The world, it seems, loves an underdog. It is human nature perhaps that many of those watching what happens on the ice at Perth this weekend will be rooting for the teams which are not starting as 'favourites'!
David Murdoch, Ewan MacDonald, Peter Smith and Euan Byers hold the mantle as favourites in the men's event, a double round robin against Tom Brewster, Duncan Fernie, Ron Brewster and Colin Campbell, and Warwick Smith, Craig Wilson, David Smith and Ross Hepburn. Can Warwick or Tom's teams cause an upset? I'm not into predictions on the blog here as to who is going to win, except to say that there will be some very special displays of curling this weekend. Unmissable, and Curling Today will certainly be there!
Murdoch faces Brewster in the first game at 3pm tomorrow afternoon. The scores will be on the Royal Club website here, and you can find Mike Haggerty's preview here.
In the women's event to find Scotland's representatives at the European Championships in Sweden in December, Edith Loudon, Mairi Milne, Claire Milne and Katie Loudon face up against Kelly Wood, Jackie Lockhart, Lorna Vevers and Lindsay Wood in a best of five series of games, the first of which is at 8.30pm Friday.
I'll also be wondering how our junior teams will be getting on in Oslo, the first of a series of three events for elite junior teams, promoted by the World Curling Tour-Europe. Glen Muirhead and Kerr Drummond field their National Academy teams in the junior men's event, in which Graeme Black's side is also competing, that team funding their own participation. The Claire Hamilton and Hannah Fleming National Academy teams are in the junior women's event.
Twelve teams compete in each event, playing round robins in two sections. I don't know if the results will be on line. Certainly, setting up the events has been a bold step for the organisers, and not without problems I understand! However, it all gets underway this weekend. (Added later. You can find what I think is an up to date draw here, to download. There are only eight teams in the girls' competition, playing in two sections.) (Added even later. You can now find results here.)
The WCT-e Junior Tour moves to Inverness, November 14-16, and then to Hamburg, January 16-18. I look forward to finding out more about this weekend's inaugural event in due course.
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