This year our world has dealt with a crisis not seen in 100 years. Our routines have been substantially altered as a result and many events have been suspended or canceled. As you have seen, Covid-19 continues to take a toll, creating hotspots and requiring renewed shutdowns and uncertain reopenings. While news of a vaccine is promising, the reality is that risks exist and balancing the opportunity for the MoPac region to submit teams to national competitions must be weighed against concerns for the safety of every MoPac curler and their family. With these concerns in mind, the MoPac Board of Directors have made the never-before decision to cancel playdowns for the 2020-2021 season. Further, the Board also made the difficult decision to not submit MoPac teams to attend the U18 Nationals Championships, the Club National Championships and the Mixed National Championships for the 2020-2021 season. The Board expects to resume playdowns and submit teams in the 2021-2022 season.
This year the USCA Members Assembly Meeting is being publicly streamed on the USCA YouTube channel on Saturday, November 14 at Noon (EST)/9:00am (PST). In past years, this annual meeting has been held in-person and typically includes presentations to the USCA Board of Directors’ on a variety of issues as well as votes by the full Board on numerous proposals. This year the USCA will take up consideration of approving permanent club status for a number of new clubs across the country. Also on the agenda is a revision to the USCA bylaws on the definition of Members, removal of General Committees and inclusion of the Council of Presidents. If any Club in the MoPac region would like more information, please feel free to reach out to the USCA Board Director from the MoPac Region, or contact the MoPac President.
In an attempt to assist the MoPac region’s clubs and curlers during these difficult times, the MoPac Board of Directors and the MoPac Representative Assembly voted to suspend the region’s fees for the 2020-2021 season. The MoPac regional fee is $5 per curler.
We need your help! Fall, the traditional start to the curling season, will soon arrive. We have a short (6 question) survey for all curlers who play within the MoPac region. The information will help guide our Board as we plan for the upcoming curling season. Please consider taking the survey. Thank you!
Bonspiels are a time of coming together with curling friends, sharing games, broomstacking and making memories. The December 7th weekend event at Coyotes Curling Club was such a bonspiel, but it was also an opportunity to fundraise for San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club’s dedicated ice project. The event brought in 16 teams from Coyotes and Bay Area but also from Las Vegas CC, Hollywood CC, Orange County CC, Denver CC, Silicon Valley CC and Wine Country CC. The funds raised made an inroad into the project funding and helped make it possible for construction to continue into the planned Oakland, California facility. “We are all so appreciative,” says Kimberly Chapin, event coordinator for SFBACC. “We would not have done anything differently.”
Calizona Dreamin’ came about due to the suggestion and enthusiasm of Coyotes member Wesley (Wes) Seeger. Wes, formerly of SFBACC, asked Coyotes CC Board to consider providing the ice time, and they immediately agreed. Not only did the Club provide the ice for the two-day event but they also provided Coyotes CC volunteers, bartenders, and an ice crew for the weekend. The Saturday banquet was also catered by Coyotes CC member and Club Nationals 2019 winning skip, Mike Siggins, whose restaurant Pasta Brioni got praises for the dinner. Such a generous contribution to SFBACC’s cause is a noteworthy example of a club helping another sister club. While the event was a fundraiser, it also renewed the spirits of those who have worked so long to make Bay Area dedicated ice a reality. “Our members have really missed being on the ice together, and this was just what was needed,” commented Chapin. “It was also beneficial to see what it takes to operate a facility.”
The SFBACC bonspiel committee wanted to offer a unique format and decided on a skins spiel. Four pools of four teams played three 6-end skins games on Saturday. The two teams with the most skins from each pool then advanced to the playoffs on Sunday. In all games, teams were awarded with cash for each skin won. And due to the number of teams most players only had one draw off the ice before going back on. The alternate draws gave teams a chance to stay at the rink and catch up with friends or try an ‘international’ tequila tasting event, with special guest pourer Adriana Camarena, skip of Team Mexico’s women’s team. On Sunday the Hot Shots event gave curlers a chance to keep curling on Sunday and try their skills. Players consistently remarked about how fun it was to play a different format, so SFBACC is definitely planning to offer a skins spiel!
Thanks to generous donations from SFBACC and CCC members, the bonspiel also hosted a silent auction and raffle. Using the online auction app Bidr also helped elevate the number of silent auction bids. Available were two brooms signed by the 2014 Olympic teams, a hat autographed by the Jennifer Jones 2018 Scotties rink, fit bits, a bottle of Don Pilar Tequila, a Matt Hamilton Bobblehead, green fees at an exclusive golf course and several pieces of original artwork. SFBACC happily met its fundraising goals after a successful weekend. “Our spirits were lifted by everyone’s generosity and spirit of curling,” observed Chapin. Their dedicated ice project is back on track, thanks in part to the CCC, as well as so many others in the curling community. Look for exciting news in February 2020. In thee meantime, the Club continues to fundraise and will accept additional donations through the website at http://www.dedicatedice.com/donate/ Once their facility is opened, SFBACC leadership plan to pay it forward. “We know what it takes now. We can help others in the future.” The spirit of curling lives on!
We are extremely excited about the growth of junior curling in the MoPac region and we are looking to host an U18 playdown tournament to determine who will represent the region at the U18 Nationals! We are currently reaching out to alert all member clubs, coaches and players eligible to participate in U18 Nationals who have formed their teams. Players must be members of a MoPac member club, less than 18 years of age at any time during the 30th of June 2019, and a US resident. A team can have players from different MoPac member clubs on one team. Interested teams should submit an email to Cameron Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org with the team members and coach listed by September 30. In early October, coaches will be contacted to schedule the playdown on a weekend that is amenable to schedules and ice availability. Please direct any U18 Playdown questions to Cameron Kim at email@example.com.
It happened. Nevada has its first dedicated curling rink. Lake Tahoe, the blue jewel in the high sierras, now has another reason for people to visit. Lake Tahoe Epic Curling (LTEC) has sparked much buzz with its new two sheet facility. Located a short distance from the South Lake Tahoe casinos the facility is currently being tested by its members and lucky learn-to-curl participants. “It’s been truly amazing and such an exciting time for our little club!,” says Club president Edith Hazard, “We’ve been working hard to get this done and it’s wonderful to see it come together.” The build began October 2018 in a refurbished building that also houses the Lake Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.
Grid system being laid down
Chiller being connected
The rink is currently still being built out; phase one is done – the ice is in. Phase two will see the warm room completed by September. A viewing area, locker rooms and a kitchen area will round out the facility. At the moment the rink is not fully open for business but as soon as the building is done, LTEC hopes to begin planning events. “As soon as we get our occupancy permits we hope to open our doors,” assures President Hazard, “and hopefully invite other clubs to showcase our rink.” In future LTEC plans to hold many events and hopes the curling community will make the trip to play. From all accounts the LTEC new rink is set to become a popular destination located in the picturesque town.
As May comes to a close we look back at the great turnout by teams from the MoPac region at the 2019 Arena National Championship. Clubs from the region showed up in numbers; teams from Las Vegas Curling Club, San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club, Silicon Valley Curling Club and Wine Country Curling Club made their way to West Chester, Pennsylvania for the week-long competition.
The Silicon Valley Curling Club ladies team ended on a victorious note, securing the bronze after an exciting week which saw them come back in one game to score 3 points in the eighth end to take the game. Their final victory came after they got past the Wine Country Curling Club ladies. For all final standings and results visit the USCA 2019 Arena Nationals site. And stay tuned for next year when the Arena National Championship travels to Gillette, Wyoming.
Photo of Silicon Valley Curling Club ladies team courtesy of Andy Carle.
Heartfelt congratulations go out to the 2019 Club National Championship men’s team winners from Coyotes Curling Club known as Team Siggins: Michael Siggins, Adam Endicott, Travis Gaddie and Eric Kowal. The team was one of two men’s teams participating from the MoPac region.
Also taking home the accolades was the women’s bronze-winning team also from Coyotes Curling Club known as Team Burton: Jayne Burton, Tatiana Keeling, Amy Thompson and Kim Gaddie.
Both teams participated in the Club Nationals Championships together with clubs from Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Washington and Wisconsin. The event was held this year at the Dakota Curling Club in Lakesville, Minnesota. Also participating from MoPac were men’s Team LeClair: Bob LeClair, Greg Gallagher, Jeff Baird, Tom Danielson and women’s Team Aubrey: Debra Aubrey, Luba Brock, Cassandra Matras, Kimber Maroney.
We are very proud of all of our teams and hope that Team Siggins’ victory stands as an example of what is possible for curlers from our region.