Day: September 8, 2015

GSOC Tour Challenge Preview & Predictions

  The Event As I type this, the inaugural Pinty’s GSOC Tour Challenge has kicked off in Paradise, Newfoundland. The first draw is still going on, and I’m avoiding looking at scores lest they influence me. This is the first of two new events this year in the expanded GSOC (read more about the expansion in my post here), and it features a pretty unique format. As opposed to a single tournament, the Tour Challenge features two different tiers. Each tier features 30 teams…15 each of men and women. Tier 1 teams were invited based on their world rankings, while Tier 2 features 10 teams invited based on their rankings with 5 regional teams invited based on the event location. Both Tiers are of course playing for monetary prizes, and for Rogers Grand Slam Cup points in Tier 1. Tier 2 teams will not earn cup points, but the winners earn an automatic berth into the Masters event in late October. More background information is available at the Grand Slam of Curling Website. The Field & Draw Schedule Well, I could sit here and list all the teams in the field, but I’d rather let the GSOC people do the work. Click on the links for lists of all the teams: Tier 1 Men  Tier 1 Women  Tier 2 Men  Tier 2 Women  As for the draw schedule: Tier 1...

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Phil’s Travels: Stu Sells Oakville Tankard

  This past weekend I hopped in my car with my dad and brother to head up to Oakville for the Stu Sells Oakville Tankard. They had no interest in attending, but I didn’t want to make the drive alone. Avid horseracing fans, I convinced them to go by selling them on the idea that they could go watch races at nearby Mohawk & Woodbine racetracks while I immersed myself in curling. Offering them the free use of my car while I was at the club certainly helped to convince them as well. Anyway, this event was set to kick off the start of the World Curling Tour season with an impressive international field of sixty teams…28 men’s and 32 women’s teams. I won’t run down the list of all the teams who were there, but you can check them out here: MEN WOMEN The event started on Thursday, and naturally I was following along with the scores on CurlingZone. Of course, this only increased my anticipation and I couldn’t wait to get there and watch in person. Finally Friday afternoon came and we were on the road.   Got in late Friday night…technically Saturday morning. We should have been there by 10:00 or so but we hit some traffic and other hang-ups on the way there. Checked in and went up to the room. I was absolutely exhausted from the...

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Team Sidorova Line-Up Change: More Info & My Thoughts

  The above photo was posted on Twitter by Team Sidorova last week. Many curling fans (and curlers themselves) were surprised to see that Team Sidorova would be travelling to Canada without longtime lead Ekaterina Galkina. In her place, Alina Kovaleva would be throwing lead stones.     As a big fan of Team Sidorova (to say the least), I too was surprised and I wished to find out more. Thanks to the magic of Google I found this article. Although I wish I did, I don’t read/write/speak Russian, so I had to rely on Google once again to translate the article for me. Basically, the article stated that following the grind of the previous season, Galkina felt like she needed a short break. After talking to Anna Sidorova at the Stu Sells Oakville Tankard though, it sounds like it might be a bit longer than that. Listen for yourself below.   As when I initially heard the news, I was surprised to hear this additional information. Google translate is imperfect at best, so it’s quite possible that the article from said exactly what Anna told me and that some context was lost in translation. In any case, like I said to Anna though, it’s totally understandable. Galkina has been playing steadily for at least a decade, including appearances in 10 European Championships, 10 World Championships, and 3 Olympic Games. Needless...

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