The 52nd edition of the International Curling Tankard – a long-running battle between Canada and the U.S. – was held March 7-9 at Cowichan Rocks Curling Club.
A partnership of Curl BC and the Washington State Curling Association selects 48 worthy volunteers from B.C. (24) and the U.S. (24). The Tankard is a friendly competition that brings together curlers who have been nominated by their curling club to attend this special event.
Jack Holden, Steve Whynott, Sharon Walker and John Davis represented the Comox Valley Curling Club, joining curlers from Juan de Fuca, Marpole, Richmond, Langley, Esquimalt, Golden Ears, Glen Meadow and host club Cowichan Rocks on the Canadian teams. The U.S teams included curlers from Seattle, San Francisco, Hollywood, San Diego and Beaverton, Oregon’s Evergreen club.
The curlers were divvied up into six Canadian teams and six American teams, then each rink played three games against foursomes from the other country. Members from the same club were placed on different teams, making an interesting mix where the team huddle decided who would play what position. Then it was game on!
Opening ceremonies was set out in a traditional manner with a piper, RCMP colour guard, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 210 marching the teams onto the rink. After introductions and welcoming tributes, the youngest curler of the Cowichan Rocks club, Jaxon Zalinko threw the first ceremonial rock (it looked bigger than him) and it covered the button with the help of discrete toe kicks from sweeper Jack Holden.
It is the custom of the Tankard where teams play four ends, stack their brooms on the button, take time out for a libation or so and then return to play the final four ends. “Pretty relaxed if not down right civil!” a CVCC spokesperson said. In the end, the efforts of the U.S. teams could not overtake the B.C. teams and the ‘bragging rights’ were that of the Canadians.
Next year the tankard will return to Washington State and again, the Comox Valley Curling Club will be recognizing volunteers to attend this great event. “What an absolutely incredible and fun way to acknowledge the volunteer efforts of those who put their heart and soul into the continuing growth of the game of curling!” the CVCC spokesperson said.
– Comox Valley Curling Centre