Power failure turns pebble to puddles

TED WYMAN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:35 AM ET

PAISLEY, Scotland -- Things can only go up from here. The world senior championships are being run in conjunction with the women's worlds this week, but the event got off to a rough start when there was a power failure at the Green Acres Curling Club.

ICE MELTED

The power was off for more than eight hours on Wednesday and, needless to say, the ice melted.

Ice makers were working feverishly to get the ice ready for today's games, but it was still a mess yesterday and all practices were cancelled.

"It's quite a headache," said Green Acres proprietor Richard Harding, who doubles as a World Curling Federation executive.

"Nineteen countries have teams here and they are not curling. They are pretty understanding. Sometimes these things happen."

Harding expects the ice to be OK for the opening games today. A total of 32 teams -- 19 men's and 13 women's -- are taking part in the event.

"We're on target for (today)," said Harding, who has brought in a portable back-up generator to make sure there are no more power failures.

Canada is represented by Newfoundland's Baz Buckle and Ontario's Anne Dunn.

WHAT WE HEAR ABOUT THE EAR: Team Canada lead Cathy Gauthier is still troubled by an ear problem that first occurred when she was flying home from the Scott Tournament of Hearts in Newfoundland.

Gauthier has had weeks to recover from a blown left ear drum and had a surgical procedure performed last Sunday before she left for Scotland, but she's nervous about the return trip and is still having difficulty hearing.

"Oh, the damn thing," Gauthier said yesterday after her team practised at the Lagoon Leisure Centre.

"I think it's healing, but I'm still a little bit deaf in that ear. I'm sure my teammates all wish they were deaf in (one) ear so they didn't have to listen to me talk. But you know what, it doesn't hurt and going home, if it's painful, I'm sure there's a good bus from Minneapolis."

Gauthier has been stressed out for weeks while grappling with the ear problem and a flu bug.

"I was terrified, absolutely terrified in the Winnipeg airport," she said. "But there was nothing in Minneapolis, nothing in Amsterdam and nothing here. Flying here was the problem, and I'm here, so that's good."

The surgical procedure Gauthier underwent to relieve pressure on her ear drum is a short-term fix to her problem, so she could experience pain on the trip home.

But she's not going to let that get in the way of her opportunity to represent her country for the third time.

"When I put the Maple Leaf on again, which I never thought I would, that just made all the bad stuff go away in a hurry."


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