Winning curling titles is about getting hot at the right time.
Andrew Bilesky caught fire at the perfect moment, winning four straight games on the way to the 2013 Canadian Direct Insurance B.C. Men’s Curling Championship at the Parksville Curling Club.
His last victory, a 7-4 triumph over Royal City Curling Club mate Brent Pierce on Sunday night, earned him the provincial title and he now advances to the Tim Hortons Brier slated for March 2-10 in Edmonton, with that winner quaifying for the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship in Victoria March 30 to April 7.
Bilesky and his rink of third Steve Kopf, second Derek Errington and lead Aaron Watson, will join wily veterans Jeff Stoughton of Manitoba, Alberta’s Kevin Martin, Glenn Howard of Ontario, Brad Jacobs of Northern Ontario, Brad Gushue of Newfoundland and Jamie Koe of Yukon/N.W.T. in the Brier field.
Bilesky’s coach Neil Houston is also no stranger to titles, having won the 1976 world junior championship playing for Calgary’s Paul Gowsell and the 1986 world men’s title playing second for Ed Lukowich.
“It’s awesome,” Bilesky told Shaw cable after the win. “The whole game you try not to think of the outcome. This hasn’t sunk in yet. The team played awesome, shot well all week.
“It was great to have our coach as well, he was a big help to us this year. We worked hard all year for this.”
After a blank in the first end on Sunday, Bilesky stole one in the second and swiped two more in the third on his way to the impressive win.
Pierce had defeated Bilesky 7-6 in the B-event final on Friday afternoon, courtesy of a three-ender in the 10th to qualify for the playoffs.
Bilesky then rattled off three straight victories — 9-8 over Jay Wakefield of Royal City in one of two C-event qualifiers, 8-3 over Tom Buchy of Kimberley in the Page 3 vs. 4 game and then 7-4 over clubmate Sean Geall in Saturday night’s late semifinal.
Pierce, ironically, was a member of the last B.C. team to win a Brier, back in 2000, playing third on Greg McAulay’s rink.
EXTRA ENDS: Corryn Brown of Kamloops defeated Manitoba’s Shannon Birchard (Winnipeg) 6-3 Sunday to win the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Women’s Curling Championship in Fort McMurray, Alta. It was B.C.’s first victory since 1987 in Prince Albert, Sask., when Julie Sutton (Skinner), of Victoria, won her second straight Canadian title (she played third a year earlier for her sister Jodie).