Thursday, July 21, 2011

Russia beats Cormack's BC team to win Cape Cod Summerspiel

Team Russia (red) and Team Cormack

Russia beat BC's Team Cormack 8-6 in the final of the 2nd Annual Cape Cod Summerspiel in Falmouth, MA topping a field that included the Scots "A" squad's first appearance under new Canadian coach Tony Zummack, as well as Team Quebec, and players in the USA national squad.

Vince Miele, BC's 2nd, said: "It was a close game [and] we're pretty proud that our team with our teammates spread out around the province having little time to practice together, and no coach, can hold our own against provincial teams like Quebec and national teams like Scotland and Russia.

"And what fun we're having!"

Russia, still relative newcomers to international wheelchair curling, continued the form that took them to their first semi-final appearance at the 2011 Worlds. With three seasons still to go before they host the 2014 Paralympics, they will be serious medal contenders in Sochi.

Miele reports the 3-4 game between Quebec and Scotland was won by Quebec 9-3 and the USA - USA/Canada game was won by USA by a score of 10-2.

"Our hosts and all the volunteers at this small club of about 250 have been fantastic, providing everything we needed, from transportation, to meals and even a bit of a tour. Overall, an experience we're glad we didn't miss and would be happy to come back to next year,' said Miele.

The Quesnel Cariboo Observer published a report including this photo, prior to the 1 vs 2 game. It can be read HERE.

Vince Miele, Frank LaBounty, Alison Duddy and Gary Cormack

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Worlds Qualifying Tournament deadline approaching

August 15th is the registration deadline for wheelchair curling teams representing a WCF Member Association wishing to compete at the World Wheelchair Qualifying Competition in Lohja Finland between 5 and 12 November 2011.

The top two qualifiers will join the top eight finishers at the 2011 Worlds: Canada, China, Korea (host), Norway, Russia, Scotland, Sweden and USA,  at the World Championships in Chuncheon City, South Korea, 18-25 February 2012.

Germany and the Czech Republic are the two teams who competed at the 2011 Worlds in Prague but will have to travel to Finland to attempt to rejoin the chase for 2014 Paralympics qualifying points.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Invitation to 5th Annual Danish Open, Taarnby September 9 to 11

Per Christensen, the Danish national wheelchair curling coach, has issued an invitation to compete at the 5th Annual Open International taking place at the Taarnby CC.

Eight teams have already accepted, including the full 8 person Scottish squad, and teams from Finland, Norway, Germany, the Czech Republic and Denmark.

Full details, including special rates on accommodation are available HERE or you can contact Per directly by email.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tony Zummack talks about developments in Scotland.

Great Britain coach Tony Zummack took advantage of six weeks of summer ice to hold intensive training sessions for British curlers interested in competing for an eventual place on the 2014 Sochi Paralympics squad.

"We had a series of all day Wednesday sessions in May and June where we had the opportunity to look at a lot of athletes, including some who came up from England," he told me today. "This year's emphasis will be on technical development; helping the 8 players selected for the training squad develop their mechanics, throw more accurately. I don't see why wheelchair curlers can't hit the broom as consistently as the best able-bodied curlers.

"We have divided the group into two squads: an A squad skipped by Aileen Neilson with Tom Killin, Gregor Ewan and Angie Malone; with Michael McCreadie skipping the B squad, Jim Gault, Ian Donaldson and Gill Keith who have less international experience. Each team will have different development goals with the aim of producing a very competitive team in time for the 2012 Worlds.

That's not to say that others will not emerge before Sochi in 2014, or that all of the present 8 will stay the course, and Zummack promises to keep an open mind on future prospects.

"What I believe," he said, "is that we are on the cusp of a significant advance in shot execution and overall standard of play. While it is true that wheelchair curling without sweeping can never be as accurate as high performance regular curling, efficiencies in delivery combined with increased understanding of what is and is not possible to throw accurately, and what shots are likely to bring the biggest likelihood of success, should raise stats into the 70s."

He may be right, and the adoption of the off-side brace long advocated here, and other delivery refinements will help. I would, however, be more persuaded if I had not heard similar claims from both Canadian and European coaches for at least the past four years.

Zummack is taking one team to Cape Cod (Jim Gault replacing Michael McKenzie from the Prague team). There will be a high performance camp from August 26 through September 4 and then several European spiels before the Scottish team is chosen for the 2012 Worlds.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

5th Annual Rolli Trophy cashspiel in Berne SUI November 11-13, 2011

This year's Rolli Trophy cashspiel will be held in Berne, Switzerland from Friday November 11 to November 13, 2011.

The field will be limited to 8 teams. Entry fees are 300 Swiss francs for a guaranteed six 6-end games with 7,000 francs of prize money to be won.

Closing date for entries is October 17. Read the flier (English version page 4) HERE or contact Nadia Roethlisberger for more information.