Trail curlers seek berth in B.C.s

Trail Curling Club hosts the Interior Masters 60-plus Playdowns on Saturday

Greater Trail curlers will look to advance to their respective provincials this weekend as the Trail Curling Club hosts the Interior Masters 60-plus Playdowns on Saturday and Nelson welcomes seven teams to the Senior Men’s Kootenay Playdown this weekend.

Three teams slide out of the hack in the Masters event at the Trail Curling Club including the Trail rink skipped by Primo Secco, with third Pat Fennell, second Brett Rakusson, lead Serge Pasquali, and fifth Stu Campbell.  The five veteran curlers are ready, having honed their skills to a keen edge playing twice a week in the Trail Men’s Retiree Curling Club.

“I think they will do real well,” said playdown organizer Cal McKerracher. “They have a pretty strong team, right down to the fifth man they are all really good curlers.”

But the Secco rink will face some stiff competition in the Bill Carlson foursome from Castlegar and the Vern Best team from Grand Forks who will look to knock off Secco and earn the berth into the provincial tournament.

Secco last skipped his rink to the provincials in 2011 when it was hosted by Trail, whereas Best played third to skip Gerry Foster in the 2012 Masters provincial event in Chilliwack.

The City-of-Trail-sponsored event will kick off at 9 a.m. Saturday with Secco taking on Castlegar’s Carlson. Grand Forks will play the loser of the Trail-Castlegar match at 1 p.m. and the winner of the first match at 4:30 p.m. The team that wins two games automatically advances while a three-way tie will result in a shootout.

Meanwhile, the Trail Curling Club will be represented at the Senior Men’s Kootenay Playdowns by the Rob Ferguson rink, with third Ken Fines, second Russ Beauchamp, and lead Terry Bublitz.

The Ferguson rink begins its quest for a berth in the B.C.s tonight at 7 p.m. versus the Norm Fahselt foursome from Creston.

Greater Trail curlers Bill King, lead, and Don Freschi, second, will again unite with skip Tom Shypitka’s Cranbrook rink and Nelson curler Fred Thomson, third, who are looking to repeat after winning last year’s event in Trail.

Both Thomson and Freschi were part of Deane Horning’s B.C. Men’s championship team in 2005, while Thomson has won the B.C. mixed title twice, and Shypitka was third for the 2010 men’s provincial championship team skipped by Jeff Richard from Kelowna.

Castlegar’s Myron Nichol rink, who won a berth in the provincials last season by winning the B side, will play Nelson’s Nando Salviulo foursome in the opening draw, with the Ken McHargue rink from Elkford crossing brooms with Creston’s Doug Botthamely tonight at 7 p.m. Shypitka has a bye and will play the winner of the Nichol-Salviulo match at 9 a.m. Saturday. The A-event final goes at 2 p.m. on Sunday.