Skip may give up cashspiel

JOE PAVIA -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 1:42 PM ET

Has he had enough?

Ottawa's last Brier skip, Bryan Cochrane, is assessing his competitive future. His second, Jeff Henderson, is taking next season off owing to priorities at home and work. This move has Cochrane pondering next season's focus. "At this point I don't see getting back into the schedule required to be competitive." Neither will be able to devote the time required to travel to events.

Before this current campaign, Team Cochrane made a conscious decision to alter their bonspiel schedule so they could face more accomplished teams. It worked. The rink earned more than $22,000, placing them in the top 20 on the World Curling Tour money list.

At Sarnia's Ontario championships, the local team was a non-factor despite their best money year ever. "We curled well this year, but to get to the provincials and not put pressure on any teams was a disappointment," Cochrane said. They finished 2-7.

Lead John Steski thinks there is a small chance for third Chris Fulton, himself and their skip to stick together. Is Howard Rajala listening? His foursome's team meeting is pending.

Joelle Sabourin has left the Jenn Hanna team.

"She's found that her work and home commitments have become a little bit too busy to continue playing as much as our team has been over the past few years," Hanna said.

Three Ottawa women, Lee Merklinger, Breanne Merklinger and Pascale Letendre have left Janet McGhee's Uxbridge rink. Lee transfers to lead for Hanna. Letendre's plans are unknown and Breanne is sitting out the season.

Hanna's former second, Dawn Askin, is the new lead for Winnipeg's Jennifer Jones. Her Canadian debut is at this week's Canada Cup.

The Willie Jeffries rink is undecided. Dave Murphy's team remains intact. The Jeff McCrady and J.P. Lachance teams have split amicably while Chris Gardner is skipping a team of younger players. Greg Richardson will have one new player. Brian Benning is looking; Jay Curtis and Andrew Mikklesen plan to sit the year out while Matt Paul is searching for a team as well.

The Rachel Homan foursome remains together but the Lesle Cafferty team is no more. The Jennifer Day squad remains in force. Joyce Potter's rink has not met yet about next season. Annie Lemay is meeting with Marie-France Larouche soon to discuss next season.

SAVILL SAFE: One can bet that Craig Savill is not going to leave his team. Right after his Brier victory, he said, "This feels so good. This has been my whole dream in my whole curling career and we finally win one with great guys."

ALMOST YUKON GOLD: Despite cracking a four-ender on Alberta in the final at the Canada Winter Games, the Manotick foursome of Neil Sinclair, Graham Rathwell, Andrew Hamilton and Mathew Camm lost gold in the last end, 8-6.

OCA RESULTS: In regional mixed action, the winners are: 1A -- Spencer Cooper, B -- Howard Rajala. In senior mixed regionals, provincial-bound rinks are: 1A -- Layne Noble, B -- Serge Denis.

CURLING THIS WEEK: The City of Ottawa Bonspiel began yesterday, featuring Team France, Team Australia and Team Guy Hemmings -- 1,000 curlers in all. The finals are set for Carleton Heights Sunday at 7 p.m.

CBC carries the Strauss Canada Cup of Curling finals -- the women Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and men Sunday at 1:30 p.m. The Best Western Intermediate provincials begin today in Cornwall.

The Richard Faguy team from Buckingham with Dan deWaard, Danny deWaard and Dany Beaulieu will represent Quebec at the Canadian Legion Curling Championships starting this Sunday in Nova Scotia. Their team shirts say "Three Dans and a Dick."


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