Thirty one teams from around the province came together in two neighbouring curling clubs – one in Langley and one in Cloverdale – this past week to play in two competitions at once.
The Pacific Coast and BC Interior Masters Associations held the 2017 Masters Combined Championships from March 14 to 18, sharing ice between the two curling rinks.
The joint competitions required the use of eight ends. Since both Langley and Cloverdale only had six ends each, they chose to partner and co-host the events, with athlete moving between the different venues on different days, said Nigel Easton, chair of this year's combined provincial and regional championships.
The opening ceremonies, for instance, was hosted in Cloverdale – complete with bag pipes. While the closing ceremonies and banquet were held in Langley, and play moved between the two venues.
Competitors came from throughout the B.C., including the Kootenays, South and North Okanagan, Vancouver Island, and Lower Mainland – each competing for regional supremacy, as well as the provincial title in 60-plus men, 70-plus men, 60-plus women, and 60-plus mixed categories.
In addition to the athletes, there are club staff and dozens of volunteers who were on hand before and during the four-day event to make sure it was all possible, Easton said.
"Having competed in the provincials in 2013, in Nanaimo, I know how important the camaraderie and hospitality is to all competitors," Easton said. "I hope that we can… [make this] a memorable experience."
Cloverdale Curling Club president Laureen Hull noted that Langley and Cloverdale have worked closely together in past to host numerous events, and expects similar ventures in future, commending all the volunteers who worked behind the scenes to make this competition a reality.
"We have been in the planning stages for many months to ensure all the details have been looked after," she said, appreciative of the dedication of so many.
Troy Matsumiya, the president of the Langley Curling Centre, was on hand to catch the play on Friday, and added his thanks to the volunteers and athletes alike.
To the curlers, he said: "Your energetic enthusiasm, amazing athletic skills, and ability to compete at such a high level is an inspiration to us all. Your positive state of mind and enjoyment of a healthy and active lifestyle proves yet again that age is merely a number," he said.
"Your enthusiasm for our favourite sport is equally matched by our dedicated volunteers, without whom we would not be able to host this incredible event," Matsumiya said.
There was one Langley/Cloverdale competing. That was Team Lepine, featuring Cloverdale resident Karen Lepine, who plays primarily out of the Langley Curling Club. She was joined on the ice by teammates Susan Beuk, Agnes Sigurdson, Claire Morrison, and alternate/fifth Leslie Conde-Mathot.
60+: Combined winner Men: Combined winner - Woytowich from Glen Meadows
BCIMCA winner - Duplisse from Salmon Arm in a three way shoot-out
PCMCA winner - Woytowich
60+ Women: Combined winner - Karen Lepine from Langley
BCIMCA winner - Karen Mosure from Vernon
PCMCA winner - Margaret Obee from Nanaimo
70+ Men: Combined winner - Wayne Saboe from Kamloops
BCIMCA winner - Wayne Saboe from Kamloops
PCMCA winner - Milt Sinclair from Abbotsford in a shoot-out
60+ Mixed: Combined winner - Francis Reglin from Kelowna
BCIMCA winner - Francis Reglin from Kelowna
PCMCA winner - Jack Holden from Comox