PORT HARDY—In an effort to coax newcomers, organizers of Fort Rupert Curling Club’s annual Daffodilly emphasize the fun, camaraderie and the barbecue lunch.
On the other hand, the combined golfing and curling event is still a competition.
Organizer and skip Doug McCorquodale ran just a shade hot on a draw attempt with his final stone Sunday, allowing rival skip Bill Gray a two-point pickup on the final end of their curling duel at the club Sunday afternoon.
It was little more than a face-saving pickup for Gray, who avoided a shutout while falling 8-2 to McCorquodale. But as their rinks shook hands after the four-end game, McCorquodale said his failure to blank Gray allowed another longtime Port Hardy skip, Steve Janusz, to escape with the fourth annual Daffodilly title.
“That’s why you were trying so hard,” Gray said with a laugh. “I wondered about that.”
The result left Janusz with a 33-point total in the event, which combines nine holes of scramble-format golf at Seven Hills Golf and Country Club with a pair of four-end curling matches. McCorquodale finished one point back, with 32.
Janusz was teamed with the father-son tandem of Luke and Graeme Wiggins. McCorquodale was joined by Derek Le Boeuf, Carly Perkovich and Andrew Pereboom.
“I knew I needed to skunk Bill to win it,” said McCorquodale, who took the loss good-naturedly. He was just happy to see nine teams take part in the event, including several players who had never curled before.
After their nine-hole round at Seven Hills, players traveled to the curling club at Storey’s Beach for a lunch of grilled burgers and hot dogs. They then moved inside for the first draw on the ice.
“So where do I find these slider things, and a broom?” novice curler Mel Nicholson asked skip Mickey Walker. “Do I need one?”
Another newcomer to the curling club, Christina Fedorak, looked on, mystified, as skip Brad Zealand marked her target and held out his left arm.
“I don’t even know what that means,” Fedorak said, shrugging her shoulders and laughing as Zealand’s mother, sweeper Debbie Zealand, gave her a quick primer.
The event has been a hit since it began in 2009, and Fort Rupert Curling Club added an autumn version, the Fall Funkin’, last year.
“It makes sense, because once golf season ends, curling starts,” said Tom Baker, one of two Port McNeill skips to take part. “And when curling ends, golf starts.”
The golfers certainly got prime spring weather for their nine holes, with early fog giving way to clear skies and warm temperatures. The jackets went back on when players stepped into the curling arena, but nobody seemed to mind as smiles ruled the afternoon.
“We try to use this to get new curlers into the club,” said McCorquodale. “A lot of people golf who haven’t curled, and vice versa.”