Teams McCrady and Drexel book trip to U18s after BC Games wins

By Rebecca Connop Price

Teams McCrady and Drexel will represent B.C. at the Optimist U18 International Curling Championships in Edmonton.

The teams booked their trip to the event after winning curling gold at the 2016 BC Winter Games in Penticton this past weekend.

The Royal City rink of Matthew McCrady, with third Zac Curtis, second Liam Purgavie, lead Jacob Umbach and coach Ken McArdle, represented Zone 4 (Fraser River).

They were unbeaten in the competition, winning the final against Team Schiman from Vernon 6-2.
This will be the second trip to the U18s for Team McCrady, who finished in fourth place last year.

Team Drexel from Coquitlam/Chilliwack/Cloverdale, made up of Heather Drexel, skip, Everly Royea, third, Bailey Burke, second, Madeline Britz, lead, and coach Alan Smith, represesented Zone 3 (Fraser Valley). This will also be the second trip to U18s for Heather Drexel, Everly Royea and Bailey Burke, but the first for Madeline Britz.

The girls had a shaky start to the competition, losing their first game against Team Cotter 7-1. But they turned things around and won the rest of their games, beating Team Bowles from Delta 9-6 in the final.

Silver medals were awarded to Team Schiman and Team Bowles. Team Schiman is made up of skip Matt Schiman, third Ben Morin, second Adam Raber, lead Andrew Cowell and coach Dale Hofer, while Team Bowles is made up of skip Elizabeth Bowles, third Jensen Taylor, second Grace McCusker, lead Chelsea Taylor and coach Al Kersey.

Another Delta rink, Team Sarah Loken, featuring Matthew McCrady’s sister Sarah McCrady, got the bronze medals, while on the boys’ side, the bronze went to Team Anderson, from Grand Forks.
The girls’ team is made up of skip Loken, third McCrady, second Kim Bonneau and lead Kylie Karoway with coach Marion McNeil.

The boys’ team is made up of skip Colin Anderson, third Devin Anderson, second Elliott Starchuk, lead Dawson Reid and coach Dave Bartlett.

Visit http://playdowns.com/curlbc/ to see the results of all the games played at the BC Winter Games.

To find out more about the Optimist U18 International Curling Championships, visit http://www.u18curling.ca/. The under-18 event will take place from March 30 to April 3 in Edmonton.

Source:: http://www.curlbc.ca/teams-mccrady-and-drexel-book-trip-to-u18s-after-bc-games-wins/

      

Okanagan rinks take BC Senior titles

By Rebecca Connop Price

Three-time BC Men’s champion Bob Ursel was back to winning ways when he brought his Okanagan/Kootenay rink to the 2016 Tim Hortons BC Senior Curling Championships.

His team of third Dave Stephenson of Kelowna, second Don Freschi of Rossland, and lead Fred Thomson of Nelson finished the championship with an impressive 8-1 record. They claimed the gold medal at Richmond Curling Centre on Sunday after a 7-2 victory over Victoria’s Wes Craig in the final.

Ursel, a former world junior champion, has not played competitively in recent years because of a knee injury.

Meanwhile, Ursel’s wife Leanne also struck gold at the same event, as part of Team Foster, led by White Rock resident Diane Foster.

Foster, who used to regularly appear in Alberta senior provincial championships when she was a resident there, was joined by Ursel of Kelowna at third Cindy Curtain of Penticton at second and Sherry Heath of Lumby at lead. The team didn’t dominate during the event, finishing the round robin with a 4-3 record. But they won three in a row during playoffs to take the crown from Marilou Richter’s Penticton rink, who had previously been undefeated at the competition.

Sixteen teams (eight senior men’s and eight senior women’s) from across the province competed in Richmond.

Teams Ursel and Foster will now represent BC at the Canadian Senior Curling Championships in Digby, Nova Scotia, from March 28 to April 2.

Visit http://www.playdowns.com and click on the Curl BC tab to see the scores.

Source:: http://www.curlbc.ca/okanagan-rinks-take-bc-senior-titles/

      

Father-daughter Cotter duo win Mixed Doubles event

By Rebecca Connop Price

Father and daughter curlers Jim and Jaelyn Cotter have a busy curling schedule ahead of them.

The pair from Vernon took the 2016 BC Mixed Doubles Curling Championship title this past weekend after sweeping away the field of 16 other teams.

The win at the Enderby Curling Club event means they will travel to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, from March 31 to April 3, for the Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials.

But before they head to nationals, the pair will be at the 2016 BC Winter Games in Penticton, where Jaelyn will be skipping and her dad will be coaching. Not long after that, Jim will head to Ottawa with his Vernon/Kelowna men’s rink for the 2016 Tim Hortons Brier.

Six-time BC Men’s Champion, Jim Cotter, said it was special to win a championship with his daughter. “We entered with no expectations as we had never played the Mixed Doubles format before. It was more for BC Winter Games preparation this coming weekend. We got on a roll, worked very well together and Jaelyn played great in every game. I couldn’t be more proud of her. A very proud father and daughter moment.”

Jim said the schedule ahead was busy, but he was also grateful for the opportunities. “Yes, a very busy schedule ahead of us but we wouldn’t want it any other way. It’s not easy to win so when you do, you cherish the moment. We’ll just take one event at a time, do our best to prepare and be ready to compete at each event. I was very proud to coach Team Harvey (junior girls’ team) and Team Cotter (juvenile girls’ team) along with the opportunity to still play competitively with my men’s team (of Ryan Kuhn, Tyrel Griffith and Rick Sawatsky). I’m super fortunate to be surrounded by three teams of wonderful people.”

The two-person version of curling is becoming more popular worldwide and will be an Olympic event at the next Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

In second place at the BC Mixed Doubles Curling Championship was Andrew Forrest and Becky Campbell, of Vancouver/Maple Ridge. In third place was Sarah Daniels, of Delta, and her partner Jordan Tardi, of Surrey, both recent medalists at the 2016 Canadian Junior Curling Championships.

In Mixed Doubles, there is one male and one female curler and the game is played over eight ends (instead of the usual 10). Each team has only six stones and one of those stones from each team is prepositioned in the field of play before every end of play. One player delivers the first and last stones of the end while the other player throws the second, third and fourth stones. If they choose to, the two players may swap positions from one end to the next. Both team members are also allowed to sweep.

There are no age restrictions on who can play so participants can be anywhere from juvenile (16 and under) up to masters level (60 plus).

At the national level, a total of 32 teams will compete, with the teams divided into four round-robin pools of eight, with the top two from each pool and the next four best round-robin records moving onto the 12-team single-knockout playoff round.

The winner of the national event will travel to Karlstad, Sweden, for the world championships.

Source:: http://www.curlbc.ca/father-daughter-cotter-duo-win-mixed-doubles-event/

      

BC Mixed Doubles Championship gets underway

By Rebecca Connop Price

One of the newest and most fast-paced formats of curling is being showcased in Enderby this weekend as the BC Mixed Doubles Curling Championship gets underway.

There has been a lot of interest in the format because it has been confirmed that it will now be an Olympic event in PyeongChang in 2018.

It is only the fourth time that the provincial championship, which runs at Enderby Curling Club, from February 19-21, has taken place.

There are 17 teams taking part in the 2016 championship. Among them are six-time BC Men’s Champion Jim Cotter, from Vernon, and his daughter, Jaelyn. Also playing at the event is two-time BC Junior Women’s Champion Sarah Daniels, from Delta, who skipped her team to a silver medal at the 2016 Canadian juniors. She will be joined by Surrey student Jordan Tardi, 2012 BC Winter Games champion, 2016 BC Junior Men’s champion and bronze medalist at the recent Canadian juniors.

The event will see teams play a two-person version of curling with draws starting Friday, continuing Saturday throughout the day and then culminating with the semi-final and final on Sunday.

Seventeen teams representing clubs in Vancouver, Vernon, Enderby, Royal City, Langley, Cranbrook, Prince George, Richmond, Delta (Tunnel Town) and Chilliwack will play at the event. The winner will go on to compete at nationals in Saskatoon and, if successful there, at the worlds, which are being held in Karlstad, Sweden.

Enderby Curling Club President Steve Campbell said: “Enderby Curling Club is proud to be hosting the 2016 BC Mixed Doubles Curling Championship. This two-person version of curling is the newest addition to Olympic curling events and will feature in South Korea during the 2018 Winter Olympics.

“We would love to see fans at this event. Come and watch and cheer on the teams.”

Information about the teams and live results can be found here: http://www.playdowns.com.

In Mixed Doubles, there is one male and one female curler and the game is played over eight ends (instead of the usual 10). Each team has only six stones and one of those stones from each team is prepositioned on the centre line before every end of play. One player delivers the first and last stones of the end while the other player throws the second, third and fourth stones. If they choose to, the two players may swap positions from one end to the next. Both team members are also allowed to sweep.

There are no age restrictions on who can play so participants can be anywhere from juvenile (16 and under) up to masters level (60 plus).

At the national level, a total of 32 teams will compete, with the teams divided into four round-robin pools of eight, with the top two from each pool and the next four best round-robin records moving onto the 12-team single-knockout playoff round. The Olympic qualification process has not yet been established, but teams at the national event, if successful, will be gaining valuable Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) points.

Source:: http://www.curlbc.ca/bc-mixed-doubles-championship-gets-underway/

      

Two B.C. wheelchair curlers inducted into Curling Hall of Fame

By Rebecca Connop Price

Two of the newest members of the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame are Paralympic gold-medallists from B.C.

The 2016 inductees, announced Thursday, also include a world-renowned coach, a respected journalist and a record-setting curler/builder.

Ina Forrest, from Spallumcheen, near Armstrong, and Darryl Neighbour, from Richmond, join Earle Morris, Bob Weeks and Pierre Charette to be formally inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame at the Hall of Fame banquet during Tim Hortons Brier week in Ottawa.

“All five of our 2016 inductees have made huge contributions to the sport of curling, on and off the ice, and their achievements deserve to be recognized,” said Scott Comfort, Chair of Curling Canada’s Awards and Hall of Fame Committee. “As always, the challenge for the committee is making the tough decision with so many worthy nominees, but I feel like this year’s group made our decision easier based on their amazing accomplishments.”

The banquet is set for Wednesday, March 9, at the Westin Ottawa.

Forrest is one of the world’s most decorated wheelchair curlers.

Since taking up wheelchair curling in 2004, Forrest has won three World Wheelchair Curling Championship gold medals and two Winter Paralympics Games gold medals, and been a valued member of Team Canada since 2007.

“It was a surprise to receive the call,” said Forrest. “I was on my way home from our last training camp before going to the World Championship when Curling Canada called, and my first thought was I better play well at Worlds to be deserving of this! So, I am surprised and delighted to be considered, and also appreciative that I have had amazing teammates. I am but one part of a very collaborative curling effort.”

Forrest will be attending her eighth consecutive World Wheelchair Championship, beginning Feb. 21 in Lucerne, Switzerland. She was an alternate for Team Canada in 2007, and has been in the lineup ever since, winning world gold medals in 2009, 2011 and 2013.

Additionally, she helped Canada claim Paralympic gold in 2010 at Vancouver and 2014 at Sochi, Russia.

Neighbour of Richmond, proved last spring that age is no barrier in the pursuit of athletic excellence.

At the age of 66 (he turned 67 last July), Neighbour added to what had already been a brilliant career by winning his third Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship. He was the vice-skip for Team B.C., skipped by Gerry Austgarden.

That title, combined with his stellar success on the world stage with Team Canada, earned him the call from Curling Canada to join the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame.

“It was a total surprise, and then a shock,” said Neighbour. “It was the same way I felt when we won the gold medal in 2010 (at the Vancouver Paralympics). Ironically, I was curling a league game at the Olympic venue when I got the call, so it was only fitting.”

Neighbour and Forrest were teammates on the 2010 Paralympic gold-medal team, as well as on the 2009 and 2011 world championship Canadian teams.

Neighbour also represented Canada proudly at the 2008 and 2012 World Wheelchair Curling Championships.

Source:: http://www.curlbc.ca/two-b-c-wheelchair-curlers-inducted-into-curling-hall-of-fame/