The challenge I face with any photography session at a curling competition is to convey a flavour of what's happening on the ice. I find it particularly difficult in pairs or mixed doubles to get photos that show more than one person of each team. Sometimes I get lucky and get a photo such as the above, with all four players in shot. Perhaps this would have been slightly better from a fashion point of view if it had not been a trailer for Men in Black! Cathryn Guthrie and Greig Smith, and John and Liz Paul are the actors.
So did this mean that the Braehead Open Mixed Doubles was a dull drab affair?
Most certainly not. Ali Guthrie was modelling the absolute latest in curling fashion, 2010!
A Polish contingent added glamour to the event, which was run over two evenings. L-R: Zuzanna Rybicka, Justyna Matusiak, Zuzanna Sliwinska, Aleksandra Majecka and Adela Walczak.
The visitors paired up with local curlers. Here are Adela and Gary Cannell.
Justyna Matusiak played with Robbie Stewart. That's them at the back as Aleksandra Majecka watches her partner's stone.
Aleksandra was partnered with Gary Macfarlane. Several have commented that this is a rare photo of Gary smiling! (BTW Gary's own blog is online again, if you would like to follow more of his Rwandan adventures, see here. It's a long time since I've been called 'Curly' Cowan).
Anyway, congratulations to Gary and local CDO David Horne for running a great event.
Aileen Neilson and partner Michael McCreadie took part and the wheelie pair won the 'Best Braehead' team prize.
John Sharp and Jane Clark were using the event as preparation for the English Mixed Doubles Championship.
As were brother and sister Sam and Anna Fowler, here behind Zuzanna Sliwinska who was playing with Stewart Walker. The English pair took away the fourth prize!
Scary! Karen Kennedy and Graham Shedden. Placed third.
Here are the two teams which faced off for the six-end final. L-R: Gavid Fleming and Hannah Fleming, Andrew Craigie and Anna Sloan.
What a good game it turned out to be, Andrew Craigie's colourful gear not proving to be any distraction! The teams were evenly matched and went into the last end with the score tied.
The Flemings held the last stone, but of course, in mixed doubles, it can be hard to convert that to your advantage. Hannah was playing the first and last stones, and so it fell to her to play the deciding stone of the match. It was a difficult one, a raise takeout, at an angle. She made the shot, but the shooter rolled just a fraction too far, and the money (£500) went to their opposition.
The presentation photo is here.
Pics © Skip Cottage