July 23, 2007

European Mixed in Madrid

Summer passes quickly, and the first major international curling event of the new season is just nine weeks away. Twenty-six teams will contest the European Mixed Curling Championship, September 24-29, in the Palacio de Hielo in Canillas, a suburb of Madrid. The event website is now online here.

The Dreams Palacio de Hielo is considered to be one of the best ice rinks in Europe. The modern venue is the home of the first permanent curling school in Spain, founded two years ago, and it now has more than eighty players and twelve curling teams. The arena has 3000 seats and is in the middle of a large shopping mall with cinemas and restaurants.

This will be the third time a Euro Mixed Championship has been held. The first was in Andorra two years ago and was won by Finland's Markku Uusipaavalniemi with Kirsi Nykänen, Teemu Salo and Tiina Kautonen. In Claut, Italy, last year, Tom Brewster, Jackie Lockhart, David Hay and Kim Brewster won the title for Scotland. A photo of the winners is here.

Austria, Bulgary, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and Wales have signed up for Madrid. Scotland's team, the winners of the Scottish Mixed Championship in Aberdeen last season, is Glen Muirhead, Eve Muirhead, Gordon Muirhead and Anna Sloan. Gordon skipped and played second stones.

The Madrid competition will be played in four sections, with Scotland in Section A alongside the Czech Republic, Latvia, Norway, France and England. The first match for the Scots will be against the Czechs at 12.30 on Tuesday, September 25.

L-R: Glen, Anna, Eve and Gordon with the Scottish Mixed Championship trophy after their success at Aberdeen on April 1.

The weekend before the Mixed Championship, September 21-23, the Madrid venue will host the Fifth Madrid International Bonspiel.

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