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Continental Cup 2002

2003 Continental Cup of Curling awarded to Thunder Bay

by Jeff Timson, St Clair's Group.  

January 28, 2003



The 2003 Continental Cup of Curling, the unique international curling competition which debuted to rave reviews last November in Regina, will be played at the Fort William Gardens in Thunder Bay, Ontario, November 27-30.

In making the announcement, Barry Greenberg, Canadian Curling Association (CCA) director, said “We’re very excited about bringing the Continental Cup to Thunder Bay.  It was a great success in Regina, generated tremendous excitement and emotion amongst both the curlers and fans and couldn’t have provided a more thrilling finish for an inaugural event.

“We anticipate that the momentum will continue in Thunder Bay and we're looking forward to working with the Host Committee.   I think we are all extremely optimistic that the ‘Cup’ will be successful both on and off the ice.”

Sanctioned by the World Curling Federation (WCF), USA Curling and the Canadian Curling Association, the Continental Cup, patterned somewhat after golf’s Ryder Cup, will once again offer, in addition to ‘bragging rights’, a total prize package of $200,000 (Cdn), of which the winning side receives $125,000, the losing side $75,000.

Twelve teams, six representing Team North America  (four from Canada, two from the United States) and six carrying the colours of Team World, will compete in a variety of competitions…Mixed Doubles, Team, Singles and Skins events.   Each competition is weighted on a points basis.   While there may be some revision to the points system for this year’s renewal, last year’s points breakdown was Mixed Doubles (36), Team (72), Singles (32) and Skins (260), with the first side to reach 201 points (out of a possible 400) declared the champion.

“Our committee certainly views the hosting of the Continental Cup as a great opportunity for Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario curling fans to come out and participate in a world class curling event,” said host committee chairman Kris Woznesensky, a long-time curler, volunteer, junior curling coach and currently 1st Vice-President of the Fort William Curling Club.   “We feel it also shows recognition by the Canadian Curling Association for the excellent group of volunteers and co-ordinators in Thunder Bay and our tradition of staging quality curling events."

Tickets for the four-day competition are expected to go on sale in April.   Seating capacity at Fort William Gardens is approximately 3,500.  In recent years, Thunder Bay has successfully hosted the 1996 Scott Tournament of Hearts and 1998 world junior curling championships.  The event coordinator will be Bill Charlebois, a long-time curling official and former host committee president of the 1998 World Juniors.

Once again, TSN will provide complete television coverage across Canada, beginning Thursday, November 27.  More than 30 hours is planned over the four days.  

Many of the world’s finest curlers are expected to take part in this second Continental Cup, which was captured in thrilling fashion by Team North America last year.

Already qualified are teams skipped by reigning Ford Worlds champion and record-tying four-time Brier winner Randy Ferbey of Edmonton, Alberta and Sherry Middaugh of Victoria Harbour, Ontario, both of whom won the recent Canada Cup of Curling in Kamloops in early January.  The two other Canadian teams will be determined from the results of the upcoming Scott Tournament of Hearts in Kitchener, February 15-23 and the Nokia Brier, March 1-9 at the Metro Centre in Halifax.  The player roster for both sides, as well as the team captains, are expected to be announced by June.

At last year’s Keg Continental Cup, Team North America was composed of Canadian teams skipped by Randy Ferbey, two-time Brier winner and Olympic silver medallist Kevin Martin, four-time Canadian and 2001 Ford Worlds champion Colleen Jones, 2000 world champion and Olympic bronze medallist Kelley Law, joined by 1999 worlds runner-up Patti Lank and Paul Pustovar of the United States.

Team World consisted of Olympic gold medallist skips Pâl Trulsen of Norway and Rhona Martin of Scotland, two-time world champion Peja Lindholm and four-time world champion Elisabet Gustafson of Sweden, Olympic silver medallist Luzia Ebnöther from Switzerland and 1999 world champion Hammy McMillan of Scotland. 

Two-time world champion Rick Folk of Kelowna, British Columbia captained North America while Norway’s Kristian Soerum, the 1979 world champion, captained Team World.

The intense four-day competition (November 7-10) came down to the final stone in the last end of the final game, a Skins match between Kevin Martin and Peja Lindholm.   Martin was able to steal the skin, worth 13 points, giving Team North America a 207-193 win over Team World at the Regina Agridome.

Warren Hansen                                                                        Kris Woznesensky
Manager of Event Operations and Media                                  Chairman
Canadian Curling Association                                                   2003 Continental Cup
warrenhansen@telus.net                                                           Kris.Woznesensky@mczcr.gov.on.ca
(cell) 604-329-9850                                                                 807-475-1654


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