Saturday, April 30, 2011

Behind the Glass

Robin Copland has his final Behind the Glass comment of the season, see here, or click on the link in the sidebar on the right.

Thanks Copey for entertaining us again this season. And we are truly sorry about your calculator!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Vernon 3

The latest on the Vernon case is here.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Vernon 2

There's more on the Vernon case, which is being held at the Court of Session, Edinburgh, in front of Lord Doherty, in a second Scotsman piece here.

The story is also being reported by other media, for example, the online STV site, here. This article is accompanied by a photo of a 'Curling stone'. In fact the pic is of a Canadian 'iron' sitting on outside ice, which shows how little the editor of that piece knows about the sport. Ignorance? Or just taking the Mickey?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Final Toothy Tale of the Season

John Brown looks back at the 2010-11 season from an English perspective, see here, or click on the Toothy Tales link on the right.

Many thanks John for your contributions and for adding interest to the blog this year!

Vernon in Court

It may be more than three years since the World Women's Curling Championship in Vernon, but the events which led to a Scottish team taking to the ice then with just three players are back in the public gaze.

Gail Munro is suing Derek Brown over his assertions that she refused to play for her country. It is all happening this week at the Court of Session in Edinburgh. The Scotsman has the report of the first day here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Summer Time

More blogging, that's what we need. Do you follow Danny Lamoureux's Business of Curling articles on the Canadian Curling Association website? I enjoyed this one from Resby Coutts, and that is where this illustration of a 'different' house comes from. Where is the club? I want to join.

Now that the World Seniors and Mixed Doubles Championships in Saint Paul are over, Skip Cottage Curling will revert to a 'summer schedule'. That's not to say there won't be any posts in the weeks ahead - curling really doesn't disappear over the summer - just that you should not expect to find something new every day on the blog!

Before I head for the garden and various other train spotting activities, let me just tidy up a couple of things that are on my desk.

The Third Stirling Summer Skins will take place August 5-7 at The Peak, Stirling. The competition is run in a skins format and is open to all abilities. Organiser Logan Gray reminds me that in 2009 he had twenty-one teams, and last year there were thirty teams. You can see a little bit of the fun if you look back here, here, and here.

This year Logan hopes to reach a capacity of 36 'colourful' teams. The popular competition is now cemented as one of the great social events of the summer curling calendar in Europe. The competition is open to anyone - last year there were Olympic players and world champions competing with virtual club curlers and wheelchair curlers. There truly is something for everyone. Entry costs £200, although you will of course recover money through the skins format.

If you are interested in entering please contact Logan at:

And if you are just getting withdrawal symptoms, curling ice is available at the Peak Wednesdays and Thursday mornings 10am-12.30pm, until Thursday 23rd June. Ice is available for practice, club outings, private coaching or corporate bookings.

In the 'catching up on what happened', David Aitken reports that the Ninth International Junior Club Curling Bonspiel was held at Murrayfield, April 1-3. Twenty-eight teams from Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Norway, Italy, England and Scotland enjoyed a festival of curling, social, and cultural events.

The competition opened on Friday night with a memorable opening ceremony. The teams were piped onto the ice parading club banners and their national flags. Deputy Lord Provost Rob Munn made welcome remarks and stood in the head for the opening stone which was thrown by Tom Killin - gold medallist in the 2008 World Wheelchair Championships and silver medallist in 2010. Kerry Barr and Robin Aitken - gold medallists at Junior and Senior World Championships - swept the stone to the button. All the teams enjoyed a welcome meal at the ice rink and each team introduced their players.

The teams were divided into the A and B Leagues with fourteen teams in each. There were four Schenkel games to determine the top six teams in each. A final game was played to determine the winner and rankings within each league.

The A-League started at 08:00. Lausanne’s Isabella Maillard edged past Michael Reid’s team from Galleon 4-3 in a top class game, while the reigning Swiss Junior Champions Manuela Siegrist lost to the Italian team from Pinerola. Gogar 1 team skipped by Karen Munro edge past the Swiss team from Luserna. And Craig Joiner had an excellent win over Camille Crottaz from Geneva. The Canadian boys team scored an 8-5 win over a young Gogar 2 team skipped by David Baird.

In the second round, the Canadians skipped by Evan Sheppard from Mindemoya beat the team from Norway skipped by Wilhelm Naessjr, and Isabella Maillard also enjoyed a second win along with Aylin Lutz from Baden-Hills, Germany. However, when the Canadians came up against the Swiss girls in the third round it was the Isabella Maillard who came out on top. Meanwhile David Baird’s team scored a noteable win over Manuela Siegrist.

The B-League, the two Italian teams from Lago Santo opened with good wins, along with the teams from Lausanne, Obersdorf, and Oppdal from Norway. And after the second round, both Italians remained undefeated along with Obersdorf and Arlesheim. The pick of the 3rd round games was a 6-6 tie between Obersdorf and Lausanne. Meanwhile the Italians continued their winning ways against the Ayr team skipped by Kirsty Morton, and the Arlesheim team skipped by Fabian Leutwiler.

All teams were treated to an open top bus tour of Edinburgh on Saturday afternoon, which went down very well, even with the Scottish teams! Another evening meal was laid on at the ice rink for all players, coaches and spectators. An amazing 185 were catered for and all enjoyed an excellent dinner. The evening finished with a ceilidh where the visiting teams were challenged to learn some new skills.

The final league game for the A-League saw Lausanne’s Isabella Maillard beat the Germans from Baden Hills, and Michael Reid won 8-3 against the Canadians. David Baird won against the Norwegian team to qualify for the final game.

And in the B-League the two teams from Lago Santo played each other and drew 4-4. Obersdorf and Lausanne also won, as did Gogar 3 skipped by Naomi Brown who beat Ayr 1. So the final game in League A saw the Switzerland’s Isabella Maillard have a rematch against Germany’s Aylin Lutz, and she maintained her impressive unbeaten record and lifted the title by winning 5-3. Michael Rid beat the Pinerolo team 10-7, and David Baird had a rematch against Evan Sheppard from Mindemoya and lost 8-3.

In the B-League, the Italian girls from Lago-Santo 2 beat Obersdorf’s Andy Buttner, and the Italian boys from Lago-Santo beat the Norwegian team skipped by Ola Hindseth. Lausanne’s Adrian Timofte beat Arlesheim’s Benjamin Sommerhalder in the final game.

At the closing ceremony David Aitken introduced the prizewinners who were presented with their prizes by Anne-Marie Ross and Marjorie Kidd. All players received a framed photograph of the Opening Ceremony and were given commemorative teeshirts which had all participants' names printed on the back. The sportsmanship prizes voted by all the players were won by Anna Fowler, and Bastian Wyss.

Full Results and photographs can be found here. Taking the photos was Bob Kelly. Welcome back Bob to the ranks of the curling snappers! David has sent me a full disk of Bob's pics, and excellent they are too. Here are three that jumped out at me.

I liked this unusual composition.

Fashion statement from the Italian team!

This would be a caption competition had the Scottish Curler still been in existence!

One further thing I must do. That is to thank all those who have supported me in different ways this season. Thank you all!

And a special thank you to this group, the Irish squad in Saint Paul:

I mentioned already that the Irish seniors teams were sponsored by Albert Bartlett. I also liked the daily blog, written by Louise Kerr, see here.

More blogging, that's what we need!

Have a great summer everyone.

PS: The Capreol Club is/was a two sheeter in Northern Ontario. Can anyone tell me if it is still active? Curling and heritage steam. What more could one want!

Irish pic courtesy of Leslie Ingram-Brown.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

World Seniors: Final Report

Senior Women Final: Canada 9 Sweden 2.
Senior Women Bronze: Switzerland 5 USA 4.

Senior Men Final: Canada 5 USA 4.
Senior Men Bronze: Australia 8 Denmark 5.

Leslie Ingram-Brown reports from Saint Paul:

"In the Senior Men's Championship, both the final and the bronze medal games went to extra ends with Canada winning gold 5-4 over USA and Australia cracking Denmark 8-5.

The Senior Women's Final was a one sided affair with Canada's Christine Jurgenson shooting the lights out of Sweden's Ingrid Meldahl, a past two time champion, 9-2. Switzerland grabbed the Bronze Medal from USA 5-4 when USA skip Margie Smith came up short twice with draws."

The official website is here. And there's a report with quotes on the WCF website here.

Top photo: Canada's Mark Johnson and USA's Geoff Goodland.

L-R: Christine Jurgenson (skip), Cheryl Noble (third), Pat Sanders (second), Roselyn Craig (lead), Lena West (alternate), Bill Tschirhart (coach).

L-R: Mark Johnson (skip), Marv Wirth (third), Ken McLean (second), Millard Evans (lead), Brad Hannah (alternate), Bill Tschirhart (coach).

Photos courtesy of Leslie Ingram-Brown.

World Mixed Doubles: Final Report

Mixed Doubles Final: Switzerland 11 Russia 2.
Bronze Medal: France 8 Sweden 6.

Leslie Ingram-Brown reports from Saint Paul:

"The Mixed Doubles final was a one sided affair thanks to a five in the first end to Switzerland. In my opinion Sven Michel and Alina Paetz were the outstanding Mixed Double of the week with a most competent coach in Luzia Ebnother who confessed that the gold medal was her first at international play.

France won the Bronze Medal defeating Sweden 8-6."

The official website is here. And there's a report with quotes on the WCF website here.

Top photo: Sven Michel, Alina Paetz and Luzia Ebnother. Courtesy of Leslie Ingram-Brown.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Fiona update

A number of friends and blogallies have been asking if I had news of how Fiona de Vries is getting on after her accident.

Leslie Ingram-Brown reports that she is now recovering from her surgery to pin her broken bones. According to sources in Saint Paul the operation was successful and she will need to stay in hospital for about ten days.

Her husband is making arrangements to come out and stay with her as the teams fly home tomorrow. The members of the US ladies' team are going to make sure Fiona is not lonely and are setting up a rota for visiting the hospital and apparently have offered accommodation for her husband when he arrives. Thank you USA!

Thanks to you too Leslie for the information. All back here in Scotland who know Fiona and the Scottish team will wish her a speedy recovery.

In happier times, here is a photo of Fiona, on the left, ready to sweep with Maggie Scott in the final of the Scottish Senior Championship at the Lanarkshire Ice Rink. Photo © Skip Cottage.

World Seniors: Report 9

Leslie Ingram-Brown reports from Saint Paul:

At the World Senior Championships in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Ken Horton, Gordon Butler, Angus Storrie and Eddie Banks were, quite honestly, outclassed by Team Canada in the quarterfinal.

Canada, skipped by Mark Johnson, opened with a three, then stole a single in the second end. From there on Scotland were on the back foot and never got back into the game, losing a further two shots in the fourth to be 6-1 down at the break.

Whilst a hit and lie brought some relief in the fifth with a two, Canada blanked the sixth and counted three shots in the seventh. The game was over then.

Two sheets away, England was working hard to take Hugh Milliken's Australian team out of the game but it was Milliken's experience that was, in the end, the major differnce between the two teams. Australia were 5-3 to the good coming into the final end. Whatever Michael Sutherland's team tried, the Australians had an answer.

In the semifinals Canada
will play Australia and the USA take on Denmark.

Earlier, in the qualifying game against Germany, Ken and his team beat Germany. The Scots opened strongly and took a three in the first end. Germany was again in trouble in the second with skip Klaus Unterstab saving the day with a draw for a single. Scotland countered with a single in the third and stole a two in the fourth when Germany came up short with their draw.

Horton led 6-3 into the final end and ran their opposition out of stones in the eighth, setting up their quarterfinal match against the Canadians."

The official website for all the results and photos is here.

Friday, April 22, 2011

World Seniors update

I see that Linda Young's Scots won their final round robin game against Russia. Alternate Liz Horton played lead for the team following Fiona de Vries' accident. However, the Scottish record of six wins and four losses was not good enough to get them into the playoffs and they will finish in fifth place in the rankings.

Leslie Ingram Brown reports, "Sweden needed to beat Switzerland for the Scots to be involved in a tiebreak game for the fourth semifinal place. The score was 4-3 for Switzerland going into the last end but Sweden held the hammer. Chantel Forrer threw her last stone but left Sweden lying two shots, game, and a ranked third place in the final standings for the semifinals on Saturday morning. Then Canada will play Switzerland and USA will play Sweden."

Ken Horton's team finished third in their section in the men's event. Also in third place in the other two sections were New Zealand and Germany. The former had the best DSC average and gets the seventh place in the quarterfinals. Scotland plays Germany later today for the remaining place.

Follow the results here (look for Live Scoring).

Photo of Liz Horton courtesy of Leslie Ingram-Brown.

World Seniors: Report 8

England beat Scotland at the World Senior Curling Championship at Saint Paul, Minnesota, yesterday. Leslie Ingram-Brown reports:

"Never more than one shot separated the Ken Horton and Michael Sutherland teams. England led 4-3 into the final end but Scotland held the hammer. Lying shot, Horton nominated to draw the opposite side of the house and his stone looked heavy enough the whole way. But from about half way between the hog and house it started moving transversely and finished inches short. England then removed the Scottish counter rolling into the twelve foot leaving Horton to draw for the single and the extra end.

In the extra, with England lying shot behind a rampart of stones, Horton had no option than try a 'snooker' shot, but hit all wrong and England were the winners.

USA lead the Section and are joined by England in the quarterfinals. Scotland will have to wait until the Red and Green Sections are finished this evening to know the other third placed teams. The best of these on the basis of the draw shot challenge will go through to the quarterfinals. The other two will play a tiebreak game to decide the last qualifier."

The event website is here.

Photo of Ken Horton is courtesy of Leslie Ingram-Brown.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

World Mixed Doubles: Report 5

Leslie Ingram Brown reports that Scotland's campaign in the World Mixed Doubles Championship in Saint Paul is over. Paul Stevenson and Louise Soutar lost to Spain's Irantzu Garcia and Sergio Vez 7-6 in the White Section and have no chance of qualifying even with a game to go against Austria.

France defeated Austria 9-8 and have qualified from the White Section on six wins and one loss. China, USA and the Czech Republic are all playing for the next two places.

In the Blue Section, Switzrland have qualified and the remaining two qualifiers will come from Denmark, Russia, Canada and Slovakia.

In the Red Section, Sweden and Japan have qualified with Hungary and Finland fighting it out for the third place.

The official website is here.

Photo of Louise Soutar is courtesy of Leslie Ingram-Brown.

Accident to Fiona de Vries at World Seniors

Leslie Ingram-Brown reports on a most unfortunate accident to Scotland's Fiona de Vries on the ice at the World Seniors in Saint Paul:

"Marie O'Kane was skipping her Irish Women to a 3-0 lead over Scotland's Linda Young into the fourth end when Scottish lead Fiona de Vries tripped at the edge of the sheet breaking her ankle.

Sweden's skip Ingrid Meldahl is a trained surgeon and Marie is a nurse and they tended to Fiona until the ambulance arrived to take her to hospital. The games between Sweden and Japan and Scotland and Ireland were temporarily suspended.

In what can only be seen as extraordinary sportsmanship Ireland conceded the game to Scotlland. This was ratified by WCF Competitions' Director Keith Wendorf.

I can only say that the Irish are the real winners on all counts. The true Spirit of Curling is alive. On behalf of Scottish Curling I would personally record our thanks to all the players who temporarily suspended play until they were sure Fiona was getting proper attention and especially to Ingrid for her care and attention. The Scottish team acknoweldged this with a presentation of flowers in the restaurant after the game."

Thanks for this, Leslie. I can only echo your sentiments, and I am sure that all reading this will want to send their best wishes too to Fiona.

That's Fiona third from th
e right in the Scottish squad photo above. The most up to date news on Fiona is that she has broken three bones. An operation is to take place Thursday evening.

Photo courtesy of Leslie Ingram-Brown

World Seniors: Report 7

Leslie Ingram-Brown reports from Saint Paul, Minnesota:

"Late on Wednesday evening
at the World Senior Men's Curling Championship, Ken Horton, Gordon Butler, Angus Storrie and Eddie Binks defeated Japan's Nobuyuki Kato.

Japan led 3-1 at the interval but, from the fifth end onwards, Horton had total control of the game, running a triple of twos over ends five through to seven for a 7-3 lead, when Japan conceded.

The Blue Section is headed by USA, on six straight wins. Scotland is in second place having beaten Japan and stands on four wins. Only one team separates Horton and a direct place in the quarterfinals - ENGLAND - and these teams play at 14.30 local time today (Thursday).

England defeated France 8-1 and would need to beat Scotland to have any chance of reaching the quarterfinals.

In the Senior Women's Championship, Linda
Young's team went down to the USA's Margie Smith 9-3 in seven ends, and realistically the Scottish women are out of these Championships unless Sweden, Switzerland and USA slip up."

The official website is here.

World Mixed Doubles: Report 4

Leslie Ingram-Brown reports from Saint Paul:

"At the World Mixed Doubles in St Paul, Minnesota, Paul Stevenson and Louise Soutar went down to a very good French pair in Amaury Pernette and Pauline Jeanneret 8-6. To have any chance of qualification, the Scots must now beat Spain and Austria, and even then that would probably mean a tie-break game."

Scotland has played five games, won two and lost three. The top two in each section go through directly to the quarterfinals, the third placed teams are ranked by the DSD. The best goes through, the other two play off for the final place.

The official website is here.

Photo of Paul Stevenson is courtesy of Leslie Ingram-Brown.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

World Seniors: Report 6

Leslie Ingram-Brown reports from Saint Paul:

"Linda Young,
Maggie Scott, Hazel Swankie and Fiona de Vries were well beaten by Canada's Christine Jurgenson in the Scots' seventh round robin game here in St Paul, Minnesota. The game opened with Canada taking a one with the hammer at the first end and stealing a two in the second. But then Young gifted a further one in the third by pushing through the shot stone when attempting the draw for two. A steal of another one in the fourth saw Canada with a 5-0 lead.

Young made her draw for a single in the fifth but lost a further three shots in six and seven and it was all over.

The Scots are not yet out of these Championships. Canada still top the league on 7-0, followed by Switzerland 5-1 and USA 5-2, with Scotland and Sweden on 4-3. It is going to be tight for the semifinal spots. The Scots have the USA, Ireland and Russia to play, in that order."

The official website is here.

Photo of Maggie Scott is courtesy of Leslie Ingram-Brown.

World Seniors: Report 5

In the women's event at the World Seniors Curling Championship Linda Young, Maggie Scott, Hazel Swankie and Fiona de Vries beat Wendy Becker's New Zealand team, their fourth consecutive win. Scotland is in joint second in the rankings with Switzerland and the USA. Canada is unbeaten on six wins.

The Scots have still to play Canada, Ireland and Russia.

Ken Horton, Gordon Butler, Angus Storrie and Eddie Binks were against undefeated USA in Draw 14 of the men's event.

The teams were tied 2-2 after four ends but Scotland lost seven shots in the next three ends. USA have now qualified for the quarter finals. Scotland and Japan are on three wins and in joint second place behind. These two teams play tonight.

The official website is here.

Photo of Linda Young is courtesy of Leslie Ingram-Brown. Thanks also to Leslie for the information.

World Mixed Doubles: Report 3

Leslie Ingram-Brown reports that Scotland's Paul Stevenson and Louise Soutar lost at the last stone to China's Xue Li and Dejia Zou at the World Mixed Doubles in Saint Paul yesterday. The Scots took a two in the seventh to lead 6-5 into the final end. A freeze was essential to keep the game alive. That was made at an angle. Xue Li threw the strike with accuracy and the shooter made perfect contact. When the dust had settled China lay the two shots required for victory.

Later Paul and Louise lost their evening's game against Czech Republic's Hana Cechova and Radek Zdarsky 7-5. The Scots have France, Spain and Austria to play.

The official website is here.

Photo of the Scots in action against China is courtesy of Leslie Ingram-Brown.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

World Seniors: Report 4

At the World Senior Curling Championships in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Ken Horton's Scottish quartet of Gordon Butler, Angus Storrie and Eddie Binks made it a fourth win in beating Hungary's Andras Rokusfalvy 10-1 in six ends.

Scotland opened with a four and Hungary replied with a single in the second, which was to be their only scoring end as Scotland went 1,1,2,2 for a 10-1 lead and the game.

Young, Maggie Scott, Hazel Swankie and Fiona de Vries made it three wins in a row when the Scots defeated the Czech Republic's Lenka Safrankova 7-2 in seven ends. They led most of the way when they picked up a three in the seventh it was all over. The Scots have now played five, won three and lost two.

I'm finding the WCF results and standings helpful although they may not be immediately up to date. Here for the men, and here for the women. To see a summary of the results to date, click on DRAW on the right hand side bar.

Thanks to Leslie Ingram-Brown for the information feed.

Senior friends

I've been watching how the other 'home nations' are doing at the World Senior Championships in Saint Paul. Above L-R: Michael Sutherland, Tommy Campbell, John Summers and Phil Barton. John Brown is the English men's coach and I'm sure he'll have a Toothy Tale or two in due course once he's discharged his duties in Minnesota. The English men are in the same section as the Scots and the teams are due to play on Thursday, the last game in the section. I found the standings here, which show that in three games the English have won one and lost two.

I had a photo of the English women earlier. They opened well against Scotland, but have lost three games since, see here.

L-R: Peter Wilson, David Whyte, Tony Tierney and David Hume. The Irish are working away in their section, see here.

L-R: Marie O'Kane, Carolyn Hibberd, Louise Kerr and Gillian Drury recorded their first win today for Ireland, defeating Russia 11-1. JohnJo Kenny (coach to the team this week) was telling me recently about the new sponsorship that the Irish have for their senior teams from Albert Bartlett.

L-R: Chris Wells, Hugh Meikle, Michael Yuille and Stewart Cairns. The Welsh have won one and lost three, see the rankings here. Wales just failed to beat Ireland in their tie today in a game which went to an extra end. Ireland won at the last stone when Chris Wells, throwing last stones for Wales, only just missed an outwick double on two Irish stones.

Photos, and info, are courtesy of Leslie Ingram-Brown

World Mixed Doubles: Report 2

In Saint Paul, Minnesota, Paul Stevenson and Louise Soutar won their second Mixed Doubles match 8-7 over the USA. Only the Czech Republic is also undefeated in Scotland's section.

I've also been following the fortunes of John Sharp and Jane Clark of England. They had a good win over Italy but have since lost to Slovakia and Canada (after being 6-0 up). The Canadians, who don't have a Mixed Doubles Championship preferring to send two of their Mixed Champion team, lost to Switzerland yesterday.

The standings can be found on the official website here. I have to say that the official website fails me miserably. The 'ticker bar' is - in my opinion - some IT nerd's bad dream on how to make the simple unnecessarily complicated. Why is it necessary to reinvent the wheel at every big event? All we want as curling supporters is a straightforward way of accessing linescores. These are not displayed online on the official website although you can download pdf files. I am pleased to say that the WCF site, with the mirrored results, displays the linescores in the usual way, see here.

Daily summaries, and players' quotes, can also be found on the WCF website, for example see here.

Team England in action in Saint Paul, courtesy of Leslie Ingram-Brown.

World Seniors: Report 3

Leslie Ingram-Brown reports from the USA:

At the World Senior Women's Championship at the St Paul Curling Club, Minnesota, Scotland's Linda Young, Maggie Scott, Hazel Swankie and Fiona de Vries recorded their first win in Round 3 by defeating Switzerland's Chantel Forrer 7-6 in a game that went to the last stone. There was never more than a shot separating the teams as they entered the eighth end with the Scots being one shot back at 5-6 and Switzerland very much the favourites to win as they held the last stone advantage. Lying the first and third shots, with Switzerland the second, Young very bravely threw the draw, but was slightly overswept and finished inside the four foot. If Forrer hit on the nose, the Swiss would win the game. But from the outset the Swiss skip was tight and her stone hit a front guard. To the relief of the Scots, their coach, and the small band of supporters, it was a first win to
be recorded.

In the fourth round the Scots got their second win, this time against Sweden's Ingrid Meldahl, in another game which went to the last stone. The score was tied 3-3 after seven. With Scotland lying one, Meldahl tried to freeze on the shot but was slightly wide and lay in the open. Young hit and rolled in towards the centre to lie two shots but was fully open. Meldahl went for the hit and lie, was tight, and only caught about half of the first shot and rolled away. Scotland had won 4-3.

You can find all the results and standings here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Kinross Update

Progress on the new six sheet rink at Kinross, which will house a National Curling Academy, museum, and Royal Club offices, has been held up for many months over issues with the proposed site.

The news now is positive in that these issues have been resolved and that all restrictions on building on the Market Park are being removed.

Bob Tait, the Chairman of the Kinross Curling Trust, reports that the trustees are already out and about at AGMs (Club, Provinces and Area 7) to re-enthuse the curling community and to get the project back on track.

Bob says, "A huge effort is required just when most curlers are turning their thoughts elsewhere. We will endeavour to keep our website (see here) up to date over the summer."

Photo of the Kinross site is © Skip Cottage

World Seniors: Report 2

Thanks to Leslie Ingram-Brown for this photo of the Scots in action in Saint Paul. Leslie also sends the following:

"Ken Horton, Gordon Butler, Angus Storrie and Eddie Binks take today off from playing the World Seniors knowing that they have two wins from two games already notched onto the leader board having defeated France's St Pierre et Michelon team skipped by Christophe Lehuenen 8-2 in the early evening session Sunday.

Linda Young's Scottish women meanwhile were suffering their second successive defeat 6-5 to Japan's Erikjo Igarashi."

All the results can be found here.

Photo courtesy of Leslie Ingram-Brown.

World Mixed Doubles: Report 1

Leslie Ingram-Brown is in Saint Paul and sends this report and these pics from the World Mixed Doubles Championship.

"Paul Stevenson and Louise Soutar opened their account at the World Mixed Doubles at Saint Paul, Minnesota, with a win 8-5 over Latvia's Lia and Gints Caune. But they had to come from behind to do so as they were two shots adrift after three ends before climbing out of trouble in winning three consecutive ends to lead 8-5 before running Latvia out of stones in the eighth end."

Top photo: Paul Stevenson. Above: Louise Soutar.

The Scots in action against Latvia.

All the results can be found on the official website here.

Photos are courtesy of Leslie Ingram-Brown.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

World Seniors: Report 1

Ken Horton's team won their opening game at the World Seniors Curling Championship in Saint Paul, Minnesota, today. They beat the Netherlands, skipped by Wim Neeleman, 6-2. You can find all the results on the official website here.

Here is the Scottish team. L-R: Ken Horton, Gordon Butler, Angus Storrie, Eddie Binks.

Scotland's women (L-R above: Linda Young, Maggie Scott, Hazel Swankie and Fiona de Vries) were against England, with Susan Young playing last stones, in their first game. The English finished 6-3 in front after taking the first six ends with singles to go 6-0 up before Scotland got on the board.

L-R: Susan Young (fourth), Jean Robinson, Alison Barr and Sandra Moorcroft (lead and skip).

Photos and report are courtesy of Leslie Ingram-Brown.

Team Muirhead Loses Semi in Players Championship

This may be an old photo of Kelly Wood (it's from the World Women's Championship in Paisley in 2005) but it is one of my favourites. I use it here to say well done to Eve Muirhead, Kelly, Lorna Vevers and Annie Laird who reached the semifinals of the GP Car and Home Players' Championship in Grande Prairie.

They lost the semi to Jennifer Jones, who went on to beat Rachel Homan in the final. Our girls only lost one other game in the event, that too against the Jones rink. The competition was the last time we'll be seeing this version of Team Muirhead together. I'm sure you will join me in wishing Kelly all the best as she embarks on a new life in Canada.

Niklas Edin and Kevin Martin are in the final of the men's event. Find what happens here.

Photo © Skip Cottage

Saturday, April 16, 2011

World Mixed Doubles

Here are Paul Stevenson and Louise Soutar, Scotland's team at the World Mixed Doubles in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The pair practised today in advance of their first game tomorrow (Sunday) against Latvia. The draw is here.

England's pair are John Sharp and Jane Clark, who are in a different section for the Scots. They play Italy in their first game.

If you want to send your best wishes to any of the teams, just click on any team in the team list here to find the email address!

Photos are courtesy of Leslie Ingram-Brown

Friday, April 15, 2011

New Behind the Glass

Robin Copland confronts the unthinkable in his new Behind the Glass column today. Click here, or on the link on the right.

Helpmaboab right enough!

April's Editorial

Who are the most important people in Scottish Curling? I've set out what I think in my last Editorial of the season, here.

This is my last editorial for now as the blog will go into 'summer mode' once the World Seniors and Mixed Doubles are finished, and tick over until August with occasional posts as and when. Normal Service though for the next ten days or so.

There's a new Photo of the Month, which you may not have seen, also online here.

And can you help David B Smith who is looking for two rare Royal Club Annuals, see here?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

World Seniors and Mixed Doubles

The final World Curling Federation championships of the 2010-2011 season get underway on Sunday, April 17, when Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA, plays host to the 2011 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship and the 2011 World Seniors Curling Championships.

The two events will run until Saturday, April 23, and will be staged simultaneously in the historic eight-sheeter St Paul Curling Club which was originally founded in 1888 and is currently the largest curling club in the United States.

The Mixed Doubles World Curling Championship is now into its fourth year, having been inaugurated in Vierumaki, Finland in 2008 and then held in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy in 2009 and last year in Chelyabinsk, Russia.

Altogether twenty-four nations will participate in the Mixed Doubles event in St Paul: Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and hosts USA.

The twenty-four teams will play in three groups. Scotland is represented by Paul Stevenson and Louise Soutar who won the Scottish Mixed Doubles Championship in December. Their photo is here. (We like the trews!) They are in the same group as Austria, China, Czech Republic, France, Latvia, Spain and USA. First up is Latvia on Sunday. The draw is here.

This is the tenth edition of formally-sanctioned WCF World Senior Curling Championships. Altogether twenty-one senior men’s teams and eleven senior women’s teams will be competing in eight-end games.

The nations represented in the men’s event are: Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, USA and Wales. The senior men will play in three groups, the same competition format as the Mixed Doubles.

Ken Horton, Gordon Butler, Angus Storrie and Eddie Binks will represent Scotland. The team photo is here. They are in a group with England, France, Hungary, Japan, Netherlands and USA. The draw is here. They play the Netherlands at 08.00 local time on Sunday and France later in the day.

The nations involved in the women’s event are: Canada, Czech Republic, England, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland and USA. These eleven teams will be in one group and will play a single round robin. Linda Young, Margaret Scott, Hazel Swankie and Fiona DeVries are Scotland's representatives. Liz Horton is alternate. The team photo is here. England is the first opposition, and Japan next. The draw is here.

In both the Mixed Doubles and Seniors events the round robin play leads to quarterfinals on Friday 22, with semifinals and medal games being staged on Saturday 23.

Let's hope there are no natural disasters this year. Last year’s Mixed Doubles and Senior World Championships in Chelyabinsk, Russia, were affected by the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud with a number of teams, including Scotland, not being able to make it to compete.

The website for both competitions is here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Live Chat with Eve Muirhead

Fans of Eve Muirhead, above, should note there a live web chat (here) with her at 1.30 pm local time, which by my calculation is 8.30 pm here tonight (Wednesday), from Grande Prairie, Alberta, where she is competing with Kelly Wood, Lorna Vevers and Annie Laird in the GP Car and Home Players' Championship.

The organisers have been asking for questions in advance of the Live Chat.

Added later:

Now, this WAS interesting, and really enjoyable. First time I have ever tried to watch one of these live chats live. It was a bit stuttery at the beginning (I don't have the best broadband connection in the world being some miles from the exchange) but it ran smoothly for most of the twenty minutes or so.

The interviewer was George Karrys, Editor of The Curling News, and he has a relaxed informal style. Eve was just herself, and a delight to listen to, answering questions honestly, candidly and humorously! We learned, for example, that she knows thousands of bagpipe tunes, likes Coors Light beer, supports St Johnstone, and (important news this) will be playing with Anna Sloan next season. And she and Anna are still talking about who will be the front end!

Here's the link for further Live Chats from Canada, and to watch a recording of Eve being questioned by George.

Photo of Eve is © Skip Cottage and is from the WJCC2011 final game.

National Super League Finals

Now here's a new initiative for next season. Mike Ferguson at Forfar Indoor Sports has realised that something is missing in the domestic curling scene. Many rinks have super leagues. Could the winners of these competitions go further, and could we have a National Super League winners championship?

He says, "The idea behind the competition is a simple one. If you have competed season long to win a competitive league you deserve further reward. I think a National Super League final weekend is just reward and will give all teams competing in super leagues something to really compete for around the country. Furthermore most super leagues combine elite players, club players, males, females, youths and some more elderly players, in other words a true representation of competitive curlers around the country."

What a great idea!
Mike has had a favourable response already and the event will go ahead at Forfar on October 21-23, 2011. The first round games will not be until Friday evening in order that the competitors don't have to take time off work.

If ice rinks don't run a super league then they can put forward a rink from one of their local league competitions or significant knock-out competitions.

Mike says, "I want to make sure everyone enjoys a truly competitive yet fun weekend, and then we can build from there in future seasons."

Each ice rink should have received by now entry forms and full competition details. Contact Mike if you need more information.

Role on the NSL!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Players Championship

The final event of the Capital One Grand Slam of Curling, the GP Car and Home Players' Championship, gets underway in Grande Prairie, Alberta, today, and runs through to Sunday.

Scottish interest is in Eve Muirhead, Kelly Wood, Lorna Vevers and Annie Laird. This is likely to be the last major event for the current European Silver Medallists, as attention becomes focussed on the next Olympic cycle. We'll certainly miss this lineup on the ice.

The Players' Championship is two sixteen team triple knockouts for men and women, with eight qualifiers from each going to quarterfinals. Muirhead is up first against Rachel Homan's team. You can find the results here.

And for something completely different you have to check out this new advert for a certain disposable razor, here, or click on the image below.

It would have made a good April Fool, but I am assured it's legit. You have to wonder what people who work in advertising are on!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Kinross Curling School's Birthday

The Kinross Curling School celebrated its tenth birthday with a charity fun day yesterday. I talked about the origins of the group here. Here's Ena Stevenson with two founder members, Shane Johnston and Hamish, the school mascot.

A team of 'curling celebrities' were on hand, (L-R) Michelle Silvera, Sheila Swan, Rhona Martin and Debbie Knox. All have gold medals. Bonus points if you can remember in which competitions and in what years they were won!

In was a great family day out. Here's an example of three generations on the ice. That's Lynne Stevenson with son Jamie, and granddaughters Lauryn and Shannon.

Note what Jamie has in his hand!

Yes, they are golf balls. Each sheet at the rink had a fun activity. For a donation, you could see if you could get your balls nearest to the stone sitting on the tee. This was difficult!

On another sheet, you had to play two stones with the cue, one with either hand. This is Sheila Swan. I picked up some tips from Sheila, and managed this one OK!

Then there was a simple draw to the tee. Two stones, one delivered with the left hand, the other with the right! Rhona demonstrates.

The fourth sheet had been left unpebbled. That was difficult. Indoor stones don't run well on perfectly flat ice! But great fun.

There was lots for the kids to do too.

Prizes were awarded for the best coloured in, and decorated stone. Here are just some examples.

There was also a silent auction, a raffle, a tombola and a 'select the winning stick' game, all designed to part you from your money in aid of two good causes - CHAS, and a local playgroup, the latter in memory of John Stewart, coach and past treasurer of the KCS who died last year.

There was a panel discussion, featuring the celebrity curlers (above), Judith McFarlane and ..... me! Fortunately no-one asked difficult questions!

Prizes won during the day were the opportunity to play one end against the 'Rhona Martin Celebrity Select'!

Here Jamie Stevenson, James Hay, Craig Barr and Jim Stevenson prepare for their end (in more ways than one)!

It was all taken very seriously!

And watched intently by the large number who came along during the afternoon.

Grant and Jamie in action, as Sheila and Michelle both wish they were as young again!

Here's the second set of winners: Stuart Brand, Shane Johnston, Leslie Wilson and Findlay Campbell.

I'm sure all will remember their opportunity to play against the celebs. Who won? Well, it didn't matter. When the end was complete the skips picked a random envelope containing instructions which decided how the end would be scored. And let's just say it wasn't the traditional way.

A splendid day, well supported, with over £600 raised for the charities. Well done to the celebrities, and to all those involved yesterday, especially Steven Kerr and his ice staff. And here's to continued success for the Kinross Curling School.

Photos © Skip Cottage