BY IAN THORPE
With the end of January near, we are into the heart of the curling season. Fans have enjoyed television competitions such as the Pinty’s Grand Slam Canadian Open event last weekend and the recent Continental Cup which saw Europe defeat Canada for the second straight year.
Next month will bring Canadian championships for women and men, with the Scotties Tournament of Hearts to be held beginning Feb. 15 in Moose Jaw and the Tim Hortons Brier starting Feb. 29 in Kingston, Ont.
We’ll catch up now on the most recent bonspiel action held at the Nanaimo Curling Centre on Wall Street. Two weekends ago was the Nanaimo ‘Rock the Ice’ men’s bonspiel. Ian Cook and Dave Fraser were main organizers, along with Gerry Roy, Ross Barnard, Ed Yewchin and a host of other volunteers.
The bonspiel’s A event was sponsored by Winmar Property Restoration and needed an extra end before local skip Glyn Doyle and his team could edge the Kyle Sedola foursome 7-6. Backing Doyle on the championship team were third Brendon Plamondon, second Evan Doyle and lead Lee Vanden Ham. Others on the Sedola squad were Kyle Don, Steve Anderson and Colton Angell.
Third place in A event went to the Nanaimo/Campbell River entry of Ed Schmuland, Darrell Knowles, Calvin Parker and Russ Pawliuk.
In the final of B event, sponsored by Hazelwood Construction Services, Nanaimo’s Brendan Neff was victorious 6-2 over a Victoria entry skipped by Zane Bartlett. Others on the Neff squad were third Rob Vlaj, second MacKenzie Pawliuk and lead Erik Brahniuk. Finishing third in B event was the Nanaimo foursome of Ian Cook, Dave Fraser, Sean Krepps and Ross Barnard.
Harbour Chandler sponsored the bonspiel’s C event and the final was an exciting one. After trailing throughout the game, Parksville skip Carey Sulz stole two points to pull even in the final end of regulation before Nanaimo’s Mike Kenefick prevailed in the extra end for a 6-5 win. Kenefick was backed by teammates Bob Palynchuk at third, Dennis Plamondon playing second and Stan Wheat throwing lead stones. In third place was the entry of Harry MacKinley, Angus Gardener, Darren Bullock and Godfrey Van de leur.
The bonspiel’s D event, sponsored by GeorgiaView Massage Therapy, featured an all-Nanaimo final and resulted in a 6-1 victory for the family team of skip Rick Ringma, third Rob Ringma, second Steve Ringma and lead Gord Ringma. Runners-up were the foursome of Michael Sloan, Dennis Anderson, Rob Johnson and Mike Pepin. Third place went to a Parksville entry skipped by Mick Morrill.
Local bonspiel action continues during the final two weekends of this month. Jan. 24-25 will feature the Wineworks Senior Interclub Bonspiel, open to all curlers participating in any of the club’s senior ladies’ or senior men’s leagues. Then beginning on Jan. 31 will be the annual Nanaimo Ladies’ Open Bonspiel.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.