Although there are still some competitions being held, another curling season is quickly nearing its end.
A large number of local fans took in the recent action in Victoria, where the Ford World Men’s Curling Championships were held at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre. The crowd favourite of course was the Canadian men’s team skipped by Brad Jacobs. Jacobs and his Northern Ontario squad won their way into the championship final and can be very proud of the silver medal.
Locally, the final competition of the season was held at the Nanaimo Curling Centre on Wall Street two weekends ago. This year’s version of the annual Spring Fling Mixed bonspiel had a field of 27 teams, including nine in a special novice division that featured teams of two experienced curlers paired with two newer curlers. The bonspiel theme was Flashback to the ’50s, and participants enjoyed great fun throughout the weekend, with events including a hula hoop contest, costumes, a steak barbecue and live dance music.
The majority of the teams entered were from Nanaimo and local teams certainly prevailed at the prize table, taking the top four spots in each of the bonspiel’s events. The Johnston Franklin law firm sponsored A event, with the Sunday final involving the only two undefeated teams to that point. In that match-up, Nanaimo skips Bob Chlan and Frank Smith faced each other for top honours. It was the Chlan rink that prevailed, claiming a 9-2 decision to win the championship event. Others on the winning squad were third Heather Lindsay-Lecuyer, second Harold Levesque and lead Cheryl Toole. Backing Smith on the runner-up team were Zorka Smith, Keith Clarke and Angela Price. Finishing third in A event were Karmen Yee, Corrine Neale, Keith Rodway and Carolyn Clark.
In the final of B event, sponsored by Christensen Collision, the team skipped by Jim Newlands posted a 6-3 win over that led by George Duffell. Also on the winning side were third Marika Van Osch, second Patrick Simpson and lead Tracey Newlands. On the ice with Duffell were Sally Noonan, Jake McGlenen and Jill McGlenen.
Susan Chepil and her team of Mark Kirkham, Ron Membery and Brandy Membery placed third in the B event.
The bonspiel’s C event was sponsored by Laird Wheaton and the final saw the Matthew Van Osch team defeat Brenda Ridgway’s foursome 8-3. Van Osch was backed by third Shaelyn Rice, second Nicolaas DeBeeld and lead Talya Jesperson. Others on the runner-up Ridgway squad were Howard Jeglum, Ross Barnard and Tami Barnard.Third in C event was skip Ken Hall and his team of Joan Hall, Tom Weinreich and Shawna Weinreich.
In the novice division, sponsored by MacDonald Environmental Sciences, a 7-2 win in the final gave the title to skip Mike Kenefick and teammates Elaine Cloutier, Troy Patterson and Nancy Bundell.
With the local curling season now finished, all that remains is year-end award banquets. We’ll pass along results from those in the weeks ahead.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.
Ian Thorpe writes about sports Saturdays.