Curling teams from Scotland will be in North Saanich today, looking to bring the Strathcona Cup back to the U.K.
Glen Meadows Curling Club event coordinator Dan Eakins said the hosts plan to greet the five Scottish teams (four who will be playing and one in reserve) with bagpipes and a ceremonial guard bearing curling brooms at around 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 16 (today). That time, he added, depends on how soon the visitors finish games at the Victoria Curling Club earlier that morning.
The five Scottish curling teams are part of a 15-team contingent in Canada right now, competing in the west, central Canada and the east coast. It’s the 105th Strathcona Cup — named for Lord Strathcona who donated the trophy as the president of the Royal Caledonia Curling Club back on the early 1900s. The international event started in 1902-03, when curlers from the Royal Caledonia Club toured the U.S. and Canada. This set in motion reciprocal visits every five years.
Eakins said Canadians took the cup five years ago in Scotland. Those players included Glen Meadows players such as David Giles, who was on the last Canadian tour in 2009.
“This is an international event coming to our club,” Eakins said.
Scottish curlers apply as teams and individuals to be on the touring group — as do Canadians when its this country’s turn to travel abroad.
The visitors’ trip into North Saanich today is early in their western tour. After playing at Glen Meadows, they travel to Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer before continuing east as far as the Manitoba border with Saskatchewan.
To win back the cup from Canada, Eakins explained the Scots will have to earn the most points overall, win or lose.
“The scores comes down to all of the ends,” he said. “It’s the total of all points scored.”
Eakins agreed that this rule could lead to teams running up the scores — much like curling skins games.
Games at Glen Meadows are scheduled to start at 1 p.m.