First bonspiel fills ice sheets

League play has been underway for several weeks now and bonspiel action has also begun at the Nanaimo Curling Centre on Wall Street.

Heading up the local curling organization this year is NCC president Fred Rumo. Assisting him on the executive are vice-president Ron Kaneen, secretary Marg Obee, treasurer Merv Osler and past-president George Duffell. Also on the club’s board of directors are Jim Davies, Linda Torgerson, Kellie Rice, Dave Perpeluk and Pat Merkel.

The curling venue was busy Oct. 26-28, as curlers took to the ice for the first bonspiel of the season – the annual Halloween Open Spiel. A total of 20 teams were involved, including a number from out of town. In addition to competition on the ice, those participating enjoyed a Saturday night banquet and a live band. And with Halloween being the theme, of course a costume parade added to the fun.

As for the curling action, finals in the bonspiel’s three events were held on Sunday afternoon prior to the presentation of cash prizes. The competition’s A event was sponsored by Christensen Collision and the final featured the only two teams that had gone undefeated in the competition. Those were the Nanaimo entry of skip Kevin Weinreich, third Teri Palynchuk, second Keith Clarke and lead Angela Price and Scott Macdonald’s visiting Juan de Fuca foursome.

The game was a well-played final, with the two teams trading single points throughout. After being tied 2-2 after four ends, Macdonald scored singles in the fifth and sixth, only to have Weinreich fight back with singles in the seventh and eighth. That meant an extra end was needed, in which the Macdonald team used last-rock advantage to score another single point for a narrow 5-4 victory.

Claiming third place in A event was Qualicum skip Penny Shantz and her team. Fourth spot went to Nanaimo skip Jim Newlands and his teammates Joe Pulak, Tracey Newlands, and Brett Pulak.

In the bonspiel’s Bill and Marjorie Tegart Memorial B event, the local team of George Duffell, Sally Noonan, Jake McGlenen and Jill McGlenen faced a combined North Vancouver and Nanaimo squad skipped by Mark Bailey. Holding a 5-3 lead after six ends, Bailey broke the game open with three points in the seventh to post an 8-3 final score. Others on the winning team were Bev Bailey and Nanaimo curlers Robin and Patty Pedersen.

In third was local skip Mike Leduc along with Randy Shaw, Patty McRory and Karen Shaw.

Competition in C event was sponsored by the Nanaimo Curling Centre. Unfortunately, an untimely injury forced a shortened ending to the final game between local teams skipped by Frank Voysey and Bob Hungar. With Voysey leading 2-1 after three ends, a knee injury to Hungar resulted in his team having to forfeit the game.

Teammates with Voysey in the bonspiel were third Eleanor Voysey, third Tom Stromar and lead Janice Stromar. Partnering with Hungar with third Karen Hungar, second Craig Turnbull and lead Dan Danylchuk.

In third place came NCC manager Denise Wood and her team of Linda Torgerson, Shaelyn Rice and Spencer Anderson.

Congratulations also go to bonspiel chairman Mike Leduc and his committee for their work in organizing a very successful event.

Several more bonspiels are planned this month at the Nanaimo Curling Centre. Happening today (Nov. 3) and tomorrow at the club is a junior competition. Then comes the popular annual Hangover League men’s bonspiel, to be held Nov. 16-18, followed by a masters 55-plus open competition scheduled for Nov. 28-30.

Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.

Ian Thorpe writes about sports Saturdays.

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