With only a day at home to recover from their success at Fussen, David Murdoch and Kelly Wood set out today to represent Europe in the 2007 Continental Cup of Curling, presented by Monsanto, which begins on Thursday in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Kelly has her full team but Graeme Connall cannot make the trip. With Ewan MacDonald still recovering from knee surgery, the WCF, whose responsibility the event is, has helped line up Niklas Edin from Sweden, who won the World Junior Championship in 2004, to join the Murdoch four - a decision which has already caused some eyebrows to be raised.
The other European teams are skipped by Andy Kapp of Germany, Andreas Schwaller of Switzerland, Liudmila Privivkova of Russia, and Angelina Jensen of Denmark. The captain is Rhona Martin and Rodger Schmidt is the coach.
The competition format involves four disciplines within the sport, each worth a designated number of points: Team Games (72 points), Mixed Doubles (36 points), Singles (32 points) and Skins Games (260 points). The first side to score 201 points is the winner. Each member of the winning side will receive $2,000, while the losing side members will get $1,400 each from the $88,400 total purse.
There have been several format changes to the Con Cup this year, including the introduction of two Mixed Skins Games, worth 20 and 30 points, to complement the three separate men's and women's Skins Games, which are now worth 20, 30 and 55 points each. The Singles competition, which involves six basic curling shots, now requires each of the four members of the team to throw at least one of the shots. Formerly, one curler for each side threw all six shots. Mixed Doubles will now involve only a male and female thrower for each side, who may also sweep during the game. However, unlike past Cups no other sweepers will be provided. This brings the rules into line with those for the World event coming up at Vierumaki.
North America is represented by Kelly Scott, Glenn Howard, Randy Ferbey, Jennifer Jones, Todd Birr and Debbie McCormick. Pat Ryan is the captain and Elaine Dagg-Jackson is the coach.
Follow the results here.
Ludmila Privivkova also brings her team to Medicine Hat straight from Fussen.
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