A group of 20 Scotsmen on tour of Vancouver Island during the Strathcona Cup international curling event walked off the ice at the Victoria Curling Centre with two of four victories on Wednesday morning, but also having won over more friends.
It followed up on a three-win and one tie effort the day previous at the Esquimalt Curling Club in the ongoing Strathcona Cup, which features Scotland vs. Canada in a friendly competition that tours the country. The event flips back and forth across the Atlantic every five years.
Attempting to avenge a loss in 2008 in Scotland, the visitors are part of three separate groups touring across the country.
A total of 60 players — 20 in the west, 20 in central Canada and 20 out east — were leading the three-week series 802-682 coming into Wednesday’s play. Out west, the Scots led 225-196 before stopping at the VCC and then wrapping up Island play at Sidney’s Glen Meadows in the afternoon before travelling to Alberta.
“A great bunch of guys. They were here to have fun and they were enjoyable to socialize with and, obviously, to play against,” said Bill Chester, general manager of the VCC who skipped a team of club executives that formed one of four rinks competing in the morning.
Chester, Jason Fletcher (vice-president), Don McMullen (second vice-president) and Paul Malnarich (finance officer) dropped a tight 7-6 decision, bouncing back from a 6-2 deficit.
“We had a great game and in all four games, you could tell, they were here to play. We got a little unfortunate in our game. I had a couple of picks that costs us a four-ender,” said Chester.
“We battled back though and I think they were holding their brooms a little tight at the end. It was great,” added Chester, who was approached in 2012 about hosting the group.
“I actually had not heard of this event until a year ago when it started stirring. I had no idea it was this much fun,” said Chester.
The Scots lost on home soil five years ago in the event that first was introduced in 1903, making it the oldest international curling competition in the world.
The west portion of the current trip began Jan. 10 at the North Shore Winter Club and visited 11 clubs in seven days in B.C. More than 420 total games were set to be played across Canada.
Canada won the last event 1,459-1,133.
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