Three BC teams head to national curling trials

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March 13, 2013, (ISN) – Three BC teams are heading to the inaugural Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Trials, a new national championship taking place in Alberta starting March 14 and culminating on Sunday, March 17.

The three BC teams include Team Tardi/Hawes, the juvenile curlers from Langley and Royal City curling clubs who beat a field of adult curlers to take the BC title at the inaugural BC Mixed Doubles Curling Championship at the North Shore Winter Club in February.

The team, made up of 14-year-old Tyler Hardi and 16-year-old Dezaray Hawes, will face some of Canada’s top curlers at the Leduc Recreation Centre in Leduc, Alberta, near Edmonton.

The winning team in the four-day competition will earn the right to represent Canada at the World Mixed Doubles Championship, April 13 to 20 at the Grant-Harvey Centre in Fredericton, N.B.

The other two BC teams who are going to the event include Norm Richard and Debbie Girard, from Richmond Curling Club, and Ernie and Sarah Daniels, a father-daughter team from Delta Thistle Curling Club. These two teams are part of the “open entry” section of the championship.

One of the Alberta teams also features BC Scotties regular Darah Provencal, who has recently moved to Alberta.

The teams will face some tough opponents. Former Tim Hortons Brier champion Mark Dacey of Halifax is entered with wife Heather Smith-Dacey; that duo, which won the Nova Scotia mixed doubles title, was scheduled to represent Canada at the 2010 World Mixed Doubles Championship in Chelyabinsk, Russia, but travel issues caused by the Iceland volcano eruption prevented them from competing.

As well, Winnipeg’s Sean Grassie, who was part of the only Canadian duo to ever reach the podium at the World Mixed Doubles Championship (he won bronze with Allison Nimik in 2009 at Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy), is entered with Tracey Ann Lavery.

It’s the first time the Canadian Curling Association has staged a mixed doubles national championship; Canadian teams for previous world mixed doubles championships were drawn from the winning team at the traditional four-player Canadian mixed curling championship.

The traditional mixed Canadian championship will continue (the 2013-14 Canadian mixed is Nov. 14-23, 2013, at the Rideau Curling Club in Ottawa). But with the World Curling Federation, with support from the CCA, making a concerted push to have mixed doubles curling included in the Winter Olympics as soon as the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the decision was made to institute a true national championship in the discipline, which was first unveiled at the 2002 Continental Cup in Regina.

The competition format will consist of 32 teams (each team consists of one male curler and one female curler) divided into four pools of eight, with the top two from each pool after the round robin plus the four teams with the next-best records advancing to a 12-team single elimination playoff.

The gold-medal game is scheduled for Sunday at 3 p.m. PST.

The mixed doubles game format is played over eight ends (instead of the usual 10 at CCA events). Each team has only six stones and one of those stones from each team is pre-positioned on the centre line before every end of play. One player delivers the first and last stones of the end while the other player throws the second, third and fourth stones. If they choose to, the two players may swap positions from one end to the next. Both team members are also allowed to sweep.

For more information on the 2013 Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials, including the team list and draw times, go to www.curling.ca/2013mixeddoubles/

Chilliwack to host 2014 BC Juniors

Chilliwack Curling Club has been selected as the host site for the 2014 Tim Hortons BC Junior Curling Championships.

The championships, which will take place from December 26 to 31, 2013, are for Junior Men and Junior Women curlers aged 21 and under.

It will be the first Curl BC event to be televised on Sportsnet.

Chilliwack has previously hosted the 2006 BC Men’s provincial curling championship and the 2010 BC Mixed provincial curling championship, as well as the 2007 Continental Cup, an international curling competition that pits curlers from North America against curlers from the rest of the world. They also hosted the 2010 BC High School Provincials.

Wendi Prinse, the secretary of Chilliwack Curling Club, said she is excited for the event to come to Chilliwack.

“It’s a great opportunity for our sport, our club and the City of Chilliwack. Our club has had teams competing at provincials for the last few years and they’ve had a lot of great experiences. So it’s time to give back,” she said.

The club has a busy junior curling program, so Chilliwack may even be able to send at least one home team to next season’s event.

“I sure hope we can send both a Junior Men’s and Junior Women’s team to compete,” said Prinse.

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