By Jim Dolan
Chances are you’ve watched a bit of curling on TV and you may have been curious to learn a little more about the game and you thought you might want to experience the game at a much more up close and personal level. Well this fall, from November 3 to 6, you will have the chance to see some of Canada’s best women’s curling teams compete for $17,500 right in the heart of Old Town Kemptville. Everyone is invited to stop into the North Grenville Curling Club to watch 24-teams compete in the Royal LePage OVCA Women’s Fall Classic.
Since its humble beginnings in 2006, the Royal LePage OVCA Women’s Fall Classic has become a World Curling Tour event and is the biggest women’s only non-Grand Slam of Curling event in Canada east of Toronto.
Nine Ottawa area teams would love nothing better than to hoist the Fall Classic Trophy come Sunday afternoon. The skips of the nine teams are Erin Morrissey, Charlene Sobering, Hollie Nicol, Celeste Bellefeuille, Danielle Inglis, Erin Macaulay, Cassandra Lewin, Samantha Peters and Cheryl McBain.
The ladies from the Ottawa Valley will face stiff competition from a field that includes teams skipped by current Scotties Provincial Champion, Marie-France Larouche from Quebec and former Scotties Provincial Champions, Stacie Curtis (Devereau) from Newfoundland, Robyn MacPhee from Prince Edward Island, Mary-Anne Arsenault from Nova Scotia, Eve Belisle from Quebec, Sherry Middaugh, who represented both Saskatchewan and Ontario, and sisters Darcy Robertson and Barb Spencer from Manitoba. To say that provincial pride will be at stake at this year’s event is an understatement. For the first time in the event’s 11-year history, fans will have the opportunity to see teams from Canada’s seven most eastern provinces play in the same event.
Three teams entered in this year’s event are skipped by past winners of the Classic – Cathy Auld in 2014, Sherry Middaugh in 2011 and Janet McGhee in 2006. One of the best teams from Japan skipped by Aymi Ogasawara will add a little international excitement to the event. Rounding out the 24-team field are teams skipped by Ontario’s Megan Balsdon, Chrissy Cadorin and Julie Tippin and New Brunswick’s Melissa Adams.
Four former members of the North Grenville Curling Club are also playing in this year’s Classic – Barb Willemsen (Kelly) lead for Cheryl McBain, Trish Scharf third, and Kim Brown second, for Celeste Bellefeuille and Lauren Mann third for Eve Belisle. Lauren skipped the Quebec Provincial team at the 2014 Canadian Scotties.
Come out to the club at 200 Reuben Crescent in Kemptville and enjoy our incredible small town hospitality. The North Grenville Curling Club is a converted hockey rink so fans have the unique opportunity to watch the game from the stands, wave a provincial flag or two and offer a little extra vocal support to their favourite teams.
Visit the Classic website at classic.ovca.com for all draw times and opening game matchups. Admission is $15 for an event pass or $10 per day. Persons aged 17 and under are admitted free.
Games run all day on Thursday starting at 9:15 am and Friday starting at 8:45 am. On Saturday games are at 9:00 a.m., 11:30 a., 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm. The quarter-finals, semi-finals and Championship game are at 9:00 am, 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm on Sunday.
To show our appreciation for all the support we have received from sponsors, volunteers and the great members of the North Grenville Curling Club and our community over the last 11 years, we invite you to join the Fall Classic fans and curlers at Friday’s Rock the Classic Pub Night starting at 8:30 pm. The night features some great finger foods and a live band. Admission to the Rock the Classic Night will be free to fans and public arriving at the club after 6:00 pm.