by Jim Dolan
The North Grenville Curling Club [NGCC], in the heart of downtown Kemptville, is the place to be from November 2 to 5, if you want to see 24 World Curling Women’s teams compete for $20,000 in the Royal LePage OVCA Women’s Fall Classic. Since its humble beginnings in 2006, the Women’s Fall Classic has become a World Curling Tour event and is the biggest women-only non-Grand Slam of Curling event in Canada east of Toronto.
This year’s event features three teams from Europe – two young teams from Sweden skipped by Tora Sundberg, and Isabella Wranå, and the 2017 European Women’s Champions from Russia skipped by Victoria Moiseeva.
Eight Ottawa area teams, skipped by Erin Morrissey, Dawn Butler, Hailey Armstrong, Barb Willemsen, Sierra Sutherland, Emma Wallingford, Erin Macaulay, and Sarah Fletcher, would love to claim the first prize cheque of $6,000 and hoist the Fall Classic Trophy come Sunday afternoon.
They will face stiff competition from a field that includes teams skipped by current Scotties Provincial Champions, Ève Bélisle from Quebec, Stacie Curtis (Devereau) from Newfoundland and Labrador, and Robyn MacPhee from Prince Edward Island. MacPhee is the Fall Classic’s defending champion.
To say that provincial pride will be at stake at this year’s event is an understatement. For the second time in the event’s 12-year history, fans will have the opportunity to see teams from seven Canadian provinces play in the same event – from Nova Scotia, teams skipped by Kristen MacDiarmid and Canadian Curling Hall of Fame member, and definitely a crowd favourite, Mary-Anne Arsenault; from Manitoba, Barb Spencer; from British Columbia, Sarah Daniels; and, from Ontario, Fall Classic 2014 Champion Cathy Auld, Danielle Inglis, Susan Froud, Katelyn Wasylkiw, Hollie Duncan, and Chrissy Cadorin.
Four former members of the North Grenville Curling Club are playing in this year’s Classic – Barb Willemsen, Trish Scharf third and alternate Kim Brown on team Erin Morrissey, and Lauren Mann third for Ève Bélisle. Lauren also 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 offer a little extra vocal support to their favourite teams by watching the games from the stands. Don’t be afraid to wave a provincial or country flag or two.
Visit the Classic website at www.classic.ovca.com for all draw times and opening game match-ups. 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 am, 11:30 am, 4 pm and 7 pm. The quarter-finals, semi-finals and Championship game are at 9 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 pm.