This week in Toronto, the massive Goldline Bonspiel is going on. This is the unofficial city championship, at least at a club level. The spiel has been going for more than 100 years and for those who’ve been tossing rocks for a while, it’s still known as the Canada Life. That company paid the freight for the first 100 years and since that time a number of other sponsors have come along – Energizer, The Brick and now Goldline, which does a fair bit to help out curling in and around Ontario.
There are roughly 1,200 curlers playing down here ranging from Brier champions to Sunday morning knee-sliders.
The best part about this event is that you can’t take a stacked team into it. There are tight rules about who can play front end and the result is that you get true club teams playing down for a big championship. And you get a lot more teams entering because they know there’s a chance they can go far. You also get to play at all sorts of different clubs as (if?) you progress.
The measuring sticks are the days of the week. You start with two games Saturday to determine your event and then keep playing through the week as long as you win.
This year, having reached the ripe old age of 50, we entered the Senior division and started at East York. We won our first game against Dixie’s Frank Schneider, surging in the late ends. The second game we played Terry Samuels of Thornhill and after getting out to a 6-1 lead, held on for a 7-6 win.
Monday night we got past a determined St. George’s rink skipped by the veteran Elgin Horton at the Cricket Club and Tuesday defeated Kurt Tamowski of Oakville in a game at Richmond Hill.
The Senior division doesn’t have as many rinks at the Open event so tonight we earned a well-deserved bye.