November 03, 2009

Webcast plans for the Edinburgh International Curling Championships

Trevor Dodds, Chair of the Organising Committee, today revealed the schedule for a series of webcasts from the Championships. To reflect interest from Europe, there will be a number of overseas teams featured in the showcase games, as well as local talent. Here is the proposed schedule:

Day Time (UK) Game
Friday 12.00 Andy Kapp (Germany) v Graham Shaw
Friday c15.30 David Śik (Czech Republic) v Glen Muirhead (last four ends)
Friday 18.00 Hammy McMillan v Pete Loudon
Friday 20.30 David Murdoch v Iain Watt
Saturday 11.30 Thomas Dufour v Warwick Smith
Saturday 14.00 Tom Brewster v Andy Kapp
Saturday 17.30 David Murdoch v David Śik
Saturday 19.30 to be decided
Sunday 11.30 one semi final
Sunday 14.30 final

Andy Kapp, as defending champion, is given pride of place in the Friday lunchtime game against Graham Shaw. Graham and his team have been regulars on the Scottish competitive circuit and will ensure that Andy does not get it all his own way! It will be good though to see Andy’s European and Olympic team at Murrayfield again and he will be putting up a sterling defence of his crown.

David Śik delighted us last season with the quality of his play, so we have chosen his game against Glen Muirhead to showcase in the afternoon session. We will be webcasting the last four ends of the game. Glen is a two-times Scottish Junior Champion and comes, of course, from a long line of curlers. His father, Gordon, is a past Scottish Champion and World Silver medallist; his sister, Eve is a three-time World Junior Champion and the GB Olympic skip. Glen himself is a fine young curler and this should be an interesting match.

Saturday evening’s game pitches Hammy McMillan, Philip Wilson, Ross Paterson and Sandy Gilmour against Hammy’s lead in his World Championship-winning 1999 rink, Pete Loudon, who has Logan Gray, Richard Woods and recently-crowned European Mixed Championship Gold Medallist, Colin Campbell, in his team. An interesting sub plot here is that Sandy and Ross were both in Logan’s first (of three) Scottish Junior Championship winning rink. They famously went through the round-robin in Pinerolo that year undefeated before losing out to Canada in a cruel semifinal knock-out game.

We could not let Friday pass without taking a look at current World and European Champion rink, skip David Murdoch, third Ewan MacDonald, second Pete Smith and lead Euan Byers. They will face Iain Watt’s talented team of former Edinburgh International winning skip Alan Smith, Steve Mitchell and Andrew Dolman.

On Saturday morning at 11.30, it is time to have a look at Thomas Dufour, the new French curling hope. He is taking on Warwick Smith, David Smith, Craig Wilson and Ross Hepburn. This foursome won the Scottish Championship as recently as two years ago and Warwick and Dave are both former World Champions. There is nothing that these guys like more than winning curling matches, so Thomas had better be aware that he is in for a bit of a game!

I like the look of the Andy Kapp v Tom Brewster lunchtime match up on Saturday. Both like to play an attacking game and both teams have the shotmakers to turn hope and aspiration into reality! Tom recently skipped Scotland to a Gold Medal in the European Mixed Championship, his second Gold Medal in that event, and in Duncan Fernie, he has one of the finest shotmakers in Scotland today. Brother Ron Brewster and new lead for this season, David Edwards – more used to skipping than leading these past few seasons and, indeed, a former winning skip in the Championship – make up a strong-looking front end. Andy and his team need no introduction; they have regularly featured in the latter stages of international competitions and have dominated German curling for the past decade. Andy himself was fifth man in the World Championships in Milwaukee – and that was twenty years ago! No lack of experience here, then!

On Saturday at 17.30, and assuming that it is still a meaningful game, we plan to have a look at David Śik against David Murdoch. This game will pitch raw, untapped talent against world class experience. Team Murdoch may have made a slow start to season 2009-10, but please do not be lulled into a false sense of security. As they move towards their first 'Major' of the season, they will be slipping into top gear. They will be tapering towards a major effort in Aberdeen, a first European Championship for most of them on home soil and the defending champions to boot. Expect a major effort from them!

As the league sections move towards their close, we will cover appropriate games and, of course, there will be full coverage of the semifinals and final. Keep your eyes on the blog here for any changes or revisions to the schedule.

Robin Copland

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