World Mixed Doubles Qualifying

The new qualifying event for the World Mixed Doubles Championships will take place at Greenacres Ice Rink from December 3 to December 7, 2019.

Ireland will be represented at the qualifiers by the team of John Wilson and Alison Fyfe.

Both have previous experience of playing in the World Mixed Doubles. Alison played with her father Neil in Karlstad, Sweden and Lethbridge, Canada, in 2016 and 2017 and John played with Louise Kerr this year in Stavanger, Norway.

The top four teams will go on to the world championships in Kelowna, BC, Canada in April 2020.

Irish visit bella Cortina!

John, Ross, Alison and Louise in Cortina

Three members of the Irish Curling Association played in the 54th Summer Bonspiel in beautiful Cortina D’Ampezzo in the Italian Dolomites last week.

Ross and Alison Barr and Louise Kerr, plus John Brown from the English Curling Association, joined 37 other, multi-national, teams (including two world champions) that make the annual pilgrimage to curl and socialise in the most stunning of Alpine settings.

Fun in the Dolomites

The foursome played teams from Italy, Slovakia, Switzerland and the USA, winning one! But having a good time is high on the agenda during the four days of competition and the team certainly did that.

Day one highlight was taking the cable car from the town centre up to Faloria for lunch and a quick climb up the mountains.

Up at Faloria
John in his Knickerbocker Glory

The rain came on Friday and Saturday, but as we were mostly in the massive 1956 Olympic stadium playing, or drinking Prosecco or beer and eating pizza and ice-cream we didn’t notice

There was a grand dinner on the Saturday night with delicious food and copious amounts of alcohol – all courtesy of the organisers.

On the Sunday, after a morning game against our American friends from the famous Margarita Club, we took a drive up the hairpin bends out of Cortina, accompanied by bikers with wheels and bikers with engines to the vertigo-inducing cable car ride at Lagazuoi. From there we climbed to the 7870 metre summit of Falzarego and gazed in awe as the snow-capped high Alps stretched off into the distance.

You too can climb mountains in sandshoes.
It’s going to be a long wait for the next competitor….


The day we returned home, we heard that Cortina, co-hosting with Milan, had been awarded the 2026 Winter Olympics. We were chuffed for the townspeople as they were very excited about getting the Games back again. As well as curling in the Olympic stadium, which now has a modern roof, having been open air in 1956, we also visited the old bobsleigh track, which has been out of commission for 11 years, having originally been built in 1923. The Italians are allegedly going to spend €38 million refurbishing it in time for 2026.

Every curler should experience a trip to Cortina – it’s fantastico!

WMDCC – game 7

IRELAND 9 QATAR 3

Louise sorts her hair in case the WCF photographer snaps her. Photo credit Frances Whyte.

Ireland’s mixed doubles team, John Wilson and Louise Kerr, finished their world championships outing on a high with a win in their final game against Qatar.

Having just won the draw shot challenge, the Irish team secured a one at the first end and gave up a one at the second.

John concentrates on the line. Photo credit WCF/Alina Pavlyuchik
“Needs to draw”…….. Photo credit WCF/Alina Pavlyuchik

Taking their powerplay in the third, accurate hitting from John, including a double take out left them in a good position. Qatar’s Mabarak Al- Abdulla drew into the open house for shot but a hit and roll out gave Ireland a big three.

John again! Photo credit WCF/Alina Pavlyuchik

Ireland stole in the fourth end and piled the pressure on in the next end with great draws followed by good, well placed guards. When the Qatar last stone got caught on frosty ice at the side of the sheet it was four shots to Ireland.

And John again! Photo credit WCF/Alina Pavlyuchik

The team then gave the opposition a one in the sixth end.

In the seventh end, Qatar got a good last stone at the back of the button, but John Wilson drew to the four foot a foot in front of it. Ireland’s attempted tap-back for two clipped a front stone to give up another steal.

The Qatar team shook hands at this point and Ireland had a second win. The teams statistics were also good, boosting their overall percentages for the competition!

This will be the last year that Ireland automatically qualify for the world championships. Next season, the top 16 from this competition will go straight to the worlds, but other countries will have to play a qualifying competition where the top four will qualify for the world championships.

WMDCC – game 6

IRELAND 4 NEW ZEALAND 8

In the pre-game line up. Photo credit WCF/Alina Pavlyuchik

Ireland lost their penultimate game at the world mixed doubles championships here in Norway, mainly due to a poor last stone at the first end when I was too light with a stone in an attempt to get into a cluster of New Zealand shots.

Bridget Becker and John. Photo credit WCF/Alina Pavlyuchik
Against New Zealand. Photo credit WCF/Alina Pavlyuchik

But we plugged away and got a mini-break in the seventh end with the Kiwis’ power play backfired on them. We were both making the shots called by this time in the game which is always a confidence booster.

“The spirit of curling” lives! Photo credit – WCF/Alina Pavlyuchik

We really enjoyed the game with good shots from all four players and after wards we decamped to the bar for a beer. We will bow out tomorrow morning when we play Qutar at 9am.

Bridget, Louise , John and Sean. Photo credit – the coach!

Wish us luck!

Adrian reaches 300 caps

Ireland’s good friend Adrian Meikle played his 300th game for Wales last night in Stavanger in the World men’s seniors against Finland.

Adrian Meikle with his cake to mark 300 caps.

Unfortunately, although it went down to the last stone it was not a win for Wales. Nevertheless, Adrian’s teammates and their coach, his partner Dawn, amde sure it was a night to remember with a cake back at the hotel bar.

Over the years, Adrian has played in the Men’s World Championships, the European Championships in the A,B and C Divisions, the World Mixed, the European Mixed, the World Mixed Doubles and finally, the World Men’s Seniors.

Well done to Adrian from all the members of the ICA!

WMDCC – game 5

IRELAND 14 Saudi Arabia 2

It was finally a win tonight for Ireland’s mixed doubles team, John Wilson and Louise Kerr who comfortably beat the husband and wife team, Suleiman and Karrie Alaqel.

The Saudis and the Irish

Suleiman and Karrie, who is originally form Montana, USA, only started curling a few months ago, and coached by Alastair Fyfe (our Neil’s brother) have turned out to represent their country, a country where curling is in it’s infancy, and have made a lot of friends in the process.

Photo credit WCF.

A four taken in a third end power play set the Irish team on the road to victory, with accurate takeouts from John. After that end we concentrated on drawing to the four foot, which worked out well.

Tomorrow we face New Zealand and another pair of ace curlers who are also the friendly face of curling – Sean and Bridget Becker.

Photo credit WCF.

WMDCC – game 4

IRELAND 2 ENGLAND 8

Shot decision. Photo credit WCF.

The Irish team had a better game, percentage wise, against their English opponents in the last session game here in Norway, but losing a three in the first end put us on the back foot immediately.

However, we made more shots in this game than all the other we’ve played so far and came off the ice pleased with our shot making.

Executing the shot chosen. Photo credit WCF.

We have the morning off tomorrow so we will chill by going on the ferry up the fjord before playing Saudi Arabia in the evening .

WMDCC – game 3

IRELAND 2 KOREA 13

John Wilson and Chiwon Choi – photo credit WCF/Alina Pavlyuchik
Louise and John – photo credit WCF/Alina Pavlyuchik

It was tough going again for the Irish mixed doubles team of John Wilson and Louise Kerr here in Norway losing to the Korean team by another bucketload of shots.

The last stone draw didn’t go to plan but we picked up a one when the Koreans’ last stone clipped a guard. In the second end we drew shot stone with our last but Hyeri Jang got round the guard and to the inside edge to move it enough to pick up a four.

John sweeping – photo credit WCF
Louise in action – photo credit WCF/Alina Pavlyuchik

We then lost five shots against the head in the next two ends, but managed to pick up another single in the fifth end with a power play. But the more accurate Koreans took a three and a single in the sixth and seventh ends.

We now play England at 9pm tonight.

WSCC Game 2

It’s safe to say that this game had it all! Good shot making, burnt stone, pickups and sportsmanship. The early ends saw singles traded until the 4th where a series of loose shots by Team Ireland gave the Scots the upper hand lying three. When Scotland burnt a takeout stone the initiative swung back in Ireland’s favour but a miss by the skipper let them back in and a score of three ensued.

David and Neil hard at work (WCF Images)

A well taken two by Ireland in the 5th tied the scores at 4-4 – where they stayed as the following two ends were blanked. Going up the last without hammer, Ireland got a few guards out front and were handily placed. Scotland played a hit and in the process accidentally kicked a stone in behind the remaining front guard. A request to replace the stone to where it would have ended up was sportingly accepted by Bill and left Ireland lying two but now with one in the open on the 8ft. Bill’s first shot – a planned guard picked up out of his hand and came to nothing and after Dave Smith the Scottish skip played a hit and roll which rolled out from behind the guard, the last Irish stone nosed the Scottish counter on the 4ft leaving the same shot for the Scots who made no mistake for a 1 point win.

Ireland senior men. Photo credit WCF.

A tough defeat but a good tight game which should set the boys up well for the coming games.Next up Suisse – at 8pm Norge time Monday.

WMDCC – game 2

IRELAND 4 KAZAKHSTAN 12

Photo credit WCF.

Ireland’s mixed doubles team went down in seven ends to the Kazakhstan duo who outplayed Ireland, clocking up a three and then a four in the last two ends.

Photo credit WCF.

Kazakhstan started the game with a big three but Ireland got a three back in the second end. Kazakhstan then stole singles in the next two ends before Ireland got a one back. It should have been a two but my stone, drawing the four foot was a foot short.

Photo credit WCF.

The Kazakhstanis then opted for a power play which they played very well. With Ireland’s last stone I drew shot stone half hidden behind a couple of stones just high of the house, but Alliyarova chipped it out for the three.

Photo credit WCF.

The game was sliding away from Ireland and the opposition drew in behind the centre guard and attempted taps by Ireland just locked the Kazak stone in a cluster which we could not shift.

Ireland play Korea tomorrow morning and England at night.