Curling and cycling have little in common, but apparently throwing granite is like riding a bike. You never forget how.
At the EBA Mixed Bonspiel at the Whitehorse Curling Club over the weekend, Team Banks was crowned champion with two new club members on the rink who had not played in decades.
“They both haven’t played for about 30 years so it really is incredible,” said Team Banks skip Pat Banks. “It’s really good. I’m pleased for them.”
Team Banks lead Joanne Fairlie had not played in 22 years before this season. The rink’s second, Alan Hyssop, had not played in 37 years. Throwing third was Mike Massie.
As may have been expected, Team Banks got off to a rocky start, losing their opening match to eventual fifth-place finishers, Team Grant. However, the rink then won their next four for the title, ending with a match against Team Baked and Stued, winning every end.
“We were very lucky,” said Banks. “The other team curled well.
“My job was easy; mostly all I had to do was put guards up. That’s a skip’s dream.”
A different scoring format was used at the bonspiel, awarding teams two points for each end they win and one point for each they lose, which Banks says provides more positive experiences for beginners.
“Even if you lose the game you still end up with points,” said Banks. “This is a really good format for the points system. Everyone gets points so it encourages new curlers to participate.
“They seeded the teams in (draws) so the stacked teams don’t necessarily win.”
Second and third place was determined by a throw-down, with Team Gauthier and Team Adilman each sending a player to the ice to throw a single rock. Team Gauthier took second when Maegan Hough got closer to the button than Adilman’s Donna Scott.
The bonspiel, which is a fundraiser for the United Way of Yukon, raised about $8,000 for the effort.
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