This week’s World Curling Tour schedule is a tale of two Granite Clubs, and two Fall Classics.
While Winnpeg’s Granite Club is hosting the Mother Club Fall Curling Classic, the KW Granite Club in Waterloo, Ont., is hosting its own version: the KW Fall Classic.
Winnipeg’s event features 16 men’s and 18 women’s teams, battling over purses of $8,000 and $9,000 respectively.
Winnipeg’s Kerri Einarson looks to continue her hot start to the year. Einarson, and her new team of Val Sweeting, Shannon Birchard, and Brianne Meilleur have won two events so far in this young season, taking home the top prize in the Oakville Stu Sells Tankard and last week’s Morris Sunspiel. Allison Flaxey, with her new team of Kate Cameron, Taylor McDonald, and Raunora Westcott, will be looking to stop them. Both teams won their opening games in the three-pool event.
Two-time Canadian junior champion Braden Calvert headlines a men’s field of mostly of Winnipeg locals. Two notable exceptions are USA’s Mark Fenner and China’s Jia Lian Zhang. Fenner’s fourth rocks will be thrown by Korey Dropkin, who comes to Winnipeg fresh off a silver medal performance in the Mixed Doubles event at last week’s World Cup of Curling event in China.
In Waterloo, 16 men’s and 19 women’s team are playing for a share of the $9,000 and $11,300 purses. Toronto’s Jacqueline Harrison and 2017 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings participant Julie Tippin headline the women’s field. The men’s field features three teams from China, one from the USA, and a Russian entry.
Many of the top teams are taking the week off in preparation for next week’s Princess Auto Elite 10 in Chatham, Ont. The first Grand Slam event of the year will feature the top ten teams on each of the men’s and women’s World Curling Tour Order of Merit.