A total of 28 teams will be taking part in the largest ever BC Mixed Doubles Curling Championship, which gets underway at Kelowna Curling Club tomorrow (February 2).
The teams feature a bevvy of past and current BC and Canadian champions, including Tyler Tardi (Surrey) and Sterling Middleton (Burnaby/Fort St John), who won gold medals at the Canadian Juniors last weekend, as well as Jim Cotter, of Vernon, the reigning BC Men’s Champion.
Tardi is playing with Dezaray Hawes (Anmore, near Port Moody), who has twice represented BC at the national level at juniors and also won the curling event at the 2014 BC Winter Games. The duo won the BC Mixed Doubles championship in 2013, the first year of the competition, and 2015. Middleton is playing with Sarah Daniels, who won silver at last year’s Canadian Junior Curling Championships then travelled with Team Fay (Nova Scotia) to the worlds, where she helped the team achieve gold for Canada. Cotter, meanwhile, is playing with his daughter Jaelyn. The Cotters won the 2016 event, held in Enderby.
The winner will represent BC at the 2017 Canadian Mixed Doubles Championship, which will take place at the Nutana Curling Club in Saskatoon from April 5-9.
Participants there will hope to get a step closer to a trip to the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
The Canadian championship duo will wear the Maple Leaf at the World Mixed Doubles Championship, April 22-29 in Lethbridge, Alta. That event will determine the final eight-country field for the 2018 Winter Olympics. It is hoped that Canada will be among the eight teams in the field in Korea.
The Mixed Doubles game format is played over eight ends (instead of the usual 10). Each team has only six stones and one of those stones from each team is prepositioned 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.