Sticks and stones will only break records, and a little autumn activity never hurt anybody.
This year the Quesnel Curling Club is hosting the kind of tournament they could only dream of, even a year ago. Thanks to an upgrade in their refrigeration equipment, they can put ice in and have it ready for curling action by the end of September, which allows them to catch the tail end of the golf season. That overlap made for a unique tournament - a Scottish duathalon - being offered for the very first time, this year.
The Sticks & Stones Golf & Curling Extravaganza is a busy bounce between the ice, the green, and the banquet table. It happens Oct. 13 and 14.
Teams of four enter for $300 for an indoor-outdoor battle followed by a banquet.
“Your curling team has to be your golf team, and vice versa,” said Dave Plant, the manager of Quesnel Curling Centre (QCC), and the ice technician working on getting the perfect freeze in time for the new curling season. “We’re just running an open event. You can have all guys, all girls, any mix you want.”
Usually it’s after the Thanksgiving weekend that things can start, but the first open clinics this year are scheduled for Oct. 3 and 5 to introduce the basics of curling and get people introduced to the idea.
“It’s night and day; it’s not even close,” having the upgraded refrigeration unit, said Plant. “I wouldn’t even be able to put a flood on in this type of weather, with the old equipment.”
As this is the startup year, it is thin on sponsors and swag, but there will be some prizes and a lot of casual fellowship in the two sports venues. It is limited to 16 teams.
“It’s a nine-hole event instead of 18,” Plant explained. “We aren’t going out on the course until about 2 in the afternoon. On Friday night there will be two draws, eight teams at 6 p.m. and eight teams at 7:30. We are only playing six-end curling games instead of eight. We are compacting everything. You also curl first thing Saturday morning, and golf in the afternoon. Then you come back to the curling club for a banquet, followed by final ends on Saturday night.”
Although it’s a competition, it’s not competitive, said Plant. Their team, for example, has already pledged to move around the team roles for each curling match.
Anyone interested in curling for the first time, and anyone who knows they want to register for the coming season, should all contact the Quesnel Curling Club as soon as possible to ask questions or register.
Most spots in the Sticks & Stones event (or is it plural?) have already been filled, but reach out and ask, Plant said, in case there are a final spot or two available. The QCC can be reached at 250-992-5813 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on the club’s Facebook page.