November 30, 2008

Wrapping up the weekend

It was another busy weekend to round up! Let's start off with the Edinburgh International, a new WCT-e event, although the competition and the trophy have a long history. The winners (above) were L-R Andy Kapp (skip), Holger Hohne (2nd), Andy Lang (3rd) and Andreas Kempf (lead). The results are here.

A few more reminders of Murrayfield follow:

The runners-up received the famous Berne Bear trophy. L-R Conny Llungqvist, Goran Carlsson (skip), Morgan Bergkvist and Magnus Ekdahl.

You don't often see Andy Kapp getting this excited on the ice!

Goran Carlsson

The Senior Championships shared the stage on Sunday with the International event. The winners were L-R Alan Collett, Frank Forrest, Jim Wood and Michael Sutherland (skip) who beat Alan Durno's team of Peter Fraser, Willie Young and Mike Watt in the final. Gary Macfarlane's side beat Ken Watson's team in the Low Road. Find the linescores and other results here.

My favourite pic from the Seniors final!

Now this is the furthest travelled fan at Murrayfield this weekend. Andrea Boling had come from Florida. Highlight of this self-confessed curling groupie's Scottish holiday was to be watching David Murdoch play! However, Team Murdoch exited early and Andrea didn't get the chance to watch her curling idol. When the Ed heard about the story he rounded up RCCC President Matt Murdoch, whose main claim to fame of course is that he is David's dad, and arranged for Andrea to meet him instead. Not sure how impressed Andrea was, but we all hope her holiday this week in Scotland will have better outcomes!

Elsewhere, in Wetzikon in the International ZO Women's Tournament, Vicki Adams, Karen Addison, Rachael Simms and Anne Laird won three of the five games in their section, but just missed out, on ranking, on getting through to the playoff stages. Mirjam Ott's team won that WCT-e title.

At Greenacres, in the U-17 Baljaffray competition, Blair Fraser, Thomas Sloan, Kirsten McNay and Jennifer Martin beat Gavin Reid, Kyle Waddell, Craig Waddell and Andrew Muir in the final. The scores are all on the RCCC website here.

But my player of the weekend award goes to Angie Malone (below). Many of those who follow wheelchair curling will know that Angie, a Paralympic silver medallist from Pinerolo and a member of the current GB squad, has been fighting some health concerns. Despite her worries, she decided to play in the British Open this weekend at Kinross. And she skipped her team of Ian Donaldson, Jim Elliot and Jim Taylor to a 6-4 win over Jim Gault's side in the final! Results are all here.

Angie, we're all rooting for you!

Pics by Bob.

Murrayfield climax

Two great semifinals, both going to an extra end, set up the afternoon at the Edinburgh International Curling Championship, sponsored by Belhaven Best. Andy Kapp of Germany played a double takeout with last stone to beat Warwick Smith's side in the ninth, and Goran Carlsson from Sweden had a straightforward draw to the eight foot to beat Hammy McMillan's side in extra time.

So it was a Sweden - Germany game for the Edinburgh International trophy. Kapp stole a single at the second and were always in control. A two at the sixth gave the German side a 5-2 lead and they were two ahead coming home with the hammer at the last. Kapp, Andy Lang, Holger Hoehne and Andreas Kempf were the champs at Murrayfield.

The final of the Seniors' event was contested by the teams skipped by Michael Sutherland and Alan Durno. Sutherland with Jim Wood, Frank Forrest and Alan Collett came out on top.

Top: Andy's German team working hard. Above: Michael Sutherland.

You can find all the linescores here.

Pics by Bob. More later.

November 29, 2008

Strictly Curling at Murrayfield

So Brucie, shall we ask the judges for their comments on today's play at Murrayfield?

"They'll need the audience vote to keep them in."

"I'd like to have seen a little more aggression."

"You lost a bit of bounce on your voltas!"

"You could have been a bit more precise."

"You make such a lovely couple." (Would anyone like to sponsor the Ed's stones?)

"Would tonight's curlers please take to the ice."

"Men in Black was probably not the best theme for your samba, although the choice of Rudolph, the Red Nose Reindeer, was rather appropriate music!"

"Arrogant, full of attitude.... I loved it!"

(Unfortunate - and I'm sure accidental - placement of a team nameplate as seen on the webcast that went out round the World! The sponsor's product is really very nice.)

"I liked the intensity and arm movements."

"Gripping tale of a tango."

"You were like Cinderella, and tonight you ARE going to the ball."

"Soul tingling."

"Fab - U - Luss!"


Don't phone now. The lines aren't open and you may be charged.

The couples going straight through to the quarterfinals at 08.30 on Sunday are:
Niklas Edin
David Edwards
Goran Carlsson
Hammy McMillan

Smith, Stock, Shaw, Kapp, Meister, Brewster, Kiiskinen, Hamilton and Sik are in the dance off.

The results are all here. The webcast is here.

Saturday at Murrayfield

Here we are in Murrayfield at the Edinburgh International Championships, sponsored by Belhaven Best. This is Hammy McMillan.

Andy Kapp's German team in action.

Finland is here, as you can see!

David Sik's Czech team are one of eleven countries competing in this WCT-e event.

Today's Caption Competition. They say Organising Committee chairman Trevor Dodds had hair before he started to organise the event! Here talking to David B Smith, Scotland's curling history guru.

John Hamilton

Here is the webcasting crew. Bob Kelly and Kenny Edwards doing the commentary this morning. That's Colin Mouat working a camera. Alex Mitchell i/c production in the background. Find the stream here. Scores here.

Pics by Bob.

Scottish Curler team member Robin Copland has these thoughts about yesterday's play. Good with words is our Copey. (But please don't expect full reports like this from every competition from now on! Unless of course every event recruits a good press officer who knows about the game and is willing to write for Curling Today!). Over to Copey....

A great day’s curling in Edinburgh

The first day of the Edinburgh International sponsored by Belhaven Best threw up some interesting games and provided a lively audience with a couple of shock results.

Perhaps the toughest section is A, with three fancied teams – and only two quarter-final places available. A key game in this section pitted David Edwards against the impressive Swedes skipped by Niklas Edin. Niklas himself has an impressive four Swedish Junior titles to his credit and an even more impressive haul of one Gold and three Silver medals in the World Junior Championship to his name. His three team mates, Sebastian Kraupp, Fredrik Lindberg and Viktor Kjall also have recent International experience, including a brave bronze medal at the 2007 World University Games in Pinerolo, playing with three players after one of their number fell ill at the start of the competition.

Niklas won this game, in the end fairly convincingly and Edwards found himself under pressure after only one game. Both he and Edin won their second section games and, in the third round, Edwards faced David Murdoch, cruising after two wins (although his second was only after an extra end final draw to the four foot against an impressive Dutch foursome, skipped by Mark Neeleman).

The first four ends between these two normally attacking teams was a dour (though impressively so!) affair until Graham Sloan managed to place a guard in end 5. Thereafter, it was 'game on' with a lot of excellent attacking play culminating in an eighth end steal for Team Edwards. This result brings them right back into contention; their two last games in the section are against an unlucky Jamie Dick - he lost an agonising 'last stone, last end' game against England’s Andrew Reed - and Mark Neeeleman.

Edin and Murdoch play off at 5.30pm on Saturday in a game that might very well become a 'must win' for David - especially if David Edward manages to win his last two games.

Meanwhile, in Section B, Pete Loudon and his team of Logan Gray, Richard Woods and Al Guthrie had a mixed day at the office, though they are still in contention on one win and two losses. They had the beating of Göran Carlsson, but a four shot swing when Pete’s attempted hit and roll for three turned into a horror jam for a lost one did for them in the end. They were lacklustre against a rampant Seb Stock but managed to get a score on the board with a tight win against Italy’s Joel Retornaz. Carlsson leads that section on three straight wins; Warwick Smith lost to both Colin Hamilton and Carlsson and finds himself in a dogfight that he probably thought he would avoid!

Sections C and D only had two games on Friday and each team faces three games on Saturday. In Section C, Tom Brewster won a tight game against Kalle Kiiskinen, who in the earlier session had taken the scalp of John Hamilton. John went on to lose a game that he probably will have felt he should have won against David Sik from the Czech Republic and thus finds himself propping up the table on zero wins and two losses. Strange to report, he is not out of it as Tom Brewster is the only team on two wins – everyone has else has dropped a game.

In Section D, the crowd was witness to some vintage Hammy McMillan play. Fresh from his Galleon Mini Tour victory, he accounted for John J Kenny’s Irish team, skipped in John’s absence by P J D Wilson, and the young Swiss team, skipped by Florian Meister. He sits alone at the top of the table with the only senior team in the competition, the former World Champion Rink skipped Keith Prentice, propping up the bottom of the table. That said, Keith forced Andy Kapp to play a difficult four foot draw for the game. Kapp had earlier lost to Graham Shaw in another tight game that went to an extra end.

The planned webcast of the first game was hijacked by technical difficulties – a shame, because it would have been good to see the team of the moment, Niklas Edin, in action. The second game seemed to be received, but in some cases without sound. The third game suffered a similar plight! Eventually, by draw four in the afternoon, the gremlins were put to the sword. Kenny Edwards, on a long hard road to recovery after a horror motor cycle accident at Knockhill, teamed up with Keith MacLennan to provide commentary on the Hammy McMillan v Florian Meister game; Robin Copland and Bob Kelly took over the commentary duties for the last round of the day game between the Davids Edwards and Murdoch.

Alex Mitchell oversaw things and Samantha Mooney, Stuart Dodds and Lesley Arrowsmith waggled the cameras!

There should be some cracking games tomorrow. There was a grand atmosphere in the bar, but there was more room down in the ice hall - take your pick!

November 28, 2008

Edinburgh International webcast

Initial problems in getting the webcasting of the Edinburgh International up and running this morning appear to have been resolved.

The link is here. There will no doubt be discussion of how successful it is/has been on the Scottish Curling Forum here.

End by end scores of all the games can be found here.

November 27, 2008

Eve in Wetzikon, but not really!

All eyes may be on the Edinburgh International at Murrayfield, but there is another WCT-e event this weekend, the ZO in Wetzikon, in the women's tour.

Eve Muirhead's team is listed in the draw for this 24-team event. But she won't be there. Instead, Karen Addison, Vicki Adams, Rachael Simms and Annie Laird will line up as the Institute four.

Four sections of six, five games. The Scots are up first against Petra Tschetsch from Germany at 12.30 tomorrow (Friday).

Find the results here. If you want to see what the rink looks like it has a webcam here.

Our under-17 teams are in action too this weekend at the Baljaffray in Greenacres. Twenty-two teams are signed up. The draw is here.

This is the second version of the post. First version had incorrect info, sorry.

November 26, 2008

Getting it out there

Curling Today goes where no other curling blogs dare to venture. Yes, this is really a photo of the inside of the Gents toilet at the Murrayfield curling rink! You see, like the organisers of events anywhere in the world, those involved with this weekend's Edinburgh International Curling Championship, sponsored by Belhaven Best, want to make sure that ALL the club members know what's about to happen at the rink, and want to encourage them to come along and support!

What better place to put a poster. Eye level, cannot be missed. The Editor is not privvy (sorry) to whether similar notices are on the back of the doors of the cubicles in the Ladies'!

Actually, plans to webcast of the weekend’s games have been finalised, for those who really cannot get along to the rink. Volunteer junior members of Edinburgh Curling Club have already had a training session from Alex Mitchell, the coordinator of the project. One of their number, Samantha Mooney, is a photography student.

Five games on Friday and five on Saturday will be broadcast over the web. Overhead cameras over three of Murrayfield’s seven sheets have been in place since the summer and pictures from those cameras will be mixed with pictures from two cameras in the bar above the sheets.

The preliminary schedule is:

9.30am Niklas Edin v David Edwards
12.00 noon John Hamilton v Kalle Kiiskinen
2.30pm Göran Carlsson v Warwick Smith
6.00pm Florian Meister v Hammy McMillan
8.30pm David Edwards v David Murdoch

9.00am Andy Kapp v Florian Meister
11.30am Peter Loudon v Warwick Smith
2.00pm Alan Smith v Kalle Kiiskinen
5.30pm David Murdoch v Niklas Edin
8.00pm Tom Brewster v David Sik

For the semifinal and final games, it is planned to have two on-ice cameras to supplement the existing cameras.

Commentators will include Bob Kelly and Robin Copland from Edinburgh, Mairi Milne and Keith MacLennan from Perth and Kenny Edwards from Lockerbie. Keith and Kenny will be working together on at least a couple of occasions and doubtless they will provide a refreshing insight into the modern game! It will be good to see Kenny back in a curling rink, as his recovery continues (see here)!

The Seniors competition, the warm up to the main course, got underway today. Find the results here. This is Royal Club Board Chairman Bob Tait doing the hard work!

And this is Kirsty Letton's front end Pat Orr and Anne MacDougall doing the hard work on Judy Mackenzie's stone on their way to defeating Jimmy Green's Borders side.

Pics by Bob.

November 25, 2008

Heading for Murrayfield

The Murrayfield rink is the place to be this week! With the revamped Edinburgh International, a new WCT-e competition, set to get underway on Friday, the attention tomorrow is on the Seniors' competition. Sixteen teams have entered. They will play league matches in four different sections of four teams at 10.00 and 15.00 on Wednesday and Thursday. The winners of each section advance to the High Road semifinals. There's a Low Road too.

The draw can be downloaded from here.

The semifinals and finals of the seniors event will share the stage with the semifinals and final of the Edinburgh International on Sunday, November 30.

November 23, 2008

Weekend report

The main thing to report, for me at any rate after this weekend, is that December's Scottish Curler magazine is now just about ready to go to press on Tuesday! But there was a lot of curling on this weekend and I was frustrated at not being able to see any of it first hand. The scores on the Royal Club website were my lifeline to what was going on.

At Aberdeen, Curling Today's 'kiss of death' after Friday's build up saw Mairi Milne and her new team just win one of their four games in the first weekend of the Columba Cream Scottish Ladies' Curling Championship! Kelly Wood, Jackie Lockhart, Lorna Vevers and Lindsay Wood had a good weekend, with wins over Milne's side and those of Judith McFarlane and Gillian Howard. Their only loss was to Sarah Reid's team of Kerry Barr, Barbara McFarlane and Laura Kirkpatrick.

World Junior Champ Eve Muirhead skipped her 'put together' team for the season's Scottish - Karen Addison, Rachael Simms and Anne Laird - and shares the top of the table position with Team Wood, winning three games. In fact their only loss was at an extra end to Gillian Howard.

What of the Scottish Champion Gail Munro? Gail and Lyndsay had a new front end in the shape of Kerry Adams and Sharon Stewart. They won two (against Howard and Milne), and lost two (against Reid and McFarlane), and are still in contention.

It all remains wide open for the next Championship rounds, but these are not until January 31 at Kinross.

Mike Haggerty's roundup is here.

At Kilmarnock, Hammy McMillan, Philip Wilson, Ross Paterson and Sandy Gilmour beat David Edwards, Moray Combe, Gavin Fleming and Graham Sloan in the final of the third of the men's mini tour events. With his win in Lockerbie in the second of the competitions, this gave McMillan's side the overall Mini Tour title, the Colin Galbraith trophy, and a foreign trip next season.

It wasn't an easy road for Team McMillan though, as they lost two early games and only came through from their section after a tiebreaker.

One of the incentives for entering the Mini Tour this season was that if you did well your team could avoid the pre-qualifier and get through directly to the main Scottish Championship qualifying weekends. The Competitions Manager's report is here. As I understand it, the teams who were not already through by virtue of their performance in the finals (ie David Edwards and Colin Hamilton) last season and who benefit from their mini tour performances this season are Hammy McMillan, Keith MacLennan, Jamie Dick, Scott Hamilton, Alan Smith, Alan Manuel and Lee McCleary. Have I got this right? Someone will no doubt tell me if I haven't! The mini tour standings tables are here if you want to try figure it out for yourself.

Top: Team McMillan at the Galleon. L-R Hammy McMillan, Philip Wilson, Ross Paterson, Sandy Gilmour. Photo by Richard Gray.

November 20, 2008

The pressure will be on Kelly

Gail Munro (above) may well be the reigning Scottish Champion with a new team for this season's Columba Cream Scottish Women's Curling Championship, but it will be Kelly Wood's side who I suspect will be feeling the pressure at Curl Aberdeen this weekend. Kelly, Jackie Lockhart, Lorna Vevers and Lindsay Wood are off to the European Championships as Scotland's representatives next month, having edged Edith Loudon's team in a five game playoff, described here.

With Edith now retired, Mairi Milne, Claire Milne, Lynn Cameron and Katie Loudon are the new girls on the block this weekend. They played together in Oslo early in the season and are undoubtedly a team with the potential to be in the mix when it comes to the final rounds of the Championship next February. No prize for guessing who the Milne team plays in their first game at 12.30 this Saturday - it's Team Wood!

Wood's other games this weekend are against Judith McFarlane, Sarah Reid and Gillian Howard.

After Vernon, Gail and Lyndsay Wilson have had to find a new front end. Just who has been a secret until now - mimicking a tactic used by the GB Squad of not naming the team prior to the competition, keeping the opposition guessing. So, who will line up for Munro at Curl Aberdeen on Saturday? Curling Today can exclusively reveal that.............. xxxxx xxxxx will be lead, and xxxxxx xxxxxxx will be second! (I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you!)

Sadly, getting the December Scottish Curler ready to go to press will keep me away from Aberdeen this weekend. Ah well, I can look forward to the day when such events are webcast to one and all! In the meantime, I'll be following the results on the Royal Club website here, and you can also read Mike Haggerty's preview here.

Actually, I would like to be at Aberdeen for tomorrow's Q&A session (5pm and 6pm Friday evening at the curling rink), an opportunity for members to sit down with Bob Tait, the Royal Club Chairman. There are lots of questions even before this takes place, like 'Why should there be a need for such an event?' As I've said before, I wonder if anyone will turn up?

I found the atmosphere at the last AGM particularly acrimonious, and I would hope that this does not carry forward to what is really a positive and forward looking initiative by the Royal Club Board. It's good to talk!

Elsewhere, life goes on on the ice. I note that Germany and China have qualified for the World Wheelchair Curling Championship from the special ten country qualifying competition that has been going on this week in Prague. Germany and China will now join Canada, Korea, Italy, Norway, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland and USA in Vancouver.

Sadly, Japan did not. You may remember that it was only the matter of a few centimetres which kept Scotland in the main world event after the competition in Sursee last season when relegation was decided on the basis of the draw shot challenge results rather than extra games. Japan was the country that lost out then. They did compete in Prague, finishing in sixth place with a 4-5 win-loss record. The linescores are here, and the summary report here.

At Greenacres, the qualifying rounds of the men's Scottish Masters Championship (for over 60s) have been taking place. Six sections of five, four games each, to find the top two in each section. Twelve teams progress to the finals next March. Teams skipped by the following have won through: Gifford Rickard, Walter Brown, William Shanks, Jim Stevenson, Ian Dykes, John Phillips, Bob Smellie, Michael Sutherland, Jim Bryson, David Smith, Jack Steven and Sandy Reid. Find all the scores here.

Twelve womens' teams are directly through to the finals which are again at the Greenacres Rink, March 5-8.

This weekend the last of the men's Mini Tour events takes place at the Galleon Centre. Find the draw for that, and follow the results, here. That's quite a section with Hammy McMillan, Alan Smith, Graham Shaw and Andrew Reid. Hammy won in Lockerbie. Can he rack up a second win in Kilmarnock and win the Colin Galbraith Trophy. We shall see!

And did you notice that the GB Squads are going to benefit from sponsorship from Primary General, and were on the ice in a public relations role yesterday? Read the story here.

Gail Munro's photo is by Richard Gray.

November 18, 2008

Looking ahead to Swift Current... and back to Vernon

It was announced today by the World Curling Federation and the Canadian Curling Association that the 2010 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship will be held in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, March 20-28.

Where is Swift Current? It's west of Moose Jaw heading towards Medicine Hat. The twelve-country Worlds will be played at the Credit Union i-plex, a hockey arena complex which underwent a $15 million renovation in 2007. There are lots of pics of the renovations here, on the Swift Current Broncos site where the photo above is from. The arena will seat approximately 2,400 for the championship, and has a number of corporate suites. There is also a six sheet curling rink in the complex.

The full press release can be found on the CCA website here.

The problem for some of us here in Scotland of course is that we find it hard to look forward to a future women's world event when we are still looking back at what happened in Vernon! I'm sure no-one needs reminded of the story, but if you do, you can find what I've written about it on Curling Today. Start here and here. Or from another source here. It is an issue which at the time made Scotland the laughing stock of the curling world, and the indecent time it has taken to conduct an investigation, to find out what really happened and to ensure that such a thing never happens again, has not done anything to improve the reputation of our governing body. Please, let's get this resolved, for everyone's sake.

I have some information today, little though it is! The investigation is ongoing apparently, in the hands of lawyer Michael Nicholson. The lack of hard information coming from the Royal Caledonian Curling Club is frustrating. But it seems to be common knowledge according to some recent posts on the Scottish Curling Forum that there has been a delay caused by .... who knows for sure?

This afternoon, I asked Colin Grahamslaw, the Royal Club CEO, if there was any progress to report. He was not in a position to give details (yes, there is still a media blackout in place) but he assured me that Michael Nicholson will produce a report, although as yet there is no timescale. Grahamslaw offered 'within a month'. Let's hope so!

Now, the Royal Club has made a big thing of the Board Chairman, Bob Tait, getting out and talking to members. The first Q&A session is at Aberdeen this Friday evening, to which all members have been invited, see here. I wonder if anyone will ask about the Vernon enquiry?

Oh, and don't forget, the first rounds of this season's Columba Cream Scottish Women's Championship are this Saturday at Curl Aberdeen. The draw is here.

Sports Minister at Lockerbie

It was a big day for curling in Lockerbie as Sports Minister Stewart Maxwell and sportscotland Chief Executive Stewart Harris were in town to officially open the upgraded Lockerbie Ice Rink, which received sportscotland funding. Also announced officially today was the sportscotland annual investment in the governing body for curling, the Royal Caledonian Curling Club.

As previously reported (see here and here), Lockerbie Ice Rink received a sportscotland investment of £214,151 to enhance their facilities including the upgrade to the refrigeration plant and changing rooms, improving the insulation and installing energy efficient light and a lift for wheelchair users.

I liked the header for today's press release, 'Leaving no stone unturned - sportscotland supports curling development!' £385,000 has been granted for the development of the sport across the country. This investment will play an important part in enabling the Royal Club to grow and develop the sport at every level. To quote from the press release, "A drive to increase participation at grassroots level is complemented by a strong coach development programme to ensure that curlers are given every opportunity to progress, becoming the stars of the future who will carry on Scotland’s proud curling tradition."

This is the money that goes towards ACDO salary contributions, all the aspects of the Royal Club's development and coaching programmes, and the National and Regional Academy initiatives. In addition, the Scottish Institute of Sport, the high performance arm of sportscotland, receives an additional £200,000 to support the national coaches and the elite teams.

The full text of today's press release can be found here.

Stewart Harris, Chief Executive of sportscotland said, “Curling is one of Scotland’s most successful sports with thirty-five medals on the world stage over the last ten years but investment in the sport is essential if we are to continue that excellent track record. The sportscotland funding of £385,000 to the RCCC will allow them to build on this success and nurture the champions of the future."

In 2007-08 sportscotland invested over £11.5 million in forty-one sports governing bodies.

Stewart Maxwell addresses a large number of guests at the rink.

After a short lesson from David Murdoch and Euan Byers, the Sports Minister lines up for his first ever curling delivery, with young curlers Thomas Sloan, Alice Spence, Hannah Fleming and Lisa Jardine in attendance. Needless to say, his stone finished in the four foot!

Mind you, it could not have been easy with all these lenses pointed at him. Our Sports Minister is definitely a good sport!

Pics by Bob.

November 17, 2008

What else happened at the weekend?

The ROK Highland Junior International at Inverness occupied my attention at the weekend, but curling life was still going on elsewhere.

At Greenacres, Midlothian Province won the National Province Championship. Mike Dick's winning rink from Carrington CC comprised Alastair Galloway and Kirsty Galloway with a substitute - none other than RCCC Competitions Manager Colin Hamilton in place of Trevor Dodds, who was in Inverness coaching his daughter Jennifer's team. Mike Haggerty's roundup of the event is here. (Hugh Stewart's photo above shows L-R Kirsty Galloway, Alastair Galloway, Colin Hamilton, Bill Marshall, RCCC Vice-president, Mike Dick and Elma Paterson of Greenacres)

Five men's teams competed in the WCT-e Lucerne Trophy. Three (Team Murdoch, Team Brewster and Team Smith) made it to the quarterfinals, although only the GB Squad made it any further, bowing out in the semi against Andi Schwaller, who won the event. The Lucerne website has Ewan MacDonald as skip of the GB Squad at the weekend. If anyone can confirm this before I can find out for sure, then please use the comment box! For the linescores, the event website is here.

The World Wheelchair Curling Qualifying Competition is well underway already in Prague. The results and standings are here. There are ten teams involved. The top two will qualify for the 2009 World Wheelchair Curling Championship in Vancouver, February 21-28. This will be a test event for the 2010 Paralympics.

The teams are playing a round robin, then a Page playoff where 1 plays 2, with the winner qualifying as No 1. The loser plays the winner of 3 v 4 and the winner of that game also qualifies.

Just a final note from Inverness. I posed a question about the connection between Marco Pasquale, skip of the Italian junior men's team, and the Greenacres rink. The answer is below, and makes me feel very old!

The Editor used to help out with the coaching at the Greenacres rink in the early 1980s. One family, the Simpsons, were very supportive at the rink and there were two daughters who both took up the sport and became good curlers. One of them, Fiona, was the best ever student - mastering the sliding delivery as fast as I've ever seen it done. You see, she was a ballet dancer! Her career took her to Italy working with her dance company, she met an Italian policeman, fell in love...... (I do like a good romance), married, had a family, and lived happily ever after. That is, until the curling rink opened in Pinerolo, near where they lived. Then it got even better.

Cutting a long story short, this is their son Marco, skipping the Italian team at Inverness!

The other sister, Morna Simpson, married World Junior Champ David Aitken, and the curling genes from that partnership can be seen in their daughters Gina and Tasha who, alongside their cousin Marco, were both competing at Inverness. This pic is Gina who substituted for Vicki Adams in Eve Muirhead's team yesterday. Sarah Macintyre and Anna Sloan are the sweepers. Her birthday is today, so 'Happy Birthday Gina' from us all!

Photos by Bob and the third episode of 'Curling Family Trees' is next month!

November 16, 2008

Inverness report

Just a quick update from Inverness. This is the Swedish side (L-R: Kristian Lindstrom, 4th, Oscar Eriksson, skip, Henrik Leek, alternate, Alexander Lindstrom, 2nd, and Christoffer Sundgren, lead) who won the ROK Highland Junior International at the weekend, defeating Kerr Drummond, Blair Fraser, Tom Pendreigh and James Dunn in the final. All the linescores are here.

Hannah Fleming, Rebecca Kesley, Alice Spence and Abi Brown beat Claire Hamilton, Lauren Gray, Rhiann Macleod and Caitlin Barr in the Junior Women's final, Hannah playing a memorable double takeout for the two she need to win with last stone of the game.

Photos by Bob, apologies not up to standard, must do better. A fuller report in next month's Scottish Curler!