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All even at Continental Cup

by Jeff Timson, St Clair's Group.

Thunder Bay, November 27, 2003

Team North America and Team Europe are tied at 18 points apiece after the first day of action in the Continental Cup, billed as 'The Battle by the Bay' at Fort William Gardens.

North America won two of the three men's Team games on Thursday evening. The reigning world champion Randy Ferbey and his Edmonton team hung a 5-3 decision over Scotland's Hammy McMillan, while Bemidji, Minnesota's Pete Fenson surprised 2002 Olympic gold medallist Pål Trulsen of Oslo, Norway, 6-3. Meanwhile, Sweden's Peja Lindholm, a two-time world champion, took out Halifax, Nova Scotia's Mark Dacey, 7-2.

Thursday morning, it was Europe which won two of the three women's team games. Scotland's Jackie Lockhart defeated Canada's Colleen Jones, 5-4 and Sweden's Anette Norberg beat 2003 Ford Worlds champion Debbie McCormick of the United States, 6-3 while Canada's Sherry Middaugh edged Norway's two-time world champion Dordi Nordby, 5-4. Each Team game win was worth six points.

On Friday, there will be four draws: Women's Team at 8:00 am ET; Mixed Doubles at 12:30 pm and 4:00 pm, followed by Men's Team at 7:30 pm.

The women's Team matchups are Middaugh vs Norberg, McCormick vs Nordby and a rematch between Jones and Lockhart. The men's pairings are Ferbey vs Lindholm, Dacey vs McMillan and another rematch between Fenson and Trulsen.

The six Mixed Doubles games (three per draw) are also worth six points apiece and involve men and women throwers and sweepers playing eight ends, the same length as the Team games. There are no extra ends, so if the game is tied, each team gets three points.

Sanctioned by the World Curling Federation (WCF), USA Curling and the Canadian Curling Association (CCA), the Continental Cup is again offering a purse of $200,000 (Cdn). The winning side in this unique, four-day international competition that brings together some of the world's finest curlers, receives $125,000 while the losing side shares $75,000.

Twelve teams, six representing Team North America and six carrying the colours of Team Europe, are contesting a variety of competitionsŠTeam (Thursday and Friday), Mixed Doubles (Friday), Singles (Saturday) and Skins (Saturday and Sunday) events. Each competition is weighted on a points basis. The side which first earns 201 of the 400 available points will be declared the champion. The points breakdown is as follows: Team (72), Mixed Doubles (36), Singles (32) and Skins (260).

The pairings for Singles and Skins will be announced Friday evening.

TSN is providing 30 hours of complete live coverage across Canada of this second Continental Cup. WC TV (World Curling TV) will be producing and distributing daily highlight packages for European television stations while MultiCast Networks is producing live pay-per-view webcast programming.


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