Hurry, Hurry, Hard

bonspielDuring the fall & winter months, Brian and I along with our friends Chad & Greg join a curling recreational league called the Pacific Rim Curling League. This is our second year together as a foursome and only my third year curling ever. Last year during our inaugural year as a team, we did amazingly well. At one point ended up in the ‘A’ division which was pretty awesome considering with our previous team we were in ‘E’ and Chad and Greg were in ‘C’ with their former team members. Proving the theory of “beginner’s luck” does indeed exist, our level of play this year has not been up to par to last year’s. We’re about mid-point in the season and currently in the ‘C’ division.  To shake things up, we decided to change our lineup from Brian as the Skip, Chad, Greg and myself as the lead to our new lineup of Greg as the skip, Brian, Chad and myself still as the lead. With our new lineup, we’re currently 2-1 which isn’t too bad.  Hopefully the rest of the season progresses in our favor.

This past weekend, we had the annual big bonspiel where teams converge to Vancouver from Calgary, Seattle, San Francisco to name just a few to play in this curling tournament. The weekend consists of a minimum of 3 games to a maximum of 5 should you be so lucky and play for the title. Overall, we were on par with last year and got eliminated after a 1-2 record.

Our friends were also playing in the tournament. Team Hinton which comprised of Ryan as the skip, Matt H, Shane and Craig as the lead. Team Bailey which comprised of Stephen as the skip, Kieran, Kevin and Richard as the lead.

Here are some highlights from the tournament:

  • Opening Ceremony – This year’s theme to the bonspiel was ‘Carry The Flame’ and our team was ‘lucky’ enough to carry paper flames during the opening procession. During the opening ceremony, team’s names were randomly picked out of a bowl until the last team not picked wins back their registration fee of $400. Out of the 32 teams, our team was one of the final four teams remaining but in the end, we got picked and lost our chance to get our money back. Funny story. Team Hinton was the first team to get picked and Brian and I, not understanding the assignment, clapped so hard thinking they had won something. People must’ve thought we were the biggest a-holes for being so unsportsmanlike.
  • Birthday Bonspiel – Every year the bonspiel always seems to fall during Matt H’s birthday so every year he celebrates it at the curling club. This year was even more since more of our non-curling friends came to celebrate. We had breakdancing dance-offs, Beyonce Single Ladies imitations courtesy of Daniel, Kevin and myself and even went old school and pulled out the Electric Slide.
  • Bonspiel Banquet – After all the games are played, there is an all-you-can eat buffet at the Holiday Inn Banquet Room where they give out trophies and prizes. The buffet food was identical to last which consisted of roast beef, salads, fish, pasta, rice, chicken etc… This year however there was a shortage of fresh greens which caused a bit of an uproar. You know you’re in a room full of homos when you hear complaints of not enough greens.
  • The Awards – Team Bailey ended up 4th place overall and won $400.00. Team Hinton won the coveted ‘First-Out Award’ which poor Ryan had to accept by himself since the rest of his team couldn’t make it to the banquet. When emcee announced that Team Hinton won the award, Ryan was in the bathroom doing some business. When he finally arrived, the entire room clapped and heckled him (well maybe just our table – lol) as he made his way to the podium to accept his award and mini trophies. It was all very Christine Lahti at the Golden Globes circa 1998.  Ironically enough, Team Hinton was not only the first team out due to their game-play but they were also first out during the reverse draw during the opening ceremony which was all based on luck.