Five U18 boys’ berths and three U18 girls’ berths will be up for grabs at an open playdowns running this weekend (ending Sunday, Jan. 28) at Mission Granite Curling Club.

It follows the successful completion of playdowns earlier this month, which saw U18 curling teams from the north, the Okanagan and Kootenays, Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland earning the first berths for the 2018 Optimist BC U18 Curling Championships.

The BC championships will take place from Mar. 13-18, 2018, at Salmon Arm Curling Centre. Eight teams of each gender will compete for the chance to represent BC at nationals in St. Andrews, New Brunswick.

In addition to the U18 playdowns, there will also be competition among the 50+ age group.

The final playdowns for the 2018 BC Senior Curling Championships also start this weekend.

Competitions at Tunnel Town, Enderby, Grand Forks and Juan de Fuca curling clubs will decide the remaining qualifiers for the 2018 BC Senior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships.

For the first time, the men’s and women’s provincials are being held separately, with the men playing in Duncan and the women playing in Enderby. The provincial events will go ahead from Feb. 20-25, 2018.

The teams that have already qualified are Team Vanderstar from Smithers/Prince Rupert and Team Bullied from Terrace. Team Vanderstar features Skip: Ron Vanderstar, Third: Trevor Sandberg, Second: Leonard Vanderstar and Lead: Greg Campbell.

Team Bulleid features Skip: Lisa Bulleid, Third: Kathy Simpson, Second: Joan Kucharyshen and Lead: Nancy Ross.