Big curling events coming to Ottawa in November
By JOE PAVIA, QMI Agency
OTTAWA - The Russians are coming. And so are lots of juniors.
From Nov. 1-4, both Kemptville and Ottawa will enjoy some outstanding curling from seasoned champions and future stars.
First off, beginning Nov. 1, is the Royal Lepage OVCA Women’s Fall Classic at the North Grenville Curling Club. Heading the 24-rink field is Rachel Homan. Her Ottawa squad has battled to the finals recently in two major western Canada Grand Slams, where Homan defeated some of the best in the world. Both runner-up spots have earned the team just over $21,000, placing Homan second on this year’s money list.
Halifax’s Mary-Anne Arsenault, with Colleen Jones as third, leads another contending rink trying to get back to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Kingston in February.
A curiosity might just be the young Russian team skipped by Victoria Moiseeva. She and her fifth, Galina Arsenkina, played front end in last year’s world juniors, where they earned the bronze medal. Quebec’s Marie-France Larouche and Eve Belisle will vie for the championship as will veteran American skip Patti Lank.
Some opening-day games feature Moiseeva versus the Ottawa rink skipped by Rhonda Varnes (1 p.m.); Arsenault against Montreal’s Allison Ross (6:30 p.m.) and Homan playing Amy Wright of Minnesota (6:30 p.m.). The women are playing for a $15,000 purse with the winner earning $5,000. The final is Nov. 4 at 3:30 p.m.
The draw can be viewed at www.ottawavalleycurling.ca.
Meanwhile, by visiting any of six Ottawa curling clubs hosting the JSI OVCA Junior Superspiel (Nov. 2-4), youthful enthusiasm and parental agony will be in full view.
Where Moiseeva won bronze, Scotland’s Hannah Fleming got gold and is the reigning world junior champion. She heads the 16-team women’s side of the cashspiel. Last year’s men’s champion from Thunder Bay, Brennan Wark, is returning to defend his title against 15 other squads. Wark was runner-up at the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors last year as well.
With representation from every province from Manitoba east as well as Scotland, the U.S. and Switzerland, the event will test the teams. Almonte’s Lauren Horton is a real contender to come out on top this year. Her team is dominating the Ontario junior curling tour. On the men’s side, Manitoba’s Kyle Doering is a shot-maker. His triple takeout to score six at the 2011 Canada Winter Games was a highlight-reel shot for any age group.
The draws begin Nov. 2 at the Navy, Carleton Heights, City View and the Ottawa. The championships take place on Nov. 4 at Carleton Heights at 4 p.m. The winners will earn $3,000 each. The draw is available at www.ottawavalleycurling.ca.
OCA RESULTS: The zone winners from this area advancing to the Ontario Dominion Curling Club championships (this weekend in Toronto) are Cornwall’s Kevin Baker and Jennifer Harvey and Quinte’s Caroline Deans and Dave Collyer.
END NOTES: The Challenge Chateau Cartier de Gatineau begins Thursday. Admission is free. The draw is located at www.challengechateaucartier.com.