BY IAN THORPE
Last month saw the welcome return of a major bonspiel to the local curling calendar. An annual men’s open spiel in January had been a long-standing tradition, but the event had not been held for the past several seasons.
It was successfully revived this year as the Nanaimo Men’s Rock the Ice Bonspiel, thanks largely to the efforts of organizers Ian Cook, Dave Fraser, Ross Barnard, Gerry Roy and others. Along with a group of major corporate sponsors who supported the event with generous prize offerings.
A total of 22 teams took part in the bonspiel. Of those, only two eventually advanced to the championship final of A event, sponsored by Winmar Property Restorations. Claiming victory was the Nanaimo team of skip Kyle Don, third Steve Anderson, second Colton Angell and lead Darren Angell. The Don foursome posted a 5-1 win over Wes Craig and his Kerry Park teammates Gerald Poelman, Tony Anslow and Victor Gamble.
Third place in A event went to skip Ed Schmuland and his team of Darrell Knowles, Cal Parker and Richard Finch, with fourth spot taken by Brendan Neff and his teammates Rob Vlaj, Tyler Huntley and Keith Clarke.
The bonspiel’s B event was sponsored by Georgiaview Health and Wellness and the final was an all-Nanaimo affair. Skip Bob Chlan, together with third Dean Mousseau, second Dan Danylchuk and lead Bob Franklin, were 7-0 winners over the team of Tony Brocklehurst, Warren Keller, Doug Buchanan and Roy Collins.
Nanaimo skip Rick Ringma and his team of Scott MacLean, Jim Boutillier and Colin Morgan finished third in B event, with a visiting team from Royal City Curling Club skipped by Harry Mackinley in fourth spot.
In C event action, sponsored by Christensen Collision, a pair of local teams provided spectators with an exciting final. Teams skipped by Garry Smith and Nick Mangano played to a 7-7 tie after eight ends. Smith forced an extra end by stealing a point in the eighth, but Mangano had last rock advantage in the extra frame and came away with an 8-7 win. Others on the winning team were third Dwayne Black, second Paul Konyer and lead Dave Wright, while teammates with Smith were Brian Cocks, Tom Stromar and Glyn Doyle.
Third and fourth places in C event went to Victoria rinks skipped by Mitchel Siemens and Richard Brower respectively.
Golden Inn was the sponsor for D event. In the final, a Campbell River entry skipped by Lyle Boyce got past the Nanaimo foursome of Randy Forbes, Doug Scheibel, Scott Forbes and Joel Brittain by a 4-2 score.
Local teams claimed third and fourth places in the event. In third was the rink of Aaron Kirkbride, Adam Coronica, Dan Bailey and Joe van Buskirk and in fourth were Ian Cook, Dave Fraser, Gerry Roy and Ross Barnard.
There’s more bonspiel action at the Nanaimo Curling Centre on Wall Street this coming weekend, as the annual Nanaimo Ladies’ Bonspiel gets underway Friday evening and runs through until Sunday. Spectators are welcome.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.