B.C. curling championships start in Parksville

Provincial bonspiel starts Wednesday morning in Oceanside

Defending champion Kelowna skip Jim Cotter is back with a new third to defend the BC Men’s title he won here last year.

“Everything’s in place and we’re ready to go.”

The 16 teams that will make up this year’s Canadian Direct Insurance B.C. Mens Curling Championship are settled in by now and no doubt the butterflies have started to kick in as they prepare for the start of the big annual showdown, being played out at Parksville Curling Club for the second straight year.

“There’s always some nerves, it’s always nice to get the first couple rocks thrown,” confirmed event chair Penny Shantz, a high level curler herself, adding the teams “should be totally prepared at this point. They know the ice maker, they know the rocks, so they know there won’t be any surprises there, as a curler you’re just hoping to have the best week of your life and earn that berth in the Brier.”

The B.C. Mens kicks off Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. with the opening ceremonies slated for 6:30 p.m. (prior to the final draw of the day). There will be three draws daily with the semifinals slated for Saturday night (7:30 p.m.) and the finals on Sunday in a 5 p.m. start. Only the  winner moves on to the Canadian championship.

Shantz adds the curlers don’t hit the ice looking to win it all — “you start looking to make a playoff spot, and that’s a separate championship in itself when you get down to those final four teams.”

Kelowna skip Jim Cotter is back with a new third to defend the title he won here last year, in fact the top three teams from last year will be back. There will be three teams from Victoria representing Vancouver Island, “as well as a few new teams, and there’s a few teams have mixed it up too… it’s a good field,” said Shantz.

Admission is $5 a draw, or $40 for a full event pass with tickets available at the door.

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