The weekend in Waterloo

The Home Hardware Masters of curling is well under way in Waterloo this weekend and Don Walchuk has been the story so far as he continues to play giant killers. With wins this weekend, over Randy Ferby, Jeff Stoughton and Kevin Koe and include his recent win over Kevin Martin last weekend to the victims list of late. This team could be peaking, and could be dangerous in the playoffs if they can continue their strong play… only time will tell. Joining Walchuk this weekend at third is Don Bartlett, who doesn’t mind the eight end format of the grand slam events this year, “it’s good for us old guys” said Bartlett with a grin.

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Photograph by Dallas Bittle, www.curlingzone.com

There will be plenty of action here today, with tie breakers getting under way at 1:30 PM, followed by the quarter finals at 5:30 and the semis tonight at 8:30. There are tickets still available so come on out and enjoy the action. The World Curling Tour is a grass roots orginization and the fans and sponsors support will go a long way to the overall growth of professional curling in Canada.

Growing the game in the United States is another story and will take exposure, money and plenty of the later. Events like last weeks Korbell Elite Challenge are a step in the right direction. According to Pete Fenson, “Events like that are huge” he added “getting exposure is the number one thing”. The USCA is doing the best it can with limited resources but still needs more money. Another problem with growing the game in the US, has been the shortage of curling stones, which cost around $ 6,400.00 CDN for a complete set. With the recent arrival of thirteen tonnes of Scottish Granite there will soon be plenty of curling rocks to be loaned out to new curling clubs with an option to buy once the lease expires .

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Photograph by Dallas Bittle, www.curlingzone.com

Unfortunately for Pete Fenson, a snow storm delayed his team’s departure from Chilliwack and as a result he lost his first game by default which means he finishes with a record of one win and four loses. The Fenson rink has done reasonably well at these grand slam events, in fact he has qualified for the playoffs in all but three events. This might be the year that Pete finally wins a slam, it just won’t be this one.

A new nickname has been given to the Ferby four here in Waterloo, say hello to the Hardcore Four!

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Is it just me or are the Simmons team uniforms beginning to look like something out of the Swedish elite league?

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Lastly, a public service announcement of the organizers of curling events everywhere…. please, please stop playing the Macarena at curling events!… oh, and you can add the Chicken Dance and anything by the Village People to the list as well.

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Kingco

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