Next Wednesday sees the start of the World Senior and World Mixed Doubles Championships at the Dumfries Ice Bowl, the last major competitions of the curling season.
Looking forward to taking part in both disciplines will be three curlers from Stranraer Ice Rink.
Christine Cannon from Redbrae Farm, a member of Wigtown Curling Club, is the skip of the Scottish ladies seniors champions. Her team played at world senior level last year in Canada, where they just missed out on a bronze medal.
This year the 14 women’s team are in two groups, with Scotland in the B section where they will play a round-robin against Canada at 7.30pm on Thursday 24th; Australia at 8.30am and Russia at 7pm on Saturday 26th; Finland at 2.30pm on Sunday 28th; Italy at 7pm on Monday 28th and Switzerland at 2pm on Tuesday 29th, before they hopefully progress to the play-off stages.
Christine said: “I am delighted to get the chance to represent Scotland again at the World Senior Championships. Canada last year was a great experience but we were extremely disappointed to finish fourth. To play at Dumfries in front of a home crowd will be very special and hopefully we can improve on last year.”
In the men’s senior competition there are 25 teams and Neil Fyfe from Portpartick, a member of Leswalt Curling Club, is a member of the Irish senior squad. Neil has joined the team that were the mens senior champions in 2012 this season after playing with another Irish team at last year’s world senior championships. Ireland’s men face seven other teams in their section: Sweden at 8am and The Netherlands at 7.30pm on Thursday 24th; Austria at 2.30pm on Friday 25th; Switzerland at 12noon on Saturday 26th; Denmark at 2.30pm on Sunday 27th; Italy at 8.30am and Wales at 3.30pm on Monday 28th.
Neil said: “With less than a week to go I’m starting to get really excited about this year’s Senior World Curling Championships. The journey this year to Dumfries will not take as long as the journey to Fredericton, Canada, did last year – and there won’t be the same excitement about visiting somewhere I’ve never been before – but I’m sure the organisers at Dumfries will have done their very best to ensure that the Championships run smoothly.
“I’m part of a new squad this year, and we’ve had the opportunity to practice quite a lot together and prepare ourselves as best as we can and we are quietly confident of performing well”.
In the mixed doubles, which will be held in the ice hockey arena, Galloway Gazette reporter Louise Kerr, a member of Glasserton Curling Club, will also be representing Ireland with her teammate John Furey. There are 28 teams in that competition and in their section they have been drawn to play against China at 3.45pm on Thursday 24th; France at 2.30pm on Friday 25th; Germany at 8am and Norway at 5.45pm on Saturday 26th; USA at 2.30pm and Spain at 9pm on Sunday 27th and New Zealand at 5.45pm on Monday 28th.
Reports, photographs and scores will be posted on The Galloway Gazette website during the championships.