It was the shot no one in the crowd saw coming. Even Cloverdale skip Leanne Andrews and third Jennifer Gay weren’t sold on it.
But after discussing their options, including a considerably more conservative takeout on the edge of the eight foot line, they opted for big risk but big reward.
“We thought a lot about it and decided what the heck, let’s go for it,” Gay said of their final shot, a tricky takeout through a narrow port, in the sixth end that left Cloverdale sitting three.
The heroic shot forced Washington skip Claire Bonin to come up with magic of her own, but she came up light on her final draw shot and the teams shook hands as Cloverdale scored a 9-5 victory Sunday in the women’s final at the 16th annual Pacific International Cup at the Richmond Curling Centre.
Earlier in the day, Andrews’ Cloverdale team (also featuring Kim McIandress and Phillippa Johnston) secured a berth in the Travelers Canadian Curling Club Championship in Ottawa this November with an 8-2 upset of previously-undefeated Campbell River (Island North) in the B.C. women’s final.
Chilliwack matched Cloverdale’s feat in the men’s division, winning both the B.C. and PIC championships. Kevin Britz’s Fraser Valley rink went undefeated in all nine of its games, sweeping though the round-robin en route to a 7-5 win over Chilliwack in the provincial final and then topping Illinois 5-4 in extra ends in the PIC final.
Though perhaps not quite as dramatic as the women’s final, the battle for PIC supremacy among the men was no less intense. Britz’s Chilliwack rink (which also featured James Crawford, Darren Jarvis and Ken Britz) was actually fortunate to pull out the win after a peel attempt raised one of its own stones into the ring. It ended up counting when Illnois came up light on an attempted freeze with their final stone.
Skipped by Greg Wilson and featuring Michael Rane, Colin Rittgers and Lloyd Yanis, the Illinois rink from suburban Chicago proved to be formidable at this year’s PIC, winning the international men’s pool with a 6-3 victory over Yukon which was paced by an early four-ender.
Claire Bonin’s Washington team (which also featured Kris Ikegami, Jill Lamberts, Lisa Rugena nd Jlyoung Lee) won the international women’s pool with an 8-3 win over California’s Sarah Walsh (also featuring Kim Chapin, Emily Shcermerhorn and Emily Kimmel) San Francisco rink. Three-enders in the second and fourth end were the difference makers.
•With their victory in the Mainland Club Challenge a week ago, Richmond’s Norm Richard rink gave the host club a team in the Pacific International Cup. However, Richard’s team (which also featured Wayne Hogaboam, Brian McInnis and Ralph Einarson) came up short of their goal as a 3-4 round-robin record left them just shy of a playoff berth. Richmond, which Hogaboam described prior to the competition as “a pretty consistent team” started impressively with three straight victories.
While a host team is always at least perceived to have a home-ice advantage, Hogaboam said it depends greatly on how the ice is playing.
“It can be just as hard for us to read as any team that never’s played on the rink before,” he said.
Despite not advancing further, Hogaboam said the PIC is a great event.
“It’s nice to have this type of bonspiel for curlers, to give them a chance to feel what it’s like to play in big games,” he said. “It’s quite enjoyable.”