Wes Craig curling

Competition will be fierce among the 50+ age group when play gets underway at the 2018 BC Senior Curling Championships.

For the first time, the men’s and women’s provincials are being held separately, with the men playing at Duncan Curling Club and the women playing at Enderby Curling Club. The 2018 BC Senior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships start today and wrap up on Feb. 25, 2018.

The event in Enderby is an 8-team round robin with a three-team playoff.

The event in Duncan is a 10-team round robin with a three-team playoff.

In women’s play, Team Noble features a strong line-up with national and world curling experience. Lynne Noble (who won the BC seniors titles in 2011 and 2017), Penny Shantz (who helped Canada win a gold medal at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, when curling made its Games debut as a demonstration sport), Colleen Robson (2017 seniors champ) and Karen Lepine (2015 national masters champion), represent Cloverdale, Comox, Langley, Parksville and Qualicum curling clubs.

There are other rinks with some big names. Team Anderson from Kelowna has world champion Gerry Richard as a coach, while Team Cowan from Royal City and Cloverdale proved they are a force to be reckoned with this season by scoring two 8-enders in a space of less than three months. Team Anderson features skip Karen Anderson, third Susan Moran, second Janelle Cheyne, lead Janis Page and coach Gerry Richard. Team Cowan features skip Shiella Cowan, third Donna Langlands, second Crystal Murray, lead Victoria Murphy and coach Joanne Mick.

Team Jenkins features skip Sandra Jenkins, third Kate Horne, second Wendy Cseke, lead Carol Murray and coach Darryl Horne.

Team Jones from Chilliwack and Hope curling clubs features skip Kelly Jones, third Debbie McKinney, second Rosalee Floyd, lead Pattie Desjardins and fifth Natalie Lowe.

Team Roemer from Delta, Cloverdale and Tunnel Town curling clubs features skip Lynda Roemer, third Terri Walker, second Karen VanOs, lead Patti Mackintosh and coach Marion McNeill.

Team Thompson from Richmond and Vancouver curling clubs features skip Yadranka Thompson, third Jane Graham-Smith, second Pat Upper and lead Sandy Tong.

Team Bullied from Terrace features skip Lisa Bulleid, third Kathy Simpson, second Joan Kucharyshen,  lead Nancy Ross and fifth Cheryl Wyatt.

In senior men’s play, the 2017 BC Senior Men’s Champions, Team Lepine, return with an unchanged lineup. Team Lepine, representing Cloverdale, Langley, Penticton and Vancouver features skip Craig Lepine, third Stan Walker, second Craig McLeod and lead Mike Pelech. Lepine went to the Brier in 1990.

Team Mellof of Kelowna and Team Longworth of Vernon qualified at the Okanagan playdowns. Team Mellof features skip Dave Mellof, third Gary Brucker, second Shaun Everest and lead Keith Anderson. The team has national competition experience, with Dave Mellof having played in the Brier in 1999 with Bert Gretzinger and Bob Ursel.

Meanwhile, Team Sieg from Langley featuring skip Lyle Sieg, third Fred Cleutinx, second Carl Lebreche and lead Kevin Jeannotte, has international experience. Lyle Sieg is a former senior world champion (2015 for Team USA). Team Macdonald from Richmond and Peace Arch features fourth Richard Brower, third Paul Dunkin, second Deryk Brower and lead Larry Macdonald, who is calling the shots. Team Wright from Kelowna, Royal City, Delta and Comox curling clubs features skip Steve Wright, third Ron Schmidt, second Brett Kury and lead Ernie Daniels.

Team Longworth from Vernon features skip Mark Longworth, third Dean Mackney, second Greg Hamilton and lead Ron McDougall.

Team Nichol, of Castlegar, features skip Myron Nichol, third Bill vanYzerloo, second Garry Beaudry and lead Richard Faunt.

Team Sutton, from Victoria Curling Club, features skip Denis Sutton, third Keith Kresse, second Jeff Burrell and lead Bob Coulombe.

Team Craig from the Glen Harper Curling Centre at Duncan Curling Club features skip Wes Craig, third Gerald Poelman, second Tony Anslow, lead Victor Gamble and coach Roselyn Craig.

Team Vanderstar from Smithers features skip Ron Vanderstar, third Trevor Sandberg, second Leonard Vanderstar and lead Greg Campbell.