Bragging rights go to Canada

International bragging rights were on the line last weekend as the Gibsons Curling Club played host to the 49th annual International Tankard.

And Canada came out on top, winning by a score of 12-6. The total points used to calculate the winner were based on points and the total ends scored in each game.

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The event is a partnership of Region 11 of Curl B.C. and the Washington State Curling Association. Worthy volunteers from curling clubs across the Lower Mainland (Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Langley, Maple Ridge, Mission, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Richmond, Vancouver, Victoria and Gibsons) and the U.S. (Washington, California, Oregon and Idaho) were nominated by their respective clubs to attend and compete in this special event.

The Tankard is designed to celebrate the game, have some friendly competition and celebrate the role that volunteers play in the success of the game and their own member clubs.

"Everyone gets treated first-class as you saw from the opening ceremonies," said Ross Johnson, Curl B.C. Region 11 chair. "The event is all about curling, socializing and celebrating the game. It is non-competitive; however, everyone wants to win and win the tankard trophy for his or her country. Everyone seems to really enjoy the event."

The 48 competitors played a total of five games on Saturday and Sunday, were treated to an opening reception at the club Friday night, an opening ceremony Saturday morning complete with piper Craig Buchanan, colours by the Gibsons Rotary Club, a greeting from Gibsons Coun. Gerry Tretick, the ceremonial first rock by former curler and past Coast politician Ed Steeves and a Saturday night banquet at the club.

Following the competition, the Tankard was presented to Robin Wong of the Richmond Curling Club for display in the club's trophy case.

This is the third time Gibsons has played host to the event with the last being in 2001.

Club co-ordinators included Juanita Wannamaker, Carol Skytte and Carol Hickman along with several other club volunteers. The club nominated Terry Connor and Kathy Rietze to curl in the event, and they were placed on one of the six Team Canada teams.

"It's a great event and we're proud to host it," Wannamaker said. "It's a lot of fun. The curlers play four ends, cross brooms, then come upstairs to the lounge for a drink, then head back down and finish the game."

The 2012 International Tankard, its 50th year, will be hosted by the Washington State Curling Association in Seattle.

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