Curlers raise a glass to Hangover Bonspiel

One of the most popular bonspiels of the local season was successfully held last weekend at the Nanaimo Curling Centre.

One of the most popular bonspiels of the local season was successfully held last weekend at the Nanaimo Curling Centre.

While participation in many spiels has tapered off in recent years, the annual men’s Hangover Bonspiel still manages to attract a strong number of entries. The reason likely relates to planning and organization, together with the bonspiel’s reputation for good food and prizes, competitive curling and above all plenty of fun and fellowship.

This year was no exception, as a full field of 36 teams took part, including seven from out of town. The bonspiel was hosted by the Sunday men’s Hangover League, which this year is headed by new president Chuck Passmore. Ferdie Hobson is the past president and Tom Zacharuk the vice-president. Also on the executive is league treasurer Randy Brahnuik and my thanks to him for his help in gathering results from the three-day event.

On Sunday afternoon, the only two undefeated teams in the field met in the final of the bonspiel’s A event, which was sponsored by Midland Tools. And it was an excellent final between two evenly matched Nanaimo teams skipped by Ron Leake and Craig MacRae. Trailing 5-4 after seven ends of play, Leake tied the game in the eighth to force an extra end. In that extra frame he then managed to steal the winning point for an exciting 6-5 victory.

Backing Leake on the championship squad were third Ian Cook, second Jim Newlands and lead Lee Venables. With MacRae on the runner-up team were Louie Cavezza at third, Paul Merkel playing second and Tom Weinreich throwing lead stones.

Visiting teams skipped by Bob Arksey from Abbotsford and Craig Rampton from Vancouver claimed third and fourth spots respectively in the A event.

Sponsor for the bonspiel’s B event was Mark’s Imports and the final was an all-Nanaimo matchup. Skip Dan Allarie saw his team break things open with three points in the fourth end en route to an 8-1 decision over the Frank Smith entry. Others with Allarie were third Doug McGlenen, second Bill Shaw and lead Trevor Shaw. Smith’s teammates were Cam Foster, Keith Clarke and Rudy Brulotte.

Third place in B went to the foursome of Mike Redlick, Jon Mason, Rod Edgeworthy and Ian Tyerman, with fourth going to the Nanaimo team of Brian Scorer, George Duffell, Cliff King and Merv Osler.

The final of C event, sponsored by Christensen Collision, saw Wayne Harris and his Courtenay team edge out Nanaimo skip Tim Cullen and his team of Bruce Willgress, Ward Wiltsey and Murray Norby. With the game tied 3-3 after six ends, Harris scored two in the seventh and held Cullen to one in the eighth for a 5-4 win.

Local teams were third and fourth in C. Taking third place was skip Mike Chahley and his rink of Tony Wright, Tom Zacharuk and Kerry Lucas and in fourth spot was Mike Kenefick and his teammates Mike Pepin, Bob Palynchuk and Bill Millward.

M.J. Chahley Construction Group sponsored the D event of the competition and the final featured another exciting finish. One of the teams involved was a Courtenay entry skipped by Rock Cowles, while the other consisted of Kamloops skip Harry Noel backed by Nanaimo players Harold Levesque, Howard Jeglum and Bob Franklin. Cowles led 6-5 after six ends, but Noel scored one in the seventh and stole another in the final end for a 7-6 victory.

Taking third in the D bracket was the Nanaimo team of Rick Ringma, Scott MacLean, Lorne Bury and Don Lutes, while fourth went to the Craig Bernes foursome out of Courtenay.

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

Ian Thorpe writes about sports Thursdays.