A busy weekend of competitive curling in BC has seen the field increase for the 2018 BC Scotties and 2018 belairdirect Men’s event.

Women’s curling playdowns in Hope and men’s curling playdowns in Vernon, Cranbrook and Victoria have seen a total of eight teams qualify for the provincial championships. Three women’s teams and five men’s teams earned berths. 

The women’s teams are the latest to qualify for the 2018 Scotties BC Women’s Curling Championship, presented by Best Western, taking place at Victoria Curling Club from Jan. 2-7.

Team Slattery, from Vernon Curling Club, were the A Event qualifiers at women’s playdowns held at Hope Curling Club. The team of fourth Alyssa Kyllo, third Kelsi Jones, second Morgayne Eby and skip Kim Slattery (throwing lead rocks) is coached by Mark Longworth.

The Kamloops/Golden Ears Winter Club team of Karla Thompson were the B Event qualifiers. The team features third Kristen Recksiedler, second Shannon Joanisse and lead Trysta Vandale. Three of the players were the BC Scotties champions in 2016 and Joanisse was part of the Mallett rink that won in 2017.

The Holly Donaldson rink representing Vancouver and Victoria curling clubs was the third team to qualify. The rink were bronze medalists at last year’s BC Scotties when the team was skipped by Lindsay Hudyma, who plays third this year. The team is rounded out by 2014 BC Scotties champions Steph Jackson-Baier and Carley Sandwith. The team is coached by Georgina Wheatcroft, a two-time world champion and Olympian from 2002.

The two women’s teams to have qualified already based on their Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) points are Team Gushulak, from Royal City Curling Club in New Westminster, and Team Brown, from Kamloops Curling Club.

The remaining three berths for the women’s playdowns will be available through open playdowns being held in Kelowna this weekend (Dec. 15-17).

The five men’s teams that qualified over the weekend have earned berths to the 2018 belairdirect BC Men’s Curling Championship, taking place at Parksville Curling Club from Jan. 31-Feb. 4.

In the Kootenay playdowns, Team Medford took the single berth that was available. Team Medford from Cranbrook Curling Centre features skip Chris Medford, third Steve Tersmette, second Josh Firman and lead Jeff Langin.

The Victoria playdowns saw two local rinks earn the qualification spots. Team Montgomery, featuring Jason Montgomery, Cameron de Jong, Miles Craig and Will Duggan, took the A Event berth. The team is representing Victoria but Montgomery lives in Duncan and Miles Craig hails from Shawnigan Lake.

The B Event berth went to Team Wes Craig. The team, which plays at the senior (50+) level as well, features third Gerald Poelman, second Tony Anslow and lead Victor Gamble. They play as a team in Victoria but Craig, who lives in Shawnigan Lake, has connections to the Kerry Park Curling Club in Mill Bay as well.

At the Vernon Curling Club, where two berths were up for grabs, a team from the Lower Mainland took the A Event berth. Team Pierce, from Royal City Curling Club, features Brent Pierce, a former world champion (2000), third Andrew Bilesky, second Steve Kopf, lead Rhys Gamache and fifth Derek Errington. Bilesky, Kopf and Errington were BC men’s champions in 2013. The Okanagan rink of Chris Baier took the B Event spot. The team features third Adam Cseke, second Matt Tolley and lead Cal Jackson. Chris Baier lives in Victoria but Cseke, Tolley and Jackson live in the Okanagan.

The five men’s teams who qualified over the weekend will join Team Geall, from Kelowna Curling Club, and Team Joanisse, from Golden Ears Winter Club in Maple Ridge, and who qualified at the end of November because they were the top-ranked BC men’s teams on the CTRS list.

The 2018 belairdirect BC Men’s Curling Championship will also feature the defending champions, Team Morris, as long as the team can return with three out of four of the players who played last year.

The rest of the berths for the men’s are available through open playdowns being held between Jan. 5 and Jan. 7.

Tickets for the BC Scotties are available at Victoria Curling Club or online at http://victoriacurlingclub.com/bc-scotties-tickets/.  

Tickets for the belairdirect BC Men’s are available at Parksville Curling Club or online at http://bcmens.curlbc.ca/tickets/.

Visit https://www.curlbc.ca/playdowns/ for the qualification information for all categories of play and to see the CTRS standings.