Author: Sonia Montero

2018 Summer Wrap-up: Highlights!

It has been quite an active summer for member clubs in the MoPac region. Bonspiels, learn-to-curls, summer leagues, clinics, outreach events – we saw them all.  Here are some highlights.

Golden Gate Bonspiel 2018 Opening Ceremony

Kudos again to the San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club & the Silicon Valley Curling Club for kicking summer off with a fantastic Golden Gate Bonspiel.

Attendees, instructors & coaches at Junior Camp

Hotter than Hell Bonspiel

Cache Valley Stone Society & Coeur d’Alene Curling Club, among others, held learn-to-curl events for eager newbies.  Coyotes Curling Club saw it all – they hosted the 2nd Annual AZ Junior Curling Camp (part of US Junior Curling Camps) – giving the next generation a chance to learn under the guidance of USCA certified instructors and coaches.   Their No Ice, No Broom, No Problem Shuffleboard Pub Crawl was rousing fun and the Hotter Than Hell Bonspiel at Coyotes Curling Club also brought old and new friends together for a fun spiel in the dessert.

And speaking of heat, Hollywood Curling sizzled with events – hosting the largest bonspiel in the region as well as opening a third location in the Los Angeles area.  (See the full story here.)

Boise Curling Club enjoyed a summer party and managed to bring the floor curl out into the sunshine.  Utah Olympic Oval Curling Club‘s rink got an update to its chilling equipment in anticipation of a busy season.  Curl San Diego enjoyed success at the Blockbuster Megaspiel and began planning its Fall activities in July!  

Las Vegas Curling Club kept it cool with new scoreboards and a summer league that included ‘The Accelerator’ in their Summer League finals – sounds impressive.  Granite Curling Club of California shared the love of curling in Riverside, California and collaborated with instruction on the basics of preparing arena ice for curling sessions.  Salt Lake Magazine – Best of the Beehive Edition voted Park City Curling Club the best sports club to join for post-Olympic fever.  And Silicon Valley Curling Club practiced their broomstacking skills and even took in a bit of lawn bowling.  Woah! Orange County Curling Club hosted the Rock the Derby Mini Cashspiel – complete with bowties, fedoras and frilly hats.

Horses await their jockeys at Rock the Derby

Rounding out the summer season, Wine Country Curling Club & the San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club hosted the NorCal Curling Clinic.

NorCal Curling Clinic debriefing

The Crush 2018 Opening Ceremony

Wine County also got busy with the famed Crush Bonspiel as the final summer hoorah.  Nice job to all the Clubs.  Thanks also to all the clubs for their photos.  Now on to Fall 2018!!

Summer 2018 Wrap-up: Hollywood Curling Sets a Record

If you look online for things to do in the Los Angeles area you will see famous attractions such as Rodeo Drive, Pink’s and the Hollywood sign but there is also great curling to be had with the folks at Hollywood Curling
The Club which has been in existence since 2007 boasts a growing presence in the greater Los Angeles area.  As with many curling clubs in the US, Hollywood Curling saw an increase in community interest after the men’s US gold medal performance.  “We spiked from 70 members in January to 152 members in July” says Club President Liza Beres.  “We are also celebrating the tenth year of our annual bonspiel” And celebrate they did.
The 2018 Summer Blockbuster Megaspiel held this past July broke records as the largest spiel in California’s and MoPac Curling Association’s histories. With a record-breaking 56 teams curling on two different rinks the event took over their Ice Station Valencia rink location. Despite the 117 degree heat the Ice Station was a respite of coolness – on and off the ice. Not only were the stands packed during the Saturday night celebrity match but the magical “bonspiel spirit” (that binds commrades-in-arms at such events) was stronger and more palpable among attendees this year.

Participants in celebrity match 2018

Blockbuster Megaspiel Awards

Such successful events cannot happen unless you have the bonspiel volunteers ready to jump into their roles.  President Beres notes that this year her Bonspiel Committee out did itself – with bonspiel-seasoned volunteers knowing what needed to happen and making the significant contribution in time and positive energy.  In particular, the ever-hard working ice crew was tasked with preparing and maintaining two rinks of ice during the same bonspiel.  The famed ‘S.L.UT’s (Salt Lake, Utah crew) stepped up their game and were among the first to volunteer.  As with any bonspiel, the ice crew is a critical part of a successful event and planning for the Megaspiel revolved around the S.L.UTs’ needs in preparing the ice.  The actual ice prep began two months before the bonspiel using a laser to measure and conduct heat maps for the Zamboni to troubleshoot. 

Photos courtesy of Hollywood Curling

The off-ice volunteers were just as vital. From registration to broomstacking to awards, the volunteers kept the show going strong.  President Beres gives much credit to her “incredible team” including the industrious mother-daughter partnership of Debbie and Miranda Heaslip.  “They make it look easy,” she says. 
But how will Hollywood Curling follow up the Megaspiel next year? “We’re in talks” quips President Beres.  She warns that although we may not see another 56-team event and that this year was a special anniversary/Olympics/newbie curler bonanza – we should still expect perhaps a 40 to 44-team spiel. They want to see as many curlers return as possible.  “The growth of curling is changing the face of curling”  No doubt Hollywood Curling will be part of the large expansion of curling in the West!
 
Interested in Hollywood Curling?
They currently run 4 weekly draws over 12 sheets at the Ice Station Valencia -5 sheets, Pasadena Ice Skating -4 sheets and Promenade Ice Chalet (Palos Verde) -3 sheets.  Look for more info at their website: