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Camrose to stage 2008 Continental Cup

The World Curling Federation (WCF) and the Canadian Curling Association (CCA) today announced that Camrose, Alberta will host the 2008 Continental Cup of Curling, presented by Monsanto.

The 2008 Continental Cup, the sixth edition of the event, will be held December 18-21 at the new Edgeworth Centre, a double rink facility that will be used to stage all event activities.   Tickets are expected to go on sale in January.  The curling competition will take place in the 2,500-seat Encana Arena while the Continental Divide, the entertainment centre, will be located in the Border Paving Arena.  The Edgeworth Centre is attached to the Rose City Curling Club, the Max McLean Rink and the Camrose Aquatic Centre.

Known as ‘The Rose City’, Camrose, with a population of 16,000, is located in the heart of rural Alberta, just a one-hour drive from Edmonton.

The ‘Cup’ will feature Team North America versus Team World (formerly Team Europe) in a unique, four-day competition involving Team games (72 points), Mixed Doubles (36 points), Singles (32 points) and Skins (Men’s, Women’s and Mixed), worth 260 points.   The first side to score 201 points is declared the winner.

“The World Curling Federation, together with our partner, the Canadian Curling Association, is pleased to announce that the 2008 Continental Cup is returning to Alberta, where it has enjoyed its greatest success,” said WCF President Les Harrison. “Camrose, with its new arena facility, provides an ideal location to showcase the cream of the crop of North American and world curlers in an exciting, varied format of disciplines to an extremely knowledgeable fan base.”

North America and Europe are currently knotted at two wins apiece.   North America won the inaugural Cup in Regina, Saskatchewan in 2002 and the 2004 edition in Medicine Hat, Alberta.  Europe took the 2003 renewal in Thunder Bay, Ontario and emerged victorious in 2006 in Chilliwack, British Columbia.  The 2007 Continental Cup will be contested December 13-16, once again in Medicine Hat, the site of the most successful Cup to date, in 2004.

“The Canadian Curling Association is pleased to be able to help bring this exceptional international event to Camrose,” said Greg Stremlaw, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Curling Association.  “We are delighted that it will be hosted in a brand new facility, which should make participants and spectators alike thoroughly enjoy their time at the 2008 Continental Cup. Given the community and the passionate curling fans throughout the Camrose area, we look forward to a sold-out event next December.”

North America is composed of four teams from Canada and two from the United States.   The Canadian representatives will be the winners of the 2008 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Regina (February 16-24), Strauss Canada Cup in Kamloops (February 27-March 2) and Tim Hortons Brier in Winnipeg (March 8-16).

The United States Curling Association will pick its two teams, normally the reigning national champions, while Team World (three men’s and three women’s teams) will be selected by the World Curling Federation, taking into account performances in recent international competitions.

Said Bob Seney, Host Committee Chairman for the 2008 Continental Cup, “The Rose City Curling Club is overjoyed to be hosting this prestigious international sporting event.  The novel format and the mix of both female and male competitors make this competition the Ryder Cup of curling. I am confident that it will be a great event for all curling fans in Camrose and an economic boost for our city.”

TSN holds the television rights in Canada for the 2008 Continental Cup.  Present plans call for complete four-day coverage of the event, similar to what the network did for the first three Continental Cups in 2002, 2003 and 2004.

In 2008, Monsanto Canada Inc. will be in its second year as the presenting sponsor of the Continental Cup, part of a multi-year, multi-event partnership with curling in Canada.

Some of the world’s best-known teams have competed in the Continental Cup in its first four editions…with skips such as Canada’s Kevin Martin, Randy Ferbey, Kelley Law and Colleen Jones, Norway’s Pål Trulsen and Dordi Nordby, Sweden’s Elisabet Gustafson, Anette Norberg and Peja Lindholm, Scotland’s Rhona Martin, Jackie Lockhart, Hammy McMillan and David Murdoch, Germany’s Andrea Schöpp and Debbie McCormick of the United States.

This year’s renewal boasts reigning world champion skips Kelly Scott of British Columbia and Glenn Howard of Ontario, along with record six-time Brier winner Randy Ferbey of Alberta, who will be part of Team North America, against Team Europe, which includes 2006 world champion David Murdoch of Scotland and 2007 world silver medallists Andy Kapp of Germany and Angelina Jensen of Denmark.

In 2002 in Regina, Team North America edged Team World in the inaugural Continental Cup, 207-193, decided by a thrilling men’s final Skins game between Kevin Martin and Peja Lindholm, which went down to the last rock.

In 2003, Europe turned the tables, winning 208-179 in Thunder Bay while in 2004, North America regained the Cup by a 228-172 score in Medicine Hat, before a record four-day crowd of 42,317.

Last November in Chilliwack, it was Europe’s turn to even the score, winning 229-171, as all of the curling medallists from the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy took part, including gold medallists Anette Norberg of Sweden and Brad Gushue of Canada.