BY IAN THORPE
The next few weeks will see another season of curling come to a close, both at the professional and amateur levels.
Locally, league play for men’s and women’s teams has now finished for another year at the Nanaimo Curling Centre on Wall Street. Closing out each season at NCC is traditionally the Spring Fling Bonspiel, this year sponsored by Okanagan Spring.
The open mixed bonspiel was held at the end of March and attracted a healthy number of entries. A total of 22 teams of experienced curlers competed in three events, along with a special division involving seven teams of experienced curlers paired with novice players with two or less year of curling experience.
Heading up the team of volunteer organizers for the bonspiel was Chris Vanzandwyk, assisted by Margie Blackley, Chad Raill, Wes and Carol Belloch and a number of others. My thanks also to Genya Stevens and Andrea Trepanier for passing along results…
Sponsoring the bonspiel’s A event for experienced curlers was the Johnston Franklin Bishop law firm and the Sunday final involved the only two undefeated teams to that point. The final score was 7-3, as Nanaimo skip Ian Cook and his team of third Susan Chepil, second Tom Freeman and lead Carol Dorman prevailed over Mike Kenefick and his teammates Michelle Plamondon, Dennis Plamondon and Elaine Cloutier.
The final of B event, sponsored by Christensen Collision, also resulted with a 7-3 score. Winning team consisted of skip Gary Nobel, third Alina Abbott, second Dale Abbott and lead Linda Nobel. Runners-up were skip Rick Dunn along with Leslie Shearer, Doug Shearer and Meagan Dunn. Taking third place were Bruce Feltham, Debbie Erdos and Heather Lindsay.
It was a close final in C event, which was sponsored by Laird Wheaton GM. A full eight ends were needed before the tag-team combination of Mary Ellen Konyer, Dwain Black, Sharon Wright, Dave Wright, Paul Konyer and Lorna Black emerged with a 5-4 decision over skip Dean Meikle and his team of Kelly Meikle, Matthew Davis and Kiera Dickie. Third place in C event went to the foursome of Mack Ellis, Gabby Brissette, Erik Rankin and Marijke McDonald.
Turning to the novice division, sponsored by Barron’s Home Appliance Centre, the final ended with a 5-3 victory for the entry skipped by Kim Wang against that led by Kyle Clifford. Others on the winning side were third Sylvie Fraser, second Jason Perry and lead Jason Lee. With Clifford on the runner-up team were Dan Lutz, Susan McInnes and Ellen Den Holder. Third place in the novice event was claimed by skip Peter Swaisland and his teammates Connie Swaisland, Ken Thompson and Janet Oxler.
So with local curling now basically 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.