While it\'s not quite the Brier, it\'s still an impressive win, considering the 2003 City of Ottawa International Bonspiel was comprised of 284 rinks or 1,136 curlers.
And yesterday\'s kings of the 48th edition the bonspiel carried with them shades of a past Brier and hopes of future Briers during respective victories in the open and senior divisions.
\"I have a lot of big dreams,\" said 21-year-old Sebastien Robillard, winner of the open division\'s grand aggregate title after a 7-5 decision over Navan\'s Mark Madore at the RCMP Curling Club. \"I\'ve been working hard on my curling. Long term, it\'s the Brier. Short term, it\'s provincial -- next year, we\'ll look to win that. We know we can play.\"
Robillard, third Tyler Morgan, second Jamie Farnell and lead Justin Anderson, proved it in their home-town bonspiel. The Ottawa Curling Club rink capped a perfect 9-0 run with last night\'s final victory, assuming complete control early in the game and riding it to claim first-place merchandise prizes. Robillard, using the \"best ice in town,\" counted three rocks in the third end and two in the fifth for a commanding 6-3 lead after five ends. Despite allowing Madore one in each of the eighth and ninth ends, Robillard iced it in the 10th end when Roy Vallillee\'s final skip rock came up short in an effort to draw around two rocks into the four foot.
Most impressive was the fact the \'spiel marked the first time playing together as a foursome.
\"I thought we gelled really quick,\" said Robillard, whose rink is searching out sponsors for next year\'s run at a provincial title. \"I always expect to win when I go out. But with a new team, I wasn\'t too sure.\"
In the senior final for curlers aged 50 years and older, Ottawa\'s Rod Matheson had a good idea his rink was title worthy, especially with two former Ontario champs and Brier competitors aboard. Third Elden Coombe and lead Barry Provo both played in the 1972 Brier after winning that year\'s provincial tankard.
\"It was very simple -- I did what Elden told me to do,\" said Matheson of his rink\'s 7-1 record capped by the 11-4 win over Denis Paquette of the Navy Curling Club. \"I knew we were so strong because he could get me out of trouble. And he reads the ice very quickly.\"
In the senators division final (65 and older) Saturday, the RCMP\'s Dave Ross capped a 4-0 \'spiel with a win over the Navy\'s Dan Porter.