Whitehorse Daily Star

Image title

Photo by John Tonin

AIMING FOR THE BUTTON – Mike Burke leaves the hack, not with a rock, but with a turkey during the 13th annual Tetra Tech Canada 2019 Yukon Mixed Curling Bonspiel turkey shoot on Saturday at the Whitehorse Curling Club.

Team Kubo wins Tetra Tech Bonspiel

The 13th annual Tetra Tech Canada 2019 Yukon Mixed Curling Bonspiel was held this past weekend at the Whitehorse Curling Club.

By John Tonin on November 28, 2019

The 13th annual Tetra Tech Canada 2019 Yukon Mixed Curling Bonspiel was held this past weekend at the Whitehorse Curling Club.

Team Kubo (the Laughing Dragons), a team of Japanese players, won the bonspiel. Team co-ordinator Kubo Ryota said the squad formed when they all met in Whitehorse.

"We've been playing five years mostly," said Ryota. "We started playing here. Curling is not that big in Japan. None of us had played before when we picked it up. We started in the Friday Fun League and fell in love with it and this year we started playing Monday."

Ryota said the team was lucky to have won but was overjoyed when it was announced that they had accumulated the most points.

"We were super excited when we won," said Ryota. "It was our first title achievement, and we were super happy about that."

The Tetra Tech Bonspiel uses a unique scoring system. All games were six ends and had to be played regardless of the score. Each end was worth one point.

A team wins an end by either counting two or more stones with the hammer, or, counting one or more stones, stealing, without the hammer. If no team scores, they are both rewarded one point.

Regardless of the outcome of an end, the hammer will always alternate - one team shoots first on even ends, the other first on odd ends.

The final standings were determined by cumulative points earned throughout all games.

Organizers of the bonspiel told the Star last year that the system was implemented to give everybody an equal opportunity. You don't have to be a great curler if you have a good strategy. This is the only bonspiel at the curling club that uses this scoring system.

Ryota said the scoring system was beneficial to the team winning and that they focused their strategy around the format.

"The scoring helped out," said Ryota. "We focused on taking points. The strategy was simple - aim for two points. It was really different and new to us so we had to figure it out."

Ryota said the team members work hard to improve their curling.

"We practise a lot," said Ryota. "We work on different schedules, so we practise individually. Now we are focusing on weight. We use a stopwatch to count time to see if to fast or to slow."

Since moving to Whitehorse, Ryota said he and his team were thankful to have found curling and the community.

"We really enjoy the sport and being part of the community," said Ryota. "Whitehorse has a good curling club, and we are happy to be in the community. They are really encouraging us to play."

Another fun feature of the Tetra Tech Bonspiel is the turkey shoot. A slider and a handle are attached to a turkey and for $2 a draw, a curler could take a shot trying to get the bird as close to the button as possible.

Two turkeys were awarded to the curlers who got them closest to the button. Mike Burke and Donna Scott won the turkeys just in time for the holidays.

Be the first to comment

Add your comments or reply via Twitter @whitehorsestar

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, website comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your name and email address are required before your comment is posted. Otherwise, your comment will not be posted.