Father and daughter curlers Jim and Jaelyn Cotter have a busy curling schedule ahead of them.
The pair from Vernon took the 2016 BC Mixed Doubles Curling Championship title this past weekend after sweeping away the field of 16 other teams.
The win at the Enderby Curling Club event means they will travel to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, from March 31 to April 3, for the Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials.
But before they head to nationals, the pair will be at the 2016 BC Winter Games in Penticton, where Jaelyn will be skipping and her dad will be coaching. Not long after that, Jim will head to Ottawa with his Vernon/Kelowna men’s rink for the 2016 Tim Hortons Brier.
Six-time BC Men’s Champion, Jim Cotter, said it was special to win a championship with his daughter. “We entered with no expectations as we had never played the Mixed Doubles format before. It was more for BC Winter Games preparation this coming weekend. We got on a roll, worked very well together and Jaelyn played great in every game. I couldn’t be more proud of her. A very proud father and daughter moment.”
Jim said the schedule ahead was busy, but he was also grateful for the opportunities. “Yes, a very busy schedule ahead of us but we wouldn’t want it any other way. It’s not easy to win so when you do, you cherish the moment. We’ll just take one event at a time, do our best to prepare and be ready to compete at each event. I was very proud to coach Team Harvey (junior girls’ team) and Team Cotter (juvenile girls’ team) along with the opportunity to still play competitively with my men’s team (of Ryan Kuhn, Tyrel Griffith and Rick Sawatsky). I’m super fortunate to be surrounded by three teams of wonderful people.”
The two-person version of curling is becoming more popular worldwide and will be an Olympic event at the next Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
In second place at the BC Mixed Doubles Curling Championship was Andrew Forrest and Becky Campbell, of Vancouver/Maple Ridge. In third place was Sarah Daniels, of Delta, and her partner Jordan Tardi, of Surrey, both recent medalists at the 2016 Canadian Junior Curling Championships.
In Mixed Doubles, there is one male and one female curler and the game is played over eight ends (instead of the usual 10). Each team has only six stones and one of those stones from each team is prepositioned in the field of play before every end of play. One player delivers the first and last stones of the end while the other player throws the second, third and fourth stones. If they choose to, the two players may swap positions from one end to the next. Both team members are also allowed to sweep.
There are no age restrictions on who can play so participants can be anywhere from juvenile (16 and under) up to masters level (60 plus).
At the national level, a total of 32 teams will compete, with the teams divided into four round-robin pools of eight, with the top two from each pool and the next four best round-robin records moving onto the 12-team single-knockout playoff round.
The winner of the national event will travel to Karlstad, Sweden, for the world championships.