My last post was optimistically entitled 4 days in Alma. Sadly - that was not the case.
We were out early, after having played a thoroughly ugly game against Michel Briand, who seems to have an ability to make me play badly against him. I think it goes back years when he showed up late for a game and I hung points on him. Karma is getting me back. Screw you Karma!
Highlights of interest:
* Jean Sebastien Roy won the spiel - surprising many. This is a new team - that had not done well this year so far. But they played well enough to beat Martin Ferland in the finals, and earn a spot at Provincials.
So provincials so far looks like: Roy, Reid (as team Quebec), Menard and Ferland as money leaders. Someone else would basically have to win Charlevoix to change that.
Everybody else will be fighting it out in playdowns, for the last 6 spots.
* The Dominion starts this week. If you do not know what the Dominion is - you should. The Dominion has become a phenomenon in Canada - a throwback to what curling SHOULD be. It is a provincial and National championship for club level curlers that allow Joe Average to experience what it is like to curl at a competive level.
The Nationals are next week in PEI, and Quebec is well represented by two teams that will excel on the ice (we hope) but most definitely off the ice as well.
The teams from Quebec are both well known to me: Rick Faguy is skipping the men's team with Wayne Ruggles, Stephane Paquétte and Martin Patry. I curled with Rick many times, often in North Bay. Rick's boys will likely use up the Island supply of Captain Morgan.
The women's team is skipped by Mo Horan, with Sue Gibson, Joanie Davidson (Mike Kenendy's wife!!) and Caroline Thall. This used to be my ladder team in Baie d'Urfe!
Good Luck to both teams. You can follow the event result on line at http://www.thedominioncurls.ca/.
This event is quickly becoming a big success story in Canada, and is a model for promoting the spirit of curling. I don't mean to sound too soap-boxey, but the Grand Slam and World Curling Tour have made curlers better, but have failed to make curling better. Events like the Dominion help bring curling back to its roots: namely the most sociable and sportsmanlike game on the planet. We need more of these.
* Quebec is not doing particularly well in the mixed Nationals in Manitoba. They were 1-6 last time I checked. Ugh.
* Menard and Ferland are in Brantford this week for the SunLife Classic, with some of Canada's best teams. This is a tough event to get into (in other words - they wouldnt take me!). But I am a big fan of this event - because I won it four years ago...playing with Dwayne Fowler. Still one of the highlight days of my curling career; we beat Glenn Howard in the Semis then Gushue in the finals, all while trying to keep our front end of Sebastien Robillard and Brad Fitzherebert from killing each other. Ah - fun times.
* The next big event coming up in Quebec is Charlevoix. This is the premier event in Quebec. It hosts a 20 team elite event and a 64-team open. If you curl and you are not playing in this - you should.
This event has something for everyone: Casino gambling (my front end managed to gamble between courses at the banquet), the best hotel pool and hot tub in Quebec (by far), a banquet at the Manoir Richelieu, a fun 2- day party at the curling club and great curling on great ice.
One of my favorite parts is they usually get a local band to sing at the club.
The band they had last year could play any song, but they didn't speak english - so a lot of their songs sound like musical mumbling. They massacred "Poker Face" (and played it about 30 times), but their greatest rendition was "You shook me all night long" by ACDC:
"She was a fax machine - she keep her rotor clean - she was the best damn woman that I ever seen"
Classic. I can't wait for them to do Katy Perry.
Strangely - this will be the first event I play with my actual team - with Derek's leg having healed. We will definitely be wearing the pants.