BC 2010 Masters
Men’s and Women’s Championship
An extremely successful four days of championship curling took place March 4-7 at Curl Grand Forks. When the rocks finally came to a stop, the Karin Host team from Richmond and the Garry Gelowitz foursome from Kelowna prevailed in the finals, and will represent BC in the Canadian Masters Championship later March 28 – April 4 in Saint John, New Brunswick.
On the women’s side Host defeated Richmond club mate Heather Kerr 7-6 in an extra end. Kerr, who has represented BC in 4 Canadian Women’s championships, had come back from a 5-2 deficit midway through the game, finally tying the score by stealing a point in the final end. Both skips made exceptional shots in the extra frame but Host had the hammer (last rock), and lifted her team to the exciting victory. Earlier in the day the Host rink had defeated Sharron Manick of Victoria in one semi-final while Kerr earned her way into the final with a win over Betty Pang from Elkford.
On the Men’s side the final was decided on the last rock. Gelowitz was down 5-4 playing the final end against Blake Kimura from Vernon, but was able to squeeze out a Kimura rock for the necessary two points to send his team to the Canadian championship. Gelowitz earned his way into the final by defeating Ralph Will from Sparwood. In the other semi-final Kimura downed Bob Gallaugher from Duncan. Gallaugher needed to win an extra end tie-breaker Saturday afternoon over 12 time Brier participant Bernie Sparkes to grab a spot in the playoffs.
Gold and Silver medals were presented to the final four, and the winners were fitted for BC provincial jackets and shirts as they prepare to leave in less than three weeks for New Brunswick. Roy Giles, third on the Garry Gelowitz team, will be playing in his 13th National Championship. This includes 5 Briers and 3 Mixed competitions. Along with the aforementioned curling legend, Bernie Sparkes, and Heather Kerr, curling fans were privileged to watch, and meet in person, some very special curling talent.
Part way through the four day event one of the players on the Kerr team had to leave due to a family emergency. The organizing committee provides a spare pool of local players, and Betty Lockhart was called into action on Saturday morning. She helped the Kerr team get through to the finals, and it was exciting for local curlers to see one of their own, who has given so much to the Grand Forks Curling Club over the years, have an opportunity to participate in such a prestigious event.
The Host Committee did an outstanding job, and was complimented many times over by the visiting curlers and out of town guests. Not only was this a great event for the curling centre in Grand Forks, it was a boost to the city and area, with an estimated economic benefit of at least $30,000. Beyond the financial impact, this was an excellent example of tourism promotion. Many of the curlers, their families, and other visitors were experiencing Grand Forks and the Boundary area for the first time. They loved what they saw, from the Museum to the Christina Lake Golf Course. I’m sure many will come back again.