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U21 curling provincials go off without a hitch in Duncan

Ice plant failure fails to derail B.C. championship competition

The Curl BC U21 curling provincial championships were held Friday through Sunday at North Cowichan’s Glen Harper Curling Centre with six women’s teams and four men’s teams competing.

The event went off without a hitch and was the first major event back following the breakdown of the facility’s ice plant last season.

“The board at the Duncan Curling Club, along with its membership and all its sponsors and supporters, have worked extremely hard to get to this place where we can showcase our amazing club,” said the club’s Jen Woike. “A year ago, we were not sure if we would ever be able to open our doors again with the major equipment failure we experienced, but we did it; it takes a village to keep organizations like this successful.”

Just one Cowichan curler competed in the event: Carley Hardie. She curled second on the Island-based Team Duncan (named after skip Keelie Duncan, not the City of Duncan).

Hardie and Team Duncan beat Royal City/Vancouver Curling Club Team (Bryelle) Wong 9-4, in the competition’s first draw, before falling to Team (Emily) Bowles of Victoria 6-5 in a nail-biter that afternoon.

Day 2 saw Team Duncan meet Kamloops-based Team (Holly) Hafeli. Team Duncan led for much of the game but three in the 10th end propelled Hafeli’s rink ahead 6-5 at the end.

Later on Friday, Team Duncan met a mixed group of curlers from Golden Ears Winter Club, and Vernon and Victoria Curling Clubs skipped by Kaelen Coles-Lyster. The Duncan rink won 8-1 setting up a matchup that night against Team (Elizabeth) Bowles. A 9-6 loss eliminated Hardie and the Island rink from contention.

The final was contested Sunday morning by the Hafeli and Emily Bowles rinks. With a point in the 10th end, Bowles’s team won 9-8 to take the U21 women’s provincial title and book a spot at the U21 nationals in Quebec in March.

On the men’s side, Team Fenton skipped by Adam Fenton and comprised of curlers from Royal City and Comox Valley Curling Clubs, faced the Golden Ears Winter Club-based Team Reed, skipped by Thomas Reed.

In the end, Team Fenton was declared men’s 2023 champions with a 6-3 victory. Both teams will advance to compete at U21 nationals in Quebec as well.

No Cowichan curlers competed on the men’s side. That’s something Woike wants to see change in the future. She said she hopes the showcase of exceptional young talent inspires more young people to get out and play.

“Curling is a sport for everyone,” she said. “We need young people to come out and experience this inclusive sport. Look for learn-to-curl opportunities this fall and come out and join a league, there is a league for everyone!”

Sarah Simpson

About the Author: Sarah Simpson

I started my time with Black Press Media as an intern, before joining the Citizen in the summer of 2004.
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