Skyline Bonspiel “draws” great field

Skyline bonspiel still drawing – economy be damned

By Terrance Gavan

Haliburton rinks were represented in each of the four finals at the 52nd Annual Skyline Bonspiel.

It all started Friday night at the Haliburton Curling Club and whittled down to a four sided showdown in the four event finals.

Convener and organizer Wayne Hussey doesn’t know whether it’s the first time Haliburton Curling Club members have reached all four sides in the final draws, but he’s been around for four decades and it’s the first time he can recall it happening.

Indeed, a pretty formidable bunch of local curlers dispersed themselves evenly over the four sheets of ice on Sunday.

Don Wetmore’s rink qualified for the D-Side, Bob Johnston drew the C-Side honors, and in the B-Side Hussey’s foursome held forth in that final.

John Smillie’s foursome played great all weekend finally earning a berth in the prestigious A-Side final against a veteran bunch of curlers and one curler who’s been making the trip to the Skyline for 25 straight years.

That a testament to the Skyline’s open and welcoming atmosphere.

We’re entering a time when discretionary spending is at a premium.

Kudos then to the Haliburton Curling Club for keeping the Skyline Spiel a bedrock of curling in the Highlands.

Now lest we get carried away and imagine that the four Haliburton finalists played bad hosts, we should clarify that only the Bob Johnston rink actually claimed any silverware.

Wetmore bowed out early after a disastrous first end forfeiting his chance at the fabled Art Dawson Insurance D-Side Trophy.

The Gray Gink featuring Jeff Gray (skip)  Jeremy Matthews (vice)  Dave Wright (second) and Steve Nicholls won the Dawson trophy.

Johnston’s rink with Bob at skip, third Greg Scheffe, second Bob MacNaull and Andy Gruppe narrowly edged out Steve Park to take home the C-Side Haliburton Home Hardware trophy.

Barry Walker, Ian Young, Steve Haug and Derek Knapp won the Curry Motors B-Side trophy nudging out Hussey’s valiant foursome.

Brian MacFarlane’s rink with vice Brian Slater, second Rick Vardzel and John Ambrose won the prestigious Haliburton Lumber main event trophy.

That game went right down to the last rock and was finished with a pretty shot from MacFarlane who was pressured all the way by a gamely gunning Smillie foursome.

A reminder that Bob Johnston’s mixed foursome will be curling at the club this weekend when the Haliburton Curling Club hosts the OCA qualifiers (zones).

Good luck to Bobby J and please call the club at 705-457-2830 for info regarding upcoming events.