During the past two weeks another curling season has come to an end, both locally and on the international stage.
At the world men’s championships held in Halifax earlier this month, the Swedish team skipped by Niklas Edin claimed the gold medal thanks to an impressive 9-5 win over Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud.
Then the professional tour wrapped up last weekend with Olympic champion Brad Jacobs and his team capturing the Players’ Championship Grand Slam of Curling.
Locally, the Nanaimo Curling Centre on Wall Street hosted the final two bonspiels of the season at the end of last month. First came the third annual Stick Bonspiel, sponsored by Berwick on the Lake. The unique format of this competition involved two-person teams, with at least one partner using a curling stick for delivery.
In the A event, first place went to Ralph Hook’s Parksville entry and second place to the Ken Calthorpe team from Qualicum. Third spot went to the Nanaimo team of Don Boudot and Ken Hall.
The B event was won by Parksville’s Dennis Cassidy, followed by two local teams. In second was Archie McIntosh and Roy Richmon, in third was Nels Symbaluk and myself.
The top three teams in C event were all Nanaimo entries. First came Rod Brown and Terry Miller, in second place was Craig Turnbull and Daniel Krebs, in third was Frank and Eleanor Voysey.
In D event, top spot went to the Alan Thomas team from Qualicum. Second was Nanaimo’s Bob Davies and Gary Heiman, with third place going to the local pair of Doc and Lana Meuckon.
Closing out the local curling season at the end of last month was the Sleeman Spring Fling Mixed Bonspiel. The Johnston Franklin Bishop law firm sponsored A event, with the Sunday final involving the only two undefeated teams to that point. In that Nanaimo matchup, the team of Brendan Neff, Tracey Newlands, Mackenzie Pawliuk and Debbie Pulak prevailed 8-5 over Ferdy Hobson, E.T. Mitton, Harold Levesque and Marilyn Caustos.
An all-Nanaimo final in B event, sponsored by Christensen Collision, resulted in a 10-4 victory for Nick Mangano, Annina Mangano, Sarah Plamondon and Brendon Plamondon over skip Ken Rafter and his team of Sandy Przada, Darren Fargo and Lori Helem.
Local teams were also tops in C event, sponsored by Laird Wheaton. The final saw the entry of Joe Greene, Brenda Ridgway, Jeonghyeon Lee and Doreen Johnson take an 8-4 decision over Ian Cook, Heather Lindsay-Lecuyer, Lee Venables and Susan Barber.
The bonspiel also featured a novice division sponsored by MacDonald Environmental Sciences, with teams consisting of two experienced curlers paired with two novices. In the final, skip Susan Chepil and her teammates Mark Kirkham, Kevin Kirkham and Linda Kirkham prevailed.
With 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.