Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Grand Match rebels

The story of the cancelled Grand Match continues (with help from a source over in the area) with news of more renegade curlers defying the order to stay off the loch near Stirling where the big bonspiel was supposed to take place.

A wee bit of background. The Grand Match is a huge bonspiel that pits 600 teams from the north against 600 teams from the south. It’s only held when the loch freezes enough to allow the outdoor competition. The last time it was held was 30 years ago. This year's event was supposed to attract about 5,000 spectators.

So this year, with freezing-cold weather gripping Scotland, the Match looked as though it would be on. But at the last minute, local officials declared the playing surface too dangerous – actually too slippery, believe it or not – and they were worried there’d be no way to reach the injured parties if someone should slip and fall.

But two days ago, snubbing the authorities, a small group of curlers ventured out and started to play, just to show that the conditions weren’t that bad. Apparently some locals called the police on the party and the cops came but wouldn’t go out on the ice.

So the police called Search and Rescue who arrived and also refused to go out on the ice.

The curlers continued their game and no one hurt themselves.

There’s still some hope that the big Grand Match can take place, but it is a slim hope and it would be more rebels who would play.

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