Eight teams earn berths at regional qualifiers

A busy weekend of regional playdowns is over – and now eight men’s curling teams have booked their ticket to the 2017 belairdirect BC Men’s Curling Championship, presented by Fountain Tire.

Four qualification events took place across the province this past weekend (Dec. 9-11). Teams Tardi, Bilesky, Guignard and Moss qualified at the Lower Mainland playdowns. In the Kootenays, Team Buchy from Kimberley Curling Club qualified, while in the Island playdowns, Victoria’s teams Craig and Jackson earned berths. In the Thompson/Okanagan playdowns, Team Longworth from Vernon Curling Club earned a berth.

The 2017 belairdirect BC Men’s Curling Championship, presented by Fountain Tire, will take place at Abbotsford Curling Club from February 8-12, 2017. It will showcase the top 12 men’s teams from across the province and will decide the BC team that will go on to compete at the 2017 Tim Hortons Brier.

Team Joanisse from Golden Ears Winter Club in Maple Ridge and Team Geall from Kelowna Curling Club already earned their berths by collecting the most CTRS (Canadian Team Ranking System) points.

Defending champions, Team Cotter, will also be there. They will be joined by 2010 Olympic gold medallist John Morris (Canmore, Alberta) at the Abbotsford event. Morris replaced Ryan Kuhn, who did not rejoin Team Cotter this season.

Team Tardi, from Royal City/Langley curling clubs, is a U21 team who will also be competing at the 2017 BC Junior Curling Championships. Featuring gold medal winning Team Canada (Youth Olympic Games) curlers Tyler Tardi (Surrey) and Sterling Middleton (Burnaby), the team is rounded out by Jordan Tardi (Surrey) and Nicholas Meister (Langley).

Team Bilesky features skip Andrew Bilesky, third Steve Kopf and fifth Derek Errington from New Westminster. The Royal City Curling Club rink also features Coquitlam’s Chase Martyn and Langley’s Cameron Watt. The team is coached by Neil Houston.

Team Guignard features skip Jeff Guignard (Vancouver), third Chris Faa (Vancouver), second Jeff Sargent (Richmond) and lead Nick Kuit (North Vancouver) with coach Karen Watson.

Team Moss, from Richmond Curling Club, features Richard Brower (Richmond), Jan Bos (Vancouver), Mike Moss (Surrey) and Deryk Brower (Richmond). The team is coached by Larry Macdonald.

Kimberley’s Tom Buchy rink features third Deane Horning (Castlegar), second Dave Toffolo (Kimberley) and lead Darren Will (Fernie).

The Vernon rink of Mark Longworth features third Michael Longworth, second Aron Herrick and lead John Slattery.

The Island rink of Wes Craig features son Miles Craig (Shawnigan Lake), Cameron de Jong and Josh Hozack (Victoria). Team Jackson features skip Glen Jackson, third Andrew Komlodi, second Corey Chester and Joel Cave. All players hail from Victoria.

A total of four games from the event will be televised on Shaw TV on February 11 and 12.

The winning team will represent British Columbia at the Tim Hortons Brier in St John’s, Newfoundland, from March 4-12.

The 12 teams will play a modified triple knockout with a four-team page playoff.

Teams still have a chance to go to provincials if they are successful in qualifying at the final playdown at Cloverdale Curling Club in Surrey from January 6-8.

To follow the scores, and to see the teams taking part in the upcoming playdowns please visit http://playdowns.curlbc.ca.