Martin hopeful young guns will help fill 'void'

JOE PAVIA -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:44 AM ET

By many measures Kevin Martin's rink is the best curling team in the world.

During Brockville's AMJ Campbell Shorty Jenkins Classic last weekend, the top moneymaker, top Canadian Team Ranking System point-getter and top Tour Order of Merit skip talked about curling.

- On his drive: "It's not easy to travel but the competition I love. When you're on the ice competing that's fun and when it becomes not fun I won't do it any more. It's been 20 years now."

- On competition: "We just don't go to any cashspiel anymore. You want to play against (Russ) Howard, you want to play (Wayne) Middaugh."

- On trying to be elite: "It's probably a lot like the PGA with the young guys. It's hard. It should be hard. I don't think it should be easy. It's just not true in curling but in every sport. You have to work hard at your game. I don't think it's a negative. I think it's a positive."

- On new blood: "There's going to be lots of room for the young guys. There are lots of guys older then there's myself and Middaugh in their 40s. There's a void in curling. Boy, it's going to be a young, healthy sport soon."

- On up and comers: "The young guys up and coming are brilliant. Reid Carruthers, Morris and that group, Blake McDonald, the (Jamie) Koe team, (Brad) Gushue although I don't know if he's (young enough to be) an up and comer. There are a group of probably 10 or 12 who are really good coming up."

- On changes in the CCA: "Any time there's change it's generally positive. They needed some fresh thinking I think -- a little bit of life put in there. They'll be a lot stronger. Certainly there's no negative there."

- On curling's future: "The only thing that worries me is the amount of growth. You can grow so fast that you can't control (it) ... 2010 is absolutely going to send curling skyward and you have to know how to control it."

Howard beat Martin 7-4 in the semi-final at the Shorty and beat Gushue 6-4 for the $9,000 win. Peter Corner also made the semi. Middaugh, Carruthers, Nick Rizzo and Robert Desjardins also qualified.

On the women's side, U.S. skip Debbie McCormick beat Quebec's Eve Belisle 7-4. Thurso's Chantal Osborne reached the semis.

CAPITAL GAIN

The irony was bigger than the winning margin. Howard Rajala with Chris Fulton, Jeff Henderson and Craig Cordiner defeated Bryan Cochrane 4-3 in the final of the RCMP Fall Open on Sunday.

Rajala's vice and second played for Cochrane last season. His third, Rich Moffatt, skipped Rajala and Fulton to the Brier in 1999. Rajala won $3,000, Cochrane $2,000. Other qualifiers were semi-finalists Dwayne Fowler and Mike Stachon ($1,500 each) and quarter-finalists ($1,000 each) Ted Butler, Greg Richardson, Serge Reid and J.P. Lachance.

JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT

Shane Latimer's team helped Ottawa-area rinks dominate the Derek Whitehill Memorial Junior Cashspiel in Peterborough. Latimer won the men's event and Rachel Homan beat Ottawa's Lynn Kreviazuk on the women's side, with the winners each taking home $1,700. Christian Tolusso and Neil Sinclair also qualified.

FINDING A TEAM

The Orphan Clinic for bantams and juniors yet without a team is on Sunday from 9-1 p.m. at Carleton Heights.


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