Less than three weeks.
That's all the time left for anyone to get back in his groove and light up the Tim Hortons Canadian Olympic Trials in Halifax, Dec. 3-11.
Randy Ferbey is not concerned ... much.
The five-time world champ, along with Dave Nedohin, who throws fourth rocks, second Scott Pfeifer and lead Marcel Rocque, was knocked out early yesterday morning at the Best Western Wayside Inn Classic in Lloydminster.
"These bonspiels are getting harder to win," said Ferbey, who lost 8-7 to Ryan Keane's rink in the quarter-final.
"You really have to be at the top of your game."
Which is right where Ferbey's isn't.
Although Ferbey sits second overall in the Ultima World Curling Tour money standings with $40,741, he knows there are kinks to work out before heading east.
"We are playing well," he said. "But we're not where we should be yet. We've had a very long year already, because we were in Europe for almost a month.
"We're gearing up with the bonspiels but the travel is wearing us down a bit.
"We're actually working harder than we ever have been and we're not quite used to that."
Ferbey and his boys will take the next week off before they head to Yorkton, Sask., for the $48,000 Painted Hand Casino Curling Classic.
Then they head for Halifax where the hunt begins for the berth at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, Feb. 11-26.
"Whether we do well in Yorkton or not is totally irrelevant," Ferbey said.
"A lot of the teams are going to be playing well in Halifax.
"Hopefully, that's us, too. We're not in a groove yet but we're close.
"It's nothing to panic about but we're not firing on all cylinders from lead to skip."
But the field is tough with longtime Edmonton rival Kevin Martin, Winnipeg's Pat Stoughton and Calgary's John Morris all in the chase.
"We're just making a couple of errors," said Ferbey. "But overall we're happy with what we're doing.
"Hopefully, it will change -- no, I know it will change -- once we get to Halifax.
"But I wish a lot of the teams weren't there. I wish Martin wasn't there, I wish Stoughton wasn't there, I wish (Glenn) Howard wasn't there.
"I'd be a little more confident."
ON THE ROCKS: Calgary's Darren Moulding wasn't successful in defending his title at the New York Curling Open but he still cashed out with $4,000 US. Moulding lost 6-3 to eventual champion Mark Dacey of Halifax, the 2004 Nokia Brier champion.