August 16, 2009

Who's coming to Edinburgh?

Robin Copland provides an update on the entries received so far for the Edinburgh International Curling Championship.

There is an exciting looking field developing for this year’s Edinburgh International Curling Championship.

Already received from Scotland are entries from Teams Warwick Smith, Peter Loudon, Jamie Dick, Iain Watt, Graham Shaw, Colin Hamilton, Keith Prentice and Tom Brewster. David Murdoch’s GB Olympic team has entered the competition; they will use it as a final shakedown before representing Scotland in the European Championships in Aberdeen.

Team news is also interesting. Team Smith remains as last season and looks as competitive as ever. Warwick stays with Craig Wilson, Dave Smith and Ross Hepburn. All are multiple winners of the Scottish Championship; Warwick and Craig will be anxious to demonstrate that the Olympic selectors got it wrong when they overlooked their claims to be included in the final five-man squad.

Pete Loudon has stayed with Logan Gray and Richard Woods from last season, but has been joined by Edinburgh’s Colin Campbell at lead. Colin had played lead for Tom Brewster for a number of seasons. Pete mixes youth and experience again, although he will argue that he is still youthful! It is a strong looking team; Logan Gray skipped his own teams to three Scottish Junior titles and was unlucky to win only two Bronze Medals at World Junior level. He has just run a hugely successful Summer Skins competition in Stirling’s new rink in the Peak sports village at Forthbank. Richard Woods is a World Junior Silver Medallist from 1998 (interestingly, playing with David Murdoch) and Colin Campbell was runner-up in last season’s Scottish Championship. Pete himself was a member of Hammy McMillan’s World Championship winning team of 1999 and has also won the European Championship three times.

Tom Brewster, who came so close to winning last season’s Scottish Championship, replaces Colin Campbell at lead with David Edwards. David has skipped his own team these last few seasons and had a fair bit of success – indeed, he is a former winner of the Edinburgh International. He managed a pretty impressive double that season, winning the Perth Masters as well! Duncan Fernie proved himself a fantastic third player last season and ran Ewan MacDonald close in the 'who was the best third in Scotland?' competition. He remains Tom’s third player. Tom’s brother, Ron Brewster, is the team’s second player. Ron has always been a keen curler, but I suspect that his real love can be found away from the curling rink and in the paddock; Ron works with heavy horses and regularly enters them in competitions throughout the UK. See Ron’s home page here.

Jamie Dick, runner-up in last season’s Scottish Junior Championship, has joined John Hamilton’s team and takes over the skipping duties from John. Andrew Craigie and Graeme Copland are the team’s front end. John, Andrew and Graeme are three of GB’s Silver Medallist World University Squad from 2007 and John and Andrew played in the same competition again in 2009, finishing sixth. They should get the local support as three of them play their curling in Murrayfield; even Andrew Craigie has answered the call of the Central Belt – he has relocated from Inverness and now lives in Glasgow’s leafy west end!

Former winner, Alan Smith, is another skip who has turned his back on the last stone! He joins Iain Watt, reigning Scottish Junior Champion Steve Mitchell, and Andrew Dolman in a strong looking outfit.

Graham Shaw returns with his team of Sandy Christie, Robin Niven and Mike Niven. Graham has been a great supporter of the event over the years and had a good run last season.

Hammy McMillan, a semifinalist last season, returns with his team of Philip Wilson, Ross Paterson and local Sandy Gilmour. Hammy needs no introduction and will challenge in whatever competition he enters. Ross and Sandy are former Bronze Medallists in the World Junior Championships and Philip Wilson represented GB in the Nagano Olympics. The McMillan family has been at the forefront of curling development in the south west of Scotland since Hammy senior opened the ice rink at the North West Castle Hotel in 1969. As well as Hammy junior, the rink has produced a host of World Junior and Scottish Champions and is a major centre of the game in Scotland. The hotel’s website is here.

Former Scottish Junior champion Glen Muirhead brings Greg Drummond and new recruits Thomas Sloan, the reigning Scottish Junior Champion and Michael Goodfellow to the competition. It will be interesting to see how this strong junior team shape up against their more seasoned rivals on the ice.

Team Murdoch, the reigning World and European Champions, will be warm favourites for this season’s Edinburgh International. The competition will be an important last plank in their competitive build-up to the European Championships.

From overseas, Andy Kapp returns to defend his trophy and entries have also been received from the Czech Republic, Latvia, Ireland, England, Russia and Sweden. More about the visitors in a future post.

Entry forms can be found at

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