Greg Smith and Jeff Tam sweep for skip Barry Evans during Sunday's B final of the Hugh Fraser Mens Open Bonspiel at Fort Rupert Curling Club.

Courtenay rink claims Hugh Fraser top spot

Two Courtenay-area teams battle for top spot in men's open bonspiel.

PORT HARDY—After three days of play between 18 rinks it came down to two Courtenay-area teams on the A sheet of the Fort Rupert Curling Club.

Then it went down to the final hammer.

But, when the dust settled on the Hugh Fraser Mens Open Bonspiel, the hammer wasn’t enough for Stu Larson to wrest the game away from Rick Cowles’ rink.

The seventh end was pivotal as Cowles was able to take advantage of the hammer and draw for two, which gave him the ability to play a takeout game in the final end.

Cowles’ cause was helped when a heavy rock from Larson’s third, Duffy Simpson, rolled through the back of the house and left his skip a tough pair of shots, needing two with none in the house.

When his first came up short and Cowles played a guard, Larson was left needing a miracle with the hammer. That miracle didn’t come and the rinks shook hands.

The rinks had opened the final with some cagey tactical play in the early ends, but a pair of beautiful, inch-perfect draws in the fourth by Cowles left two scoring on the button behind guards. Larson, with the hammer, had the weight and line to freeze up on the stones but just couldn’t find the curl he needed.

Back-to-back singles followed as Larson rallied to level the score before the two-rock seventh gave Cowles the momentum.

Next door on the B rink, local honour was being resolved as Andrew Smith’s rink faced off against Barry Evans.

Despite a strong showing all weekend to make the B final, Sunday just wasn’t Evans’ day as missed chances — and a little luck on occasion for the Smith rink — combined to force handshakes after a four-rock sixth end for Smith.

“I dunno,” said Evans after the game, “I’m normally a 90 per cent shooter on (takeouts).”

“Oh, I know,” said Smith’s lead, Dean Hunchuk. “I told those guys, ‘Barry doesn’t miss two in a row.’”

But, unfortunately for Evans, miss he did, and a pair of runaway ends saw the Smith rink out of sight.

The Smith rink were a consistent force throughout the weekend, Smith and Mark Hutchinson back as part of last year’s winning rink of Brad Zealand in this tournament. Zealand was travelling and was unable to defend his title.

On the C rink, Doug McCorquodale faced off against Campbell River’s Brian May. May’s rink took the win there, a huge four-rock second end gave May a comfortable buffer that left McCorquodale chasing from early on.

Comox Valley’s Steve Thurber beat out Gene Cadwallader’s rink in a tightly contested, nip-and-tuck D final.

There’s one more event on the curling club’s calendar; the season-ending Daffodilly March 15. The hybrid golf/curling event signals the close of the curling season and the move to the greens.

To register or for more information email


Just Posted

North Island Eagles minor rep ockey organization hand out year-end awards in Port McNeill

It was quite the season and then some for minor rep hockey here in the North Island.

North Island resident to campaign on climate, economy for Liberal Party seat in Ottawa

Peter Schwarzhoff joins race for the second time in North Island-Powell River riding

Press release: Port Alice Health Centre service model announced

“a sustainable and dependable model of health care service delivery in Port Alice is a priority”

First annual Pride Day coming to Port Hardy in August

Pride contributes to a more inclusive and safe community for LGBTQ+ identifying individuals.

Blaney plan helps seniors late with taxes

Simple solution to important issue: North Island-Powell River MP

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

RCMP arrest violent offender on Vancouver Island

Police struggle with suspect and take him down with a taser

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Most Read