It was another great year for the curling community and a great boon to Cornwall this weekend as the Cornwall Curling Club once again hosted the AMJ Campbell Shorty Jenkins Curling Classic.
The John Epping Team from Toronto won the men’s division in a 5-2 match against the 2017 champion Brad Jacobs rink. The team consisted of skip John Epping, Cornwall native Mathew Camm, Brent Laing and Craig Savill. Epping scored one in the first end and two in the third before Jacobs could get on the board, with the teams trading points in the fifth and sixth ends.
It was an Epping point in the seventh that saw Jacobs shake hands to end the match and leave the victory for Epping.
On the women’s side, Isabella Wrana from Sweden won the women’s division by scoring in the extra end, winning 5-4 over Toronto’s Hollie Duncan. This was the first tour event win for Wrana, whose rink included Jennie Wahlin, Almida de Val and Fanny Sjoberg.
Wrana was up 2-0 before Duncan could grab her first point in the third end, with the teams trading points over the next four ends. A two-point end for Duncan tied the game at 4-4, leading to the extra ninth end.
“It is going awesome,” organizer Gord McCrady said of the bonspiel earlier on Sunday. “It’s too bad it has been so nice out, but the bonspiel itself has been phenomenal. We have had super crowds all weekend. It’s gone really well.
McGrady said this year they had 24 men’s teams and 18 women’s teams which is an increase from past years.
“We increased the ladies teams from 15 last year to 18 this year,” he said. “Which is probably where we are going to stay. It gives a bonspiel more draws.”
Another difference this year is to accommodate the added teams, the bonspiel started on Wednesday instead of Thursday.
“We are quite happy with what happened this year and the format as well,” said McCrady.
The bonspiel attracted teams from as far away as China, Switzerland, Sweden, Great Britain as well as the United States and of course Canada.
“This is a great international field with great exposure to Cornwall,” he said. “The games are live scoring on the websites so people in China and all over the world know where Cornwall is. It’s really good that way.”
McCrady said it was a great event for Cornwall in many ways, hotel rooms have been full all weekend and restaurants have done really well.
“It’s great exposure for the City of Cornwall worldwide,” he said. “Teams leave Cornwall and talk about how great the city is, the waterfront, the facilities, the curling has been great at the Shorty Jenkins.
“It’s just added exposure for the city of Cornwall.”
McCrady said the team from Switzerland rented bikes while here and used them to tour the city and commute to and from the rink.
“They came last year as well,” he said. “They used (the bikes) to tour the city and they just loved it.”
McCrady said the bonspiel was a win-win all the way around.
“The curlers love coming here because the quality of our bonspiel is top-notch,” he said. “It’s more like a Brier atmosphere, a grand slam atmosphere. We treat the curlers like kings and queens. We have drivers for them, we have a players’ lounge and so it is great for the curlers.”
McCrady said the prize money was also a great incentive and of course, the city always wins when it can attract a world class event like the Shorty Jenkins Classic.
McCrady said the bonspiel would not have been possible without the volunteers and sponsors.
“The Shorty Jenkins Classic is here to stay,” he said.