Sixty of Scotland’s curlers head to Canada today (January) 9 to compete in the Strathcona Cup, one of the oldest international curling competitions in the world.
The tourists, as the curlers are known, will be led by President of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club and non-playing Captain Bill Duncan. They will travel the length and breadth of Canada in three tours known simply as The East Tour, The West Tour and The Central Tour. Each tour comprises 20 curlers playing in five rinks.
The West Tour will start in Vancouver and travel east through Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, whilst the Central Tour will open their tour in Ottawa, moving on to Quebec and Ontario.
The East will start in Halifax, Nova Scotia and move onto Newfoundland before returning to Nova Scotia and then on to Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, before all three tours meet up in Burlington for the final matches and the Closing Bonspiel on January 31. The 2013 competition will be played over 427 games.
The Tours will be captained by well known curlers namely; Greig Henderson, Haddo House CC (West), Willie Nicoll, Fife Bank of Scotland Fife CC (East) and Mike Ferguson, Edzell CC (Central).
The Strathcona Cup was last won by Scotland in 2003 but reclaimed by the Canadian Tourists in 2009. Canada currently has 11 victories to nine of Scotland but the Strathcona Cup is more than about winning and losing.
The very essence of it is to ensure that curlers from Scotland and Canada have the opportunity to meet every five years on one side of the Atlantic or the other to further the friendship between curlers of the two countries and to uphold the traditions of ‘the roarin’ game’.
Having said that, the 2013 Tour are determined to regain the Strathcona Cup and are looking forward to the competition, friendship and hospitality for which Canadian curling is justifiably renowned.
Tour Captain Bill Duncan notes: “The Strathcona Cup Tour 2013 promises to be one of the busiest and challenging of all tours with curlers from all walks of life coming together to compete in the true spirit of curling. We will be heading off determined to bring the Strathcona Cup back home with us”.
More information on the Strathcona Cup Tour including teams, itineraries and results can be found on the dedicated website http://strathconacuptour2013.co.uk/