September 22, 2007

Off to Sunny Spain

Gordon Muirhead and his team, the current Scottish Mixed Champions, head to Madrid today to compete in the European Mixed Curling Championship. The team (photo here) lines up with Gordon in the head and playing second stones. Son Glen plays last stones, daughter Eve plays third, and Anna Sloan is lead. Their first game is against Norway on Tuesday morning, then the Czech Republic in the evening. Wednesday evening is Latvia. Thursday morning the Scots face the French and their final round robin game in the evening is against England, skipped by Scottish expat Alan MacDougall who has Suzie Law at lead, Andrew Reed (2nd) and Lana Watson (3rd).

The full list of competitors, and the results, will be found on the event website here.

It will not be easy for the young Scots - probably the youngest team in the tournament. Gordon's three players are all junior skips in the Royal Club's National Academy Squad. Their team photos are here. And Eve of course is currently a World Junior Champion. What experience it will be for them to have the opportunity of competing together in a big European event. The pressure of the last stones will fall on Glen. He'll be up for the challenge, I'm sure!

This is the third time the European Mixed has been held. Last time in Claut, Tom Brewster, Jackie Lockhart, David Hay and Kim Brewster brought home the gold. Twenty-six countries line up this time, in four sections. Experience is there in some teams. Finland's team is skipped by Jussi Uusipaavalniemi. Germany's top end is Rainer and Andrea Schopp. Adrian Meikle skips a Welsh four, and John-Jo Kenny skips an Irish side.

The photo below, courtesy of Leslie Ingram-Brown, shows one way that Madrid is promoting the event.

PS Why can't I get the .... song 'Eveva Espana' out of my brain since I began to write this post? The song was an original hit for Belgian singer Samantha, and was covered by a number of others and sold millions around the world. In the UK it was 'Y Viva Espana' by Sylvia. For some reason, and perhaps fortunately, this version does not appear to be available on iTunes, but there are lots of other versions there. However, a free version of Sylvia's song can be found here, if you need to be reminded of how it goes. But I'm sure you remember. Right, altogether now, 'This year I'm off to sunny Spain, Y Viva Espana ................. "

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