ISN – (Victoria ) A mixed curling team from Vancouver Island will be up against an eight-time Brier veteran and players with Canadian and world championship experience when they head to North Bay for the Canadian Mixed Curling Championship.
The championship gets underway on Monday at the North Bay Granite Club.
Team Wes Craig, from Kerry Park Curling Club in Mill Bay, BC, will face, among other competitors, Jamie Koe, from the Northwest Territories, who has been to the Brier eight times. Craig and his team of Third Sarah Wark, Second Miles Craig and Lead Michelle Allen, will also face Nova Scotia skip Brent MacDougall of Halifax, who was the Canadian Mixed runner-up at Mount Royal, Que., in 2012.
The BC team hails from southern Vancouver Island. Wes and Miles Craig are a father and son duo from Mill Bay, Sarah Wark lives in Duncan and Michelle Allen hails from Victoria.
Coached by former Canadian senior women’s champion Roselyn Craig, Team Craig won their berth to nationals by winning the 2014 AMJ Campbell BC Mixed Curling Championship held at Duncan Curling Club in March 2014. It’s the 52nd edition of the Canadian Mixed, which began in Toronto in 1964. BC has won the event four times: in 1972 (Trev Fisher, Royal City Curling Club, New Westminster), 1976 (Tony Eberts, Williams Lake Curling Club), 1982 (Glen Pierce, Vancouver Curling Club) and 1985 (Steve Skillings, Victoria Curling Centre). This year, the championship has undergone significant format and competition changes. Now, 14 teams (10 provinces plus Northern Ontario, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon, representing all of the Canadian Curling Association’s Member Associations), instead of 12, will compete in the main draw. They have been seeded and separated into two pools of seven teams (based on their Mixed win-loss records the past three years) and first play a round robin within their respective pools.At the conclusion of the round robin, the top four teams in each pool advance to the championship round, with the teams playing the teams from the opposite pool, carrying forward their win-loss records for only those games involving the advancing teams.Meanwhile, the bottom three teams in each pool will go to the Seeding Pool, where they will compete against the three teams from the opposite pool. The teams carry forward their win-loss record only from the games involving the other two teams in their round-robin pool. This will determine seedings for the 2016 Canadian Mixed in Toronto.At the conclusion of the championship round on Friday, two semifinals will take place on Saturday morning at 6:30 a.m. PT, pitting 1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3. The two winners then advance to the final Saturday afternoon at 11:30 a.m. while the two losing teams meet in the bronze-medal game at the same time. In addition, all games throughout the competition are now eight (not 10) ends. Also, no tiebreaker games will be played at the conclusion of either round. Instead, any ties for position will be determined by accumulated pre-game Last-Shot-Draw results.
The winning team will represent Canada at the 2015 World Mixed Curling Championship,Sept. 12-19 at a site to be announced by the World Curling Federation. For the past two years, the winning team instead had earned two (two-person) berths into the Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials.Other notable participants in the event include former Brier competitors Gary Oke of Newfoundland and Labrador, Scott Jones of New Brunswick, Colin Koivula of Northern Ontario and Jamie Newson of Prince Edward Island. Saskatchewan second Chris Haichert is a former Canadian and world junior champion (2003).