Category - Curling Stones

Curling stones from Ailsa Craig – Scotland

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If you’ve ever wondered where curling stones come from, I uncovered this interesting story about Ailsa Craig, an island off of Scotland. Apparently there was a mass operation to gather stones from this protected island.

A MAJOR operation is under way to take 1,500 tons of granite from Ailsa Craig — to meet the demand for new curling stones. And Scottish women’s curling successes in Olympic and World championships have given a boost to the six-week enterprise. For it is envisaged the game will gain new popularity in the wake of the triumphs. And Ayrshire firm Kays of Scotland are ready to produce new stones to meet the anticipated demand. Mauchline-based Kays have exclusive rights for the unique Ailsa Craig granite, and the firm has ferried heavy lifting machinery from Girvan harbour on to the rock. A company spokesman said: “Weather held us back, but we finally got the machinery on to the island, and we’re now ferrying granite twice or three times each day.”

Kays stress that the operation, originally scheduled for a year ago, has been planned in co-operation with the conservation watchdogs at Scottish Natural Heritage. And it is understood that no blasting or quarrying is taking place — large granite boulders being simply collected from former quarries. Most of the larger speckled ‘Common Ailsa’ boulders will come from the south end of the island, while the rarer ‘Blue Hone’ will be collected from the north. Ailsa Craig’s large gannet colony — boasting more than 20,000 pairs — is located on the west of the island, and should be unaffected by work which is now at the halfway stage.

Makes for interesting read, check out the entire article here.

Penticton club inserts new rocks into rotation

An interesting article in the Penticton Western News reports that the Penticton Curling Club has invested in new inserts for their rocks in time for the 2006-07 season. If the program is a success it will mean less maintenance on the rocks and eliminate the need for sharpening the rocks.

“The rocks are made up of two types of granite,” explained PCC ice man Del Haidenger. “Most of the rock is what they call a Red Trevor which is good for striking. The bottom of the rock has been cored out and we’ve put in an insert of what they call Blue Hone granite. It’s a surface better suited to speed and curling.”

Will be interesting to see if this becomes a trend as technology continues to take over in the sport of curling.

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