Curling season is in full swing and there has certainly been plenty for Nanaimo players and fans to get excited about recently…
Many local supporters were undoubtedly watching televised action last week from the Canadian Junior Curling Championships in Nova Scotia. That was because the Nanaimo rink consisting of skip Kalia Van Osch, third Markia Van Osch, second Sarah Daniels and lead Ashley Sanderson were representing B.C. at the nationals. The girls played extremely well, claiming a silver medal after a hard-fought 7-6 loss to Alberta in the final.
Another Van Osch sister will be in the spotlight this coming week. Kesa Van Osch will skip her Victoria teammates as they represent our province at the national women’s championship – the Scotties Tournament of Hearts beginning February 1 in Montreal.
Meanwhile, there was bonspiel competition in town this past Friday and Saturday, as the annual Wine Works open spiel was held at the Nanaimo Curling Centre. Organized by Bob Davies and member of the senior men’s division, the all-Nanaimo competition was open to curlers who belong to the local CIBC Wood Gundy senior ladies’ or senior men’s leagues. In an innovation to help promote evenly-matched competition, sixteen teams were formed by having player names drawn from a hat.
In the A event final, skip Bob Davies saw his team score three points in the final end to emerge victorious with a 6-5 win. Others on the championship rink were third Gord Smeeton, second Gary Schenk and lead Mary Meehan. Runners-up were the team of Brian Scorer, Kyle Clifford, Jake McGlenen and Roy Richmond.
Third place in A event went to the entry of Val Fenton, Rick Kerley, Pat Fraser and Wes Betz, with fourth spot going to skip Bob Hay and his teammates Bill Turner, Bill Millward and Chuck Rogerson.
It was 5-4 in the B event final, which was won by the foursome of Rod Brown, Nori Nishio, Ed Stonehouse and Burnie Smith. In second place were Ron Kulai and his team of Merv Osler, Ken Draper and Wally Funk. Third place went to the team of Jill McGlenen, George Duffell, Raeto Schmidhauser and Bob Saunders. In fourth place was the entry of Sandy Fraser, George Taylor, Barb Cox and Gord Borbandy.
Teams skipped by Bob Ree and Bob Hungar faced each other in the C event final, which was won 9-2 by the Hungar foursome. Others on the winning squad were Lloyd Learmonth, Grant Coghill and Joanne Phillips, while teaming with Ree were Roger Hermant, Graham Ramsay and Don Zimmer. Taking third place in the event was Craig Turnbull and his teammates Lois Powell, Henry Rempel and Don Fraser. In fourth spot came skip Archie McIntosh and his team of Eric McKean, Susan Lobregt and Jim Patrick.
In other seniors’ curling news, winners have now been decided from the second square of the men’s 55+ league. Winning the Royal LePage Nanaimo Realty Trophy as top team in their division was skip Phil Chase and teammates Bob Larsen, George Schofield and Don Zimmer.
There was close competition in the other division, where teams skipped by Joe Pirozzini, Eric McKean and Tom Renton all tied for top spot. A playoff shootout to determine the winner of the Joe Boudot Memorial Trophy resulted in a win for Pirozzini and his team of Bernie Waatainen, Bob Carpenter and Jim Cox.
From the men’s 68+ division, another three-way tie saw teams skipped by Sandy Fraser, Henry Rempel and Ken Best all tied for points at the top of the table. Again a playoff was required, with the result seeing the Don MacRae Trophy taken by Ken Best and his team of Doug Wright, Gary Schenk and Kerry Park.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair and show good sportsmanship.
Ian Thorpe writes about sports Thursdays.