Nichol rink set to hit the hack

A dedicated West Kootenay foursome is set to hit the ice on Monday for the 2014 BC Senior Women's Curling championships.

The 2014 B.C. Senior Women’s Curling championship is set to hit the ice on Monday at the Comox Curling Rink with a dedicated foursome from the West Kootenay vying for top spot.

Castlegar curler Heather Nichol will skip the Zone 1-2 Kootenay foursome consisting of third Rose Beauchamp of Trail, Castlegar’s Sue Babiarz, second, and lead Cindy Pettapiece.

The team curled in the Kootenay Savings Super League this winter developing their strategy and honing their skills, but in the end says Nichol, it’s all about enjoying the sport and learning from the experience.

“We are preparing, we’re doing a lot of practicing, but we are a newly formed team, so the four of us have never curled together until this year, and we have limited provincial experience amongst the four of us, except for myself and Rose, so we are a pretty green team, but we are a team,” said Nichol.

Beauchamp is a veteran of eight Senior Women’s B.C. championships, and she and Pettapiece were on last year’s team with skip Teresa Hiram and Rhonda Lee Bedard, finishing with a 2-5 record.

This year’s field is as tough as any with the early odds on 2012 champion Penny Shantz, four-time B.C. champion and former Trail resident Kathy Smiley from Royal City, and the dark horse 2006 winner Janet Klebe curling for Chilliwack’s Lisa Deputan rink.

“I’ve looked at the field and the majority of the teams have been to the senior provincials before, so they do have that experience,” said Nichol. “For us we are going to play as well as we can and to the best of our ability, but the bottom line is to gain experience at that level.”

The mix of experience and relative youth should serve the team well, with a minimum of seven games played over four days, the schedule is rigorous. The event does bring a little more pressure that skip Nichol is looking forward to, but the veteran of four provincials in mixed and ladies curling is not saddling her team with high expectations.

“I just want to be realistic, and throw one rock at a time, have the opportunity to meet people, and learn, and if there’s losses learn from our losses, and enjoy ourselves – that’s the bottom line.”

The Nichol rink throws its first rock against the Gwen Clark rink from Langley at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday in the round robin format.