The Prince Rupert Curling Club hosted their 69th annual Men’s Marine Bonspiel from March 11 to 13.
Team John Kennedy, from Terrace, walked off the ice as the winner of event A.
Teams Pierre LaFrance from Prince Rupert, Rick Jones from Kitimat, and team Warren Copeland from Terrace, won events B, C, and D, respectively.
A total of 56 competitors on 14 teams from Prince Rupert, Terrace, Kitimat and Smithers took part in the three-day tournament.
“It was fantastic just to see people back in the rink and having a great time,” Danny Dawson, executive director of the curling club, told The Northern View.
The defending 2019 champions, team Dawson, were “unprecedented” three-year trophy-holders due to the pandemic shutdown but were knocked out by event C winners, team Copeland, in the first round.
Though the tournament hosted 28 teams three years ago, Dawson said the event was still a big success with half the previous turnout.
“We’re very pleased to get the 14 teams that we did, and we’re super thankful for those people who did come down and make the trip,” he said. “We were very lucky the mask mandates were lifted right around the same time we were planning this, and it seemed to make a difference.”
Tournament attendees enjoyed the event’s traditional seafood feast, which capped off day one.
“That’s been a tradition since I can remember. It’s been going since the Marine Bonspeil has [existed]. Our members usually go out and do some crab fishing, some shrimp and prawn fishing and cook them up the day of and feed the competitors,” Dawson said.
Next year, the curling club hopes to increase the number of competing teams as the regional curling community continues to recover from the hit it took during the pandemic.
“We’re shooting for 30 teams next year,” Dawson said.
The tournament also marks the end of the competitive season for the Prince Rupert Curling Club. The rink will host its last week of league play and will shut down the ice on March 19.
Norman Galimski | Journalist
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