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August 21, 2007 > Chill out in Vacaville with the hottest sport on ice

Chill out in Vacaville with the hottest sport on ice

With average Labor Day highs of 95 degrees, residents of the Wine Country may not need many reasons to seek cool refuge indoors, but there's a new one on the horizon that could have people flocking to a local ice arena next month.

Curling, that "cult sport" of the 2006 Olympics, will be introduced to the public free of charge at the Vacaville Ice Sports facility. Wine Country Curling Club of Northern California is hosting "The Crush" Bonspiel, August 31 to September 2. Sixteen teams are entered in this recreational curling tournament, with teams coming from all points of the United States and Canada.

Among the notable entrants for the bonspiel are the current National Champions and World Bronze Medal winners Todd Birr Rink of Mankato, MN. Five-time national champion Paul Pustovar of Hibbing, MN is the coach of the Birr Rink and will be playing in the bonspiel. Two-time national champion Richard Maskel of Green Bay, WI will be playing on the Mark Swandby team that took the Silver Medal at the Senior Worlds Championship in 2005.

Lyle Sieg team from the San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club, Silver Medalists in the 2007 U.S. Mixed Nationals competition, will be one of the top Northern California teams. Danny Lamoureux from the Canadian Curling Association also has a rink entered.

Wine Country Curling Club is making sure that the ice will be top-notch for the curlers by bringing in pro icemakers from St. Paul, MN. Other event attractions will be the "piping on to the ice" by the Scarlet Brigade Pipe Band from Fairfield High School. Opening ceremonies will honor Doug McNabb one of the original founders of California curling.

Curling has had a presence in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1958. San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary this coming year. The Club plays out of the Logitech Ice Center in San Jose and Sharks Ice in Fremont. Wine Country Curling Club was just started this past year after the 2006 Torino Olympics. Both are members of the Unites States Curling Association and Mountain Pacific Curling Association.

Curling has grown from that lone San Francisco Club to include other western clubs located in Scottsdale, AZ, Portland, OR, Ogden and Logan UT, McCall and Boise ID, and Simi Valley and Escondido CA.

U.S. Curling Association (USCA) has 151 member clubs nationwide, in 42 different states and has added about 15 new clubs since the Torino Olympics. A number of other clubs are currently pending.

Vacaville Ice Sports complex is set up with five sheets of curling ice for planned future open houses and bonspiels (tournaments). The Club will have several certified instructors on hand to teach beginners the sport. Information on open houses will be forthcoming as planning solidifies.

For more information, contact:
Northern California - Jerome Larson, (707) 374-3920;
USA Curling - Bev Schroeder, (888) 287 5377,
Jerry Orlando - Vacaville Ice Sports, (707)455-0225,

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