Excitement building for Ship Hector bonspiel

Christopher Cameron
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County-wide curling event opens Friday evening

Some teams play for fun, while others take it more seriously. 

Tyler Day, Kevin Smith and Bob Mattie, along with their teammate Brian Garby will be representing the host Stellar Curling Club this year in the 42nd Annual Ship Hector Bonspiel. The event opens at 8 p.m. on Friday with draws at all four Pictou County clubs. 

Regardless of their reason for playing the 42nd Annual Ship Hector Bonspiel is expected to be a great time for all according to co-chair Boyd Greene.

“It’s a great event for both the community and the curlers,” said Greene. “Most club curlers look forward to this event every year and each year it’s selling out earlier and earlier, which shows how much the curlers enjoy themselves. There are over 30 teams each year that come in from out of town, which is a great boost to the hotels and restaurants in the area as well.”

This Friday teams will gather around suppertime before the action starts at 8 and 10 p.m. with draws around the county. Finals will take place at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday around the county, but the main event will be played at this year’s host club, Stellar Curling Club.

Not much changes as the host club according to Greene, aside from more excitement on Sunday afternoon and possibly more spectators.

“Every four years we’re the host, which is great for adding more excitement, but all four clubs will have various event finals on Sunday afternoon,” he said. “That’s the beauty of the spiel is that there are people around all the clubs all weekend. Being the host it doesn’t change much, but we hope the ice is better than usual and pay more attention to it, although the weekend is so busy it’s hard to give it all the attention it deserves.”

For a club like Stellar, with roughly 30 members this season, this is a major financial weekend for the club. Greene said every club gets $1,000 towards renting the ice, with sales at the various bars also helping each club.

“We’re like many small, rural clubs in Nova Scotia trying to survive,” he said. “This is our biggest financial weekend of the season and our busiest of the year.”

It helps when the event sells out, like it did in November, and the club knows it’s guaranteed to be busy.

In recent years they haven’t had trouble selling out the event and according to Greene the allure of the tournament is playing on so many ice surfaces and meeting so many teams.

“It’s a unique event because we use four different ice surfaces that are all very different,” he said. “There is lots of money on the line for teams come Sunday and there are all levels of curling from junior to senior, men’s to women’s and combinations of all those. The hospitality is great from the local clubs and teams and there is lots of good sportsmanship and camaraderie shown by all involved.”

2013 Winners

Ship Hector Trophy (Sangster – Bluenose)

Gordon Fraser Trophy (English – New Caledonian)

Heritage Event (Comeau – Lakeshore)

Stellar Trophy (Dorey – Berwick)

Tartan Event (Tanner – CFB Halifax)

County Event (Kavanagh – Mayflower)

New Caledonian Trophy (Moulton – Lakeshore)

Tweed Event (Woodward – Mayflower)

Westvillle Trophy (Seebold – Dartmouth)

Bluenose Trophy (Landry – Lakeshore)

Jack Pink Event (Williams – New Caledonian)

Organizations: Annual Ship Hector Bonspiel, Stellar Curling Club

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Dartmouth

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