I am writing this report on Monday 13th September while watching
Bruce Mouat in the final of the Stu Sells Oakville Tankard.
The game on YouTube is a bit like the President's Bonspiel,
although there may be differences in the physical condition of the players,
the tactics being called by the skip and also the shot execution!
However it is fair to say that the curlers gathered at Hamilton Ice Rink last week
could match Bruce's team for enthusiasm
after being absent from the ice for a year or more.
On entering the ice rink it is necessary to sign in,
or scan in using the QR code. As John King said,
scanning in is that easy that even he can do it,
although he arrived with Audrey and so might have had help.
Ten rinks took to the ice and worked out how to greet each other in this new era,
a combination of fist bumps, elbow bumps and handshakes.
It looked like 40 adults playing rock, paper scissors at the same time
with only a few getting a match with their chosen greeting!
On the ice it was business as usual for an opening night,
with players pulling of some shots like they had never been away
and the very next stone playing a shot like they had been away for years.
All of them in good spirit and with plenty of the aforementioned enthusiasm.
Some vigorous sweeping giving players a good workout whatever the outcome.
The night was keenly watched by an enthusiastic crowd
of retired / semi-retired curlers from the bar, which was great to see.
Before the scores were announced Vice President Margaret
made a very special presentation of a 50 year RCCC membership medal to Alison Allison.
Margaret summarised a few of the many highlights of Alison's curling career
before presenting the medal and a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
Alison skipped across the floor like a young thing and accepted her medal,
and gave a short speech on the enjoyment curling has brought over the years.
Very well done to Alison!
The players then moved on to the main event of the night,
another great buffet laid on by Stewart and his restaurant team!
With the teams all well fed it was time for the results.
Score of minus 3 to plus 2 covered eight of the ten teams, a tight affair.
To cut a long story short, while writing this report
Bruce Mouat has won the Stu Sells Tankard
which puts him equal on trophies for the season
with Neil Fyfe's rink who won the President's trophy.
But in COVID times the real winner was Willie Craig's rink
who took home some hand gel.
It was great to be back, with good ice, great food and excellent company.
Hopefully the beginning of a season of many more great curling days and nights.