problem in women's curling, in any age group. In theory, there's no way that a 'gaither-up' (skipped admittedly by the wiley Kay Gibb on her home ice) should have come away from Aberdeen second in their section with four wins, a peel and a loss. But successful the Aberdeen team was, as two National Academy teams in particular found out. Kay's loss came at the hands of the Tour winners. She is a past-president of Ladies Branch and now a Royal Club Board director. Good to see her in there fighting with 'the youngsters' on the ice!

Photos © Skip Cottage. See others in previous posts.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Supporting the club curler

One consequence of the demise of the Scottish Curler magazine is that there is no place to air significant 'club curler' news. A couple of items are in my emails today, so I thought to share them. That's Liz Nicoll, Audrey Laird, John Good and Sheila Nicol in the photo above. They were winners of the 'Aberlady Friendship Kettle', during Aberlady CC's 150th Anniversary Bonspiel on Saturday, November 20, at Murrayfield.

Mike Wood reports, "Aberlady fielded five rinks, and were joined by five visiting clubs, who share the same anniversary, Arbroath, Belmaduthy, Blairdrummond, Breadalbane Kenmore and Leswalt. These were abetted by two local guest rinks from the East Lothian President and Edinburgh Curling Club. A convivial day ensued, with games played in a spirit of great friendship and fun. The Aberlady Friendship Kettle was won by an Aberlady rink, consisting of Audrey Laird, John Good, Sheila Nicol and Liz Nicoll, with the overall competition going to the Edinburgh Curling Club rink of Robin Copland, Ann-Marie Ross, Ian Seath and Nancy Bews.

There was a moment of great poignancy at the prizegiving when Jean Cowan, the widow of the late Aberlady president, Donald Cowan, presented a beautiful president's badge to the current president, John Good. It was a splendid day, where all involved made many new friends. More photographs of the event can be found on our Flickr site here."

Thanks for this Mike.

Other news comes from Forfar Indoor Sports. The photo above shows Jonathen Smith (centre) handing over the trophies to the winners of the Ladies Open Pairs, sponsored by Colin M Smith and Panasonic. On the left are the Low Road winners, Anne Shaw and Lillian Carnegie, and the right the High Road Winners, Jo Fletcher and Lorraine Grieve.

The event was held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday last week with eight teams entered, playing in one big section. The ladies were all guaranteed five games, four in the round robin then high road and low road semifinal. Both finals were very well played with good shots played by everyone.

Jill Donald says, "We are always looking for more teams to enter so tell everyone to keep the date free (November 16-18) for next year." That's done, Jill. Everyone, put this event in your diaries!

The photo from Forfar is courtesy of David Hoskins of Photos on Location. The top pic from Murrayfield is courtesy of Mike Wood.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

More from Aberdeen

The final of the Women's Tour competition at Curl Aberdeen could not have been closer. What a good game it was! Here are a few photos I took today. Above, Gillian Howard delivers, with Judith McFarlane and Fiona Steele the sweepers.

Sarah Macintyre and Kim Brewster.

The competing skips, Jackie Lockhart and Gillian Howard.

Sarah Macintyre

Sarah's delivery

Fiona Steele

Sarah and Kim

Judith McFarlane

Anne Malcolm was the umpire.

Louise Soutar

Karen Kennedy

Kim Brewster

Jackie, in fine voice

And more subdued during delivery!

"I'll just take a munch out of Gillian's neck while she's not looking!"

Gillian watches her stone.

Your caption here..............

Pics © Skip Cottage

Women's Tour Final

Jeanette and Colin Galbraith present the Colin Galbraith Memorial Trophy to the Women's Tour Winners, (L-R) Jackie Lockhart, Karen Kennedy, Kim Brewster and Sarah Macintyre who were the best team over the two weekends at Forfar and Aberdeen.

The final of the Curl Aberdeen leg of the Women's Tour came down to the last stone of the final. With both teams tied on 5-5, Gillian Howard held the hammer. She used it to touch up her own, at an angle with perfect weight, to the button for the win. So here are this weekend's winners with Jeanette and Colin: Gillian Howard, Louise Soutar, Judith McFarlane and Fiona Steele.

The linescore is here.

Well done to both teams!

It is my plan to have more photos from the final here tomorrow.

Pics © Skip Cottage

Finalists at Curl Aberdeen

Here are the two teams that have just gone on to the ice to contest the final of the Women's Tour leg at Curl Aberdeen. Back L-R: Fiona Steele, Judith McFarlane, Louise Soutar and Gillian Howard (skip). Front: Sarah Macintyre, Kim Brewster, Karen Kennedy and Jackie Lockhart (skip). You can follow the linescore here.

Pic © Skip Cottage

English Celebrations at Aberdeen

Lorna Rettig has brought her English team of Suzie Law, Nicola Woodward and Kirsty Balfour to Aberdeen, an opportunity for practice prior to the Euro Championships. And just as they had in Forfar (see here), they had something to celebrate at Aberdeen.

Happy Birthday Lorna!

Pics © Skip Cottage

Howard in Final at Curl Aberdeen

Gillian Howard (above) and her team of Fiona Steele, Judith McFarlane and Louise Soutar are in the final of the Women's Tour at Curl Aberdeen, with one round robin game still to play. Team Howard has played five and won five in Section B. All the standings are here.

Jackie Lockhart and Kay Gibb are still in contention to be top of Section A.

Pic © Skip Cottage

Scottish Men's Pre-Qualifying at Lockerbie

Although I'm up in Aberdeen now, I did look in at Lockerbie yesterday on my way. The Bruadar Scottish Men's Championship Pre-Qualifying Competition is winding up there this weekend. You can find all the standings here. The top five teams in each of the three sections will go forward to the next stage in the competition, joining the five which, for one reason or another, did not need to take part in the prequalifying event.

That's Graham Shaw, with Robin Niven and David Hay, in the photo above. Going into their last game this morning (Sunday), the Shaw team (with Brian Binnie at third) were still fighting to secure their place in the top twenty. In Section B, Tom Brewster and John Penny were undefeated after five games, and both have qualified.

Ally Fraser, Logan Gray, Sandy Reid and John Hamilton are all through from Section A, with one place still to be decided today.

Alan Smith and Iain Watt ponder options. The Watt team beat Andy Cameron's side in their match yesterday and have secured their place in the next stage of the Scottish. Indeed, section C is already all decided with Andy's team the only one eliminated from the six.

This is coach Keith Prentice, with Jay McWilliam's junior team who have qualified for the next stage of the Scottish too, from Section C. What is Keith is saying to the team at the fifth end break? Something along the lines of, "If ........... don't.... I ..... ... this bottle .............. ...!" As usual, other captions are available.

As well as Watt and McWilliam, Duncan Fernie (undefeated), Lee McLeary and Alan Gillies are through from this section.

Pics © Skip Cottage

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Team of the Day at Curl Aberdeen

Right, so they may not be getting the results they want on the ice, but I see considerable improvement since I began to watch the Lauren Baxter team. So tonight then, they are 'Team of the Day' at Curl Aberdeen. This is Lead, Claire Dagen.

Second, Dionne Clark.

Third, Maggie Wilson.

And Skip, Lauren Baxter.

You'll just have to shout at them louder, Lauren!

Photos © Skip Cottage

Women's Tour at Curl Aberdeen

So here we are in California, singing along to Scott McKenzie (here). Actually, I'm in Curl Aberdeen for the second leg of the Women's Tour. Fourteen teams in two sections. This is Rebecca Steven (with flowers in her hair), and all the standings are here. And if you were wondering... December 1967! Forty-three years ago. I was twenty.

Gail Munro and her team won the first leg at Forfar. They've dropped a game though this weekend.

Judith Carr has a local team in the event this time.

And she was up against Rebecca tonight.

Lorna Rettig's English side is back again... although I seem to have caught Suzie Law trying to make herself throw up! Captions anyone?

Anna Sloan is here with her 'senior' team. That's Rhiann Macleod and Vicki Adams ready to sweep in the pic above.

And it's good to see Claire Hamilton on the ice with the team again, at third. That's Hazel Smith in front.

Jennifer Martin, with Lyndsay Wilson and Gail Munro behind.

Scariest photo of the day! Lyndsay Wilson.

Royal Club Board Director Kay Gibb has a team in the event this weekend and doing well with three wins.

Kay pipped Lauren Gray's team tonight. All the scores are here.

Pics are © Skip Cottage