It was a busy weekend of competitive curling across the province with tournaments determining the field increase for the 2018 BC Scotties and 2018 belairdirect BC Men’s Curling Championship.
Five men’s teams qualified at playdowns in Vernon, Victoria and Cranbrook.
In the Kootenay playdowns, Team Medford took the single berth that was available. Team Medford was the local representative of the Cranbrook Curling Centre and features skip Chris Medford, third Steve Tersmette, second Josh Firman and lead Jeff Langin.
Competing against Team Ducharme from Creston and Team Salviulo from Trail and Castlegar, Medford won three of four draws on their way to an eventual 7-2 win over Salviulo in the playoff finals.
The Victoria playdowns saw two local rinks earn the qualification spots. Team Montgomery, featuring Jason Montgomery, Cameron de Jong, Miles Craig and Will Duggan, took the A Event berth. The team is representing Victoria but Montgomery lives in Duncan and Miles Craig hails from Shawnigan Lake.
The B Event berth went to Team Wes Craig. The team, which plays at the senior (50+) level as well, features third Gerald Poelman, second Tony Anslow and lead Victor Gamble. They play as a team in Victoria but Craig, who lives in Shawnigan Lake, has connections to the Kerry Park Curling Club in Mill Bay as well.
At the Vernon Curling Club, where two berths were up for grabs, a team from the Lower Mainland took the A Event berth. Team Pierce, from Royal City Curling Club, features Brent Pierce, a former world champion (2000), third Andrew Bilesky, second Steve Kopf, lead Rhys Gamache and fifth Derek Errington. Bilesky, Kopf and Errington were BC men’s champions in 2013.
The Okanagan rink of Chris Baier took the B Event spot. The team features third Adam Cseke, second Matt Tolley and lead Cal Jackson. Chris Baier lives in Victoria but Cseke, Tolley and Jackson live in the Okanagan.
The five men’s teams who qualified over the weekend will join Team Geall, from Kelowna Curling Club, and Team Joanisse, from Golden Ears Winter Club in Maple Ridge, and who qualified at the end of November because they were the top-ranked BC men’s teams on the CTRS list.
The 2018 belairdirect BC Men’s Curling Championship will also feature the defending champions, Team Morris, as long as the team can return with three out of four of the players who played last year.
The rest of the berths for the men’s provincials are available through open playdowns being held between January 5 and January 7.
The 2018 belairdirect BC Men’s Curling Championship will take place at the Parksville Curling Club from January 31 to February 4.