The Comox Valley Curling Club was a busy place again this past weekend as the host of the Eric Chayco Memorial Hangover Bonspiel.
Of the 32 men’s teams entered, 11 made the road trip to participate in this annual event, joining us from Vancouver, Victoria and Campbell River, a very special group indeed. "You have to appreciate the fact that some of these curlers have travelled here for this bonspiel for over 20 consecutive years," an event spokesperson noted. "What remains true is, it is not always about a trip to the prize table."
It is all about guys like Stu Thomson who, in 2002, picked an ugly hunter orange parka from the prize table, and wears it only on the Saturday night draw when he could be eliminated. Complete with manufacturer tags, the one year he could not make it he loaned it to someone else to carry on the tradition. Priceless!
There is also the Spirit of the 'spiel award for the curler that most represented the true spirit of the hangover bonspiel. Al Orton of Esquimalt, curling with Bruce Joanisse, was the recipient after a well-thought out decision by the bonspiel committee. It seems Al had an unfortunate slip and fall on the ice, and suffering minor injury continued on into the evening serenading table to table. Entertainment? You bet!
But it is a bonspiel and Sunday was crunch time for the remaining teams in each of the four events.
The “On the Level” “A” event final was captured by local Ron Schmidt with teammates Jim Bostock, Ross Thomson and Buck Briggs. Ironically they were a last minute, “save our draw” entry that had only an hour to get a squad together and show to play on Friday afternoon.
It was a bone crushing game for The Joint (see below) as they put on quite a show to defeat the Mike Imrie team in the semifinal but had nothing in the tank for the final. Schmidt scored consecutive steals in ends three, four, five and six to seal the deal.
We welcome “Engrave it” as our B event sponsor. Harvey Jenkins with Randy Baert, John Davies and Gerry Stevenson were able to oust local Hangover member John Brown in the final game. Vancouver’s Wright rinks claimed third while Royal City’s Gord Buick made his first walk to the prize table in 20 years at fourth.
“The Joint Physiotherapy and Sport Injury Center” C event also came down to a local battle. Dave Pacholuk, George Warren, Mark Pearce and Tom Shaw were able to overcome Hangover League favourite Rick Cowles of On the Level after eight ends. The Trevor Shoesmith and Randy Wiwchar rinks, both local, finished third and fourth, respectively.
It took a team of five for a local Hangover team skipped by Jack Holden to receive the D event “Barry Edgett Memorial” hardware. With Vern Reimer , Bob Burns, Gary Coleman and Ernie Kassian, the Holden rink held up through the back-to-back games to defeat Victoria”s Ron Bilodeau foursome in the final. Rob Dale of the Hangover League took third and Bruce Johnston fourth.
The Sunday Morning Men’s Hangover league thanks all those who gave a helping hand throughout the weekend – too numerous to mention but be assured your help was greatly appreciated. "Our own Comox Valley Caterers put on a fabulous banquet, prime rib at its best, thank you Mark, Becky and staff," the spokesperson said.
"To the staff of the CVCC we thank you for all your hard work and diligence to aid in the success of this weekend. We also recognize Visual Sound Store and Sleemans Breweries for their help."
– Comox Valley Curling Club