Castle Rock ‘skins’ the competition at charity bonspiel

It was all about winning ends, not games at the United Way/EBA Mixed Bonspiel over the weekend at the Whitehorse Curling Club. Within the skins format, bonspiel teams collected points for winning ends, not for winning games.

It was all about winning ends, not games at the United Way/EBA Mixed Bonspiel over the weekend at the Whitehorse Curling Club.

Within the skins format, bonspiel teams collected points for winning ends, not for winning games.

“It’s not a regular format,” said participant Bob Smallwood. “You get to play a lot of nice draw shots because you’re only thinking about getting shot rocks … It’s just one rock that counts.”

Team Castle Rock raked in the shot rocks in the bonspiel. The team of co-workers from Castle Rock Enterprises collected 55 points to take first in the bonspiel.

“The first team never showed up and that was the best thing, so we got a few points there,” joked skip Herb Balsam. “But actually everyone curled very well through the whole weekend. We got some breaks, had a lot of fun, and it was good.”

Joining Balsam on the sheets were teammates Sandra Grabowski as lead, Tyler William as third and Andreia Kenderova as second. It was the team’s first time winning the event.

“We had some close ones – the other teams just missed with a line call, or sweeping, or they would have had us,” said Balsam. “We managed to pull it off. Had some good shots in the end.”

Smallwood’s Challenger Geomatics teams swept up second place with 50 points. The Geomatics team tied third place’s Team Wallingham in points, but a “closest to the button” contest broke the tie.

Smallwood drew to 10 centimetres from the button, the closest of the contest.

“Every little bit helps,” said Smallwood. “It’s close, but getting it on the button is better.”

On board with Smallwood was lead Jody Smallwood, third Tamara Vandenberghe and second Adam Pleasant. It’s the same team that will represent the Yukon at the 20113 Mixed Canadian Curling Championship next month in Ottawa.

“It’s coming together,” said Bob. “It’s getting better every game we play.”

Third place’s Team Wallingham was a predominately junior team of skip Joe Wallingham, third Brayden Klassen and second Kelsey Meger.

The team’s lead was Kevin Patterson, who coaches Whitehorse’s junior boys rink Team Wallingham that includes Trygg Jensen and Spencer Wallace and not Meger.

“It was an opportunity for me to spend some time with Joe in the house,” said Patterson. “It’s his first time skipping this year and for me coaching him, it was really nice to interact with him, see where his head was at in terms of strategy and tactics.”

Team Wallingham junior boys rink will attempt to secure Yukon’s spot at the Canadian Junior Curling Championships at the territorial championships in December.

The closest to the button contest broke a three-way tie for fourth with three teams each scoring 47 points at the bonspiel.

Gord Zealand’s rink pocketed fourth ahead of Pat Paslowski’s rink in fifth and Nicole Baldwin’s in sixth.

A total of 18 curling teams took part in the bonspiel, up from 11 last year.

The event raised an estimated $9,000 to $10,000, the United Way said on Monday.

Contact Tom Patrick at

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