These gifts are sure winners

JOE PAVIA, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:00 AM ET

Christmas is almost here, so why not think about these gifts for the curling fans on your list?

Granite2 is a very realistic computer curling game that closely simulates the real experience, right down to ice conditions and sweeping. The game is suitable for all skill levels, and you can play against someone or challenge the computer to beat you. It also lets you save games. A bonus is the practice sheet that lets you try out those circus shots you've always dreamed of making.

Granite2 is the official game of the Canadian Curling Association. It is manufactured by Curling Works and sells for $24.95. You can purchase it online or buy it locally at the Hogline Curlers Pro Shop inside the Ottawa Curling Club at 440 O'Connor St. or the Goldline store, 174 Colonnade Rd.

For the book lovers on your list, Curling Etcetera is a fascinating read about some of curling's funniest moments, quirkiest characters and most obscure rules. The stories include how Paul Gowsell once ordered a pizza to be delivered to him on the ice during a bonspiel in Winnipeg; how a cigar ash robbed legendary skip Ken Watson of an eight-ender at the 1936 Brier; and why it's better to have your stone break into pieces than fall on its side.

The book was written by Bob Weeks, the editor of the Ontario Curling Report. Published by John Wiley and Sons, it retails for $21.95 and is available online and at Chapters.

Broom sisterhood

The John Shea Insurance Canada Cup Qualifier, which runs tomorrow through Monday at the Ottawa and Rideau clubs, features at least eight rinks on the cusp of making the Olympic Pre-Trials if they perform well here. Defending world champion Jennifer Jones and 2008 Scotties Tournament of Hearts finalist Shannon Kleibrink are both in action Friday at the Ottawa club, with Jones playing at 8 a.m. and Kleibrink at 2:30 p.m. Former world champion Kelly Scott starts at the Rideau club at 11:15 a.m. Friday. Draws begin at the Ottawa club tomorrow at 6 p.m., when local skip Rachel Homan takes on Winnipeg's Karen Porritt.

Daily coverage of the JSI starts Friday in the Sun.

Meanwhile, the men duke it out this weekend at the Diversified Transportation Canada Cup West in Edmonton. Two West Quebec teammates, Simon Dupuis and Jean-Sebastien Roy, as well as Ottawa resident Don Bowser, who plays for Greg Balsdon, are in the hunt for a Pre-Trials spot at that event.

OCA results

Monday's Zone 1 'A' side men's final saw Dave Murphy advancing. This is the team's last season together. The B side is yet to be played. Gore schoolboy and girl zone 1 winners were: On the A side, Shannon Harrington and Kurtis Byrd, and on the B side, Nick Thompson and Lindsey Foster.

Winning on the double

The Carleton Place Scotch Doubles bonspiel was won by R.J. and Kevin McConnell.

Mixed messages

The OVCA Mixed Bonspiel (Jan. 15-18) still has room for entries. The deadline for entering is Dec. 20. Check out the new Italian mixed spiel at the RCMP club Jan. 16 and 17. Contact the club at 613-789-7086. The Pembroke club is also hosting a mixed event Feb. 21 and 22. Cash prizes will be awarded for each win. Contact Marcel Jonckheere at jonckheeremc@gmail.com.

Curling this week

Rogers Television will broadcast the semi-finals and final of the JSI Canada Cup on tape delay Monday. The semi-finals go at 4 p.m. and the final will be shown at 8 p.m. Paul Savage will provide the analysis ... Senior regionals take place this weekend.


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