A birds-eye view

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 9:03 AM ET

Curling TV lights, cameras, action!

For those enjoying the play at the World/Manitoba Curling Tour's event in Stonewall, the curling club now has a closed-circuit TV setup where fans behind the glass can view the action from overhead cameras whether the play is at the home or away end on each sheet -- a first for Manitoba.

The setup -- plus the security cameras around the complex, which includes a hockey rink, and the software involved -- costs about $28,000, said Andy Stewart, the event's organizer who also plays third for Stonewall's Mark Lukowich.

"It's great for events like this," Stewart said.

You can bet a provincial championship of some sort won't be far behind. The MCA has already made inquiries.

And competitive curler John White introduced a blog of live Internet coverage, complete with video highlights, on feature games during the event through manitobacurling.blogspot.com.

"It's a work in progress, but I think you can see the potential," White wrote on his blog site.

Without Shaw Cable televising the final, you can check out today's playoffs at his site. For free.

ANOTHER FIRST: Assiniboine Memorial's Kerry Burtnyk qualified on the A-side, then lost a shootout which could have earned him a bye to the semifinal.

Burtnyk's third, Dan Kammerlock, left during the match due to illness and was unavailable for the shootout, which requires four throwers. One of the front enders was allowed to throw twice, apparently the first time this has happened. Didn't matter, as Burtnyk's own draw attempt failed to hit paint.

Warren's Richard Muntain and Granite's Bob Sigurdson won the shootout, advancing to today's semifinals and are guaranteed at least $3,000 each.

Asham Arena's James Kirkness, Granite's Kyle Werenich and St. Vital's Doug Riach also qualified.

On the women's side, Jennifer Jones and Karen Porritt, both of St. Vital, and Janet Harvey and Barb Spencer, both of Fort Rouge qualified, which is worth at least $1,500 each.

GRAHAM OUT: Brent Braemer replaced third Travis Graham for Kirkness this weekend. Graham recently suffered some painful injuries when he rolled his vehicle though he's apparently planning to play when Kirkness competes at a WCT event in Saskatoon this weekend.

NORTHERN BERTH: In The Pas, Brandon's Terry McNamee, who recently finished third at the national mixed championship, advanced to this morning's semifinals of the MCA's Safeway Select Northern Berth Bonspiel. Also advancing to the semifinals were La Salle's Randy Neufeld, Carberry's Kelly Marnoch and Neepawa's Kelly Robertson.

TRIALS SEEDS: Winnipeg's Breanne Meakin (Rob's daughter who also plays lead for St. Vital's Calleen Neufeld) has been named one of the top-four seeds for the Canada Games Curling Trials, to be played at the Granite Curling Club, Dec. 15-17.

The others named by the MCA were Jackelynn Payne and Alyssa Vandepoele, both of Eastman, and Central's Lisa Bartley.

On the boys' side, the top four seeds were: Central's Alex Forrest, Steen Sigurdson and Jared Kolomaya, both of Interlake, and Winnipeg's Brian Thomson.


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