Season 2017 – 2018 opening bonspiel

The ICA start the new curling season this Sunday at Greenacres Ice Rink at 12.30pm.

Thanks to Carolyn for organising and arranging refreshments afterwards. The teams for Sunday are:

Team 1

Marie O’Kane   skip
Arran Cameron
John Burns
Patricia Boult
versus
Team 2
Neil Fyfe skip
Jacqui Barr
Gillian Drury
Nathan Furey
Team 3
James Russell
Louise Kerr
Eoin McCrossan
Steve Callan
versus
Team 4
Alison Fyfe
John Furey
Tom Roche
Clare McCormick

reserve Sue Scotland

Our President welcomes in the new curling season

With some of our members already on the ice, and various teams and individuals from the ICA at the Braehead Open this weekend, and the European Mixed Championships on the horizon, let’s hear from the ICA President, Mr David Whyte:

 

David in action at the World Seniors Curling Championship 2017, Lethbridge, Canada
Photo credit – WCF

The temperature’s dropping, the rain is arriving, the nights are fair drawing in…..you know what that means…that’s right, our Scottish summer has arrived! But it also means that the curling season is almost upon us with all that means. Getting the kit looked out and the cobwebs removed, all those fixtures in the diary and wondering how you will manage those 6 games in three days with the rest of the month clear etc etc

I’m delighted and very proud to be writing to you as I start the season as your President. Louise did a fantastic job supported by our enthused and increasingly youthful Committee and I would thank her for all her hard work. Glad to say that she is still around helping in particular with the Four Nations as we take our turn as hosts…more of that later……

The fixtures are all in place now with the usual bonspiels in October, November, December, February and March. The success of previous Training and Development days at the start of the season to give potential new members a Come and Try while helping the rest of us fine tune our skills has encouraged us to stage another one, supported by DAP funding and I know Johnjo has already circulated details to us all. The third Irish Championships will take place at the end of October and Johnjo is also working hard on the idea of hosting a training camp for those who represent or aspire to represent Ireland on the international stage. Discussions are well under way on coaches, venues and a challenging program so that we can give individuals and teams additional skills as they try to lift their performance to the next level. This is a really exciting development and I urge all those at whom the opportunity is aimed to grasp it and fully involve themselves in a journey of learning and improvement. Every day is a school day!!!

Thanks to all who responded with notes of interest to the idea of a summer tour with fellow members. Again lots happening in the background with that. Having had a couple of trips to Garmisch in the summer to curl as well as enjoy the beautiful surroundings I would thoroughly recommend such a trip. Again Johnjo is involved in bringing this to fruition and I would thank him for all that he is getting involved this year to bring improvements to the Association and benefit the members.

As mentioned earlier one of the highlights of the year will undoubtedly be our hosting the Four Nations this year and with the involvement of a small group Louise is making it all happen at that well known part of Ireland called Stranraer. For those who have been to the Irish weekend at the North West Castle you will know what a great occasion it is (greatly helped by meringues and lashings of tablet). The great thing about the Four Nations is that all members can participate and get a chance to compete against the other home nations while seeing old acquaintances and making new ones and you can come for the day or the whole weekend and still be part of it.

Entries have just been received for all of the European and World events during the season with playdowns being required for the Men’s, Mixed Doubles and Mixed events. These will be in Dumfries and Greenacres and our own umpire, John Burns, has kindly agreed to officiate at them. To allow these to replicate the actual tournament as closely as possible we aim to use timeclocks and I would encourage anyone who is interested to assist in running these. No previous experience is necessary and you also get to see some great games. It is encouraging to see competition for places and within that such a good representation from our younger members whose talents improve year on year.

 John and Carolyn remain our WCF reps and John is currently representing us at the WCF meeting in Bled, Slovenia. There are plans for some fine tuning of rules and organisation and John will update us on his return.

So all in all I believe we have a really exciting year ahead and I urge you to get involved with as many of the above events as you can. As an Association of some 50 members we punch way above our weight and I hope that all the things we do collectively encourage you to get involved but equally importantly lead you to encourage others to join us whenever you come across an Irish accent or meet someone who would want to experience all that we offer.

I look forward to seeing you on the ice with your well polished sliders… and slides… and if I can assist anyone with any matter please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.

Good curling

David Whyte

President

Irish Curling Association

Seniors about to hit the road to the worlds

The men’s and women’s senior teams representing Ireland at the World Senior Championships are getting packed for their trip to Lethbridge, Alberta.

Ireland’s men are heading to the world championships in Canada

The men are the five-man team of Peter Wilson, Johnjo Kenny, Bill Gray,  David Whyte and David Hume.

The women are also taking on the world!

The women are the four-(wo)man team of Carolyn Hibberd, Marie O’Kane, Louise Kerr and Clare McCormick.

You can find their draw here:

http://www.worldcurling.org/wscc2017/schedule

Tomorrow we’ll look at the Ireland pair heading to the World Mixed Doubles.

Mixed playdowns this weekend

It’s the Irish mixed playdowns this weekend at Greenacres Ice Rink.

Three teams have entered:

Team Gray:     Bill Gray, Jacqui Davidson, Ross Barr, Clare McCormick

Team Kenny:  Johnjo Kenny, Louise Kerr, Tony Tierney, Jen Ward

Team Russell: James Russell, Ailsa Anderson, Craig Whyte, Katie Kerr

The three teams will play a round robin of 8 end games, with an extra end if necessary.

Game 1 – Kenny v Gray – 10 am Saturday

Game 2 – Russell v Kenny – 3 pm Saturday

Game 3 – Gray v Russell –  6.30 pm Saturday

If the scores are W2, W1, W0 then the 3rd team is eliminated and the other two teams play two further games at 9.30am and 12.30 pm on Sunday to complete a “best of 3” decider.

If all three teams are on one win, ranking is on DSC, and 3 plays 2, the winner playing 1.

Time-clocks will be used, so it will be an exciting competition to watch if anyone wants to come along and cheer the teams on!

The winners earn the right to represent Ireland at the World Mixed in Champery, Switzerland, in October.

 

Euro venue for 2018 announced

The WCF have just released the following statement:

Tallinn, Estonia – The European Curling Championships 2018 (ECC) will take place next year, between 16 and 24 November, at the Tondiraba Ice Hall, in Tallinn, Estonia.

The Estonian Curling Association signed an agreement with the World Curling Federation (WCF) to host the championships, at a special signing ceremony attended by WCF President, Kate Caithness today (Thursday 9 February).

The event is for men’s and women’s teams from the WCF’s European Zone and is divided into A, B and C-Divisions. Traditionally the A and B Divisions are held together in November, with the C-Division earlier in the year, in May. The ECC is a qualification event for the World Curling Championships (WCC) – seven teams, and the host nation, qualify if the next WCC is being held in the European Zone. Eight teams qualify if the next WCC is in the Americas or the Pacific-Asia Zone.

This is the Estonian Curling Association’s second time hosting an international curling event, after its inaugural championships in 2015, when they hosted the World Junior Curling Championships.

WCF President, Kate Caithness, said: “We are pleased that the European Curling Championships 2018 will be taking place in Estonia next year. Estonia has great conditions for hosting championships, and has become a strong curling country in recent years.

“The organising committee for the World Juniors in 2015 did a stellar job pulling together these championships and I am looking forward to working with them again as they prepare for one of our flagship events”

According to Rainer Vakra, President of the Estonian Curling Association, Estonia has never hosted such an important competition before. He said: “For the Estonian Curling Association, hosting such a big event is one of the biggest challenges that a federation could take on. The right to host European Championships will definitely bring value to City of Tallinn, to Estonia and, of course, to the community of Estonian sports and curling.”

“The Estonian Curling Association already has experience in hosting a high level competition – the 2015 Junior World Championships were held in Tallinn. So far, cooperation with our partners has been very good and we are counting on the continuous support of City of Tallinn and Republic of Estonia in hosting this event as well,” he added.

The exact Member Associations to compete at the ECC A and B-Divisions – to be played in separate halls in the Tondiraba Ice Hall – will be clear after the ECC 2017 in St Gallen, Switzerland (17-25 November). Previously, the Estonian women’s team played in the European A-Division in 2014 and 2015 – with their highest finish to date, eighth place. The Estonian men’s team have participated in the B-Division before.

Altogether roughly 300 athletes and coaches will be participating at the European Curling Championships. There will be around 100 people who make the championships happen (LOC, ice crew, umpires, volunteers, broadcasters and media). Historically, the European Curling Championships are followed by approximately 15 million TV viewers.

Mens playdowns

Good luck to both teams in this weekend’s playdowns for the Euro C League in Andorra.

Two teams:

James Russell, John Furey, Craig Whyte, Arran Cameron and Eoin McCrossan

Dave Hibberd, Alan Mitchell, Bob Sherrard, Ross Barr and Andrew Gilmore

Games (best of three) are at 11am and 4pm Saturday 14th and 10am Sunday 15th

Glittertree 2016

The 2016 ICA Glittertree

The 2016 ICA Glittertree

It’s Glittertree time again with our annual competition to find the best Christmas tree in the ICA ranks.

Andrea Schopp

Andrea Schopp

The entries will be judged this year by two-time World Champion and seven-time European Champion, Germany’s Andrea Schopp.

Pictures of your tree should be emailed to louise.kerr@gallowaygazette.com or clkerr1811@gmail.com before the closing date of Friday, December 23rd.

The winner, chosen by Andrea, will be announced on Christmas Eve.

Good luck everyone!