|Team deBoer win NZ's first Cash Bonspiel|
New Zealand's curling's first ever Cash Bonspiel was won by a 'composite' team skipped by former top Scottish curler Peter deBoer from Wellington, along with 3 curlers from the Auckland Curling Club: third Iain Craig, second Kenny Thomson and lead Haymon Keeler.
New Zealand's top 5 curling teams competed in this special event, modelled after big money cash bonspiels (tournaments) held regularly in Canada, USA, and Europe. $1600 was won by the deBoer team. Another $600 was shared by the runners up, skipped by Dan Mustapic of Dunedin who also had 3 team mates from Auckland Curling Club: third Hans Frauenlob, second Lorne DePape and lead Al Langille.
"This was the most competitive curling event we've ever had in NZ," said winning skip Peter deBoer, "and it's very exciting to win what we hope will be the first of many more of this type of event. We managed to beat some very good teams to win the cash bonspiel, including NZ Olympic curlers and the current National team, so I'm proud of how our team performed this weekend. This sort of pressure competition really tests everyone, and there are at least 3 teams that could have won this time".
Losing skip Dan Mustapic of Dunedin commented, "This is the fourth bonspiel Final that I've lost this season, so it's tough being the bridesmaid again. But hey, the reality is that the competition was great, the Dunedin ice was great, it was a great event all around. Bring on the Cash bonspiel again next year!"
Event organiser Haymon Keeler says he was happy with how this first ever NZ Cash Bonspiel turned out. "Ice conditions were great to showcase everyone's shooting skills, and putting some cash on the line added some pressure and some spice to the event. We certainly hope this will be an annual event to add to NZ's growing curling calendar."
And although our National team didn't win the event, this unique type of competition will be valuable to them as they prepare for the Pacific Champs in Korea in November".
Competing teams, with skips name, and final won/loss records:
New Zealand curlers 'cash in' at NZ's first ever Cash Bonspiel
Dunedin, 12 Sep 2010 – New Zealand's first ever Curling Cash Bonspiel will be held this weekend at the Dunedin Ice Stadium, with $2,200 in the prize money pool. Five of the country's top Curling teams will compete in this special event, modelled after big money cash bonspiels (tournaments) held regularly in Canada, USA, and Europe.
Teams will battle for $2,200 in prize money, with $1,600 for the winning team, and $600 for the runners up.
"Curling is rapidly growing in popularity in NZ, particularly with recent coverage from the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics", says Pat Cooney, NZ Curling Association Secretary. "So it's a natural progression that our elite teams in NZ would get the opportunity to play in the same sort of Cash Bonspiel competitive environment that top notch curlers compete in overseas. NZ Curling is proud to see this initiative in Dunedin, giving our Men's National team another chance at top level competition, to prepare for the annual Pacific Curling Championships in Korea in November. That event is the first step in NZ qualifying for the 2014 Winter Olympics".
Event organiser Haymon Keeler says this is a real first for New Zealand. "Top curlers in Canada , USA and Europe regularly play in cash bonspiels with prize money in the $20,000 to $40,000 range each weekend, so it's time that we brought that format of high level pressure and competition to our best teams in New Zealand. Although our prize pool for this first ever cash bonspiel is smaller, it won't be long before more sponsors come on board, and prize pools grow, as exposure for NZ Curling grows".
Keeler goes on, "This Cash Bonspiel brings together arguably NZ's top 5 curling teams, led by NZ's National Champion squad skipped by 2006 Olympian Sean Becker. Other top contenders include teams skipped by Olympian Dan Mustapic, and NZ Senior Men's Champs led by Peter Becker. A new team skipped by Peter deBoer, a former Scottish Championship finalist now living in NZ, will be unveiled, and the bonspiel lineup is rounded out by the John Campbell team of Alexandra, bronze medallist at the recent NZ Men's Nationals. With big money on the line, this will be the same sort of 'big game' pressure that teams will face at the Pacific and World Championships, so what better way for them to prepare for those events".
Keeler says he plans to make this Cash Bonspiel an annual event, with even more teams and prize money next year.
The public is welcome to watch top notch curling at Dunedin Ice Stadium, free of charge, Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 September. Saturday's first game starts at 9.15 am, with 3 draws that day, followed by 3 draws on Sun 26th including Finals at 2 pm. The full draw is here, and results will be updated through the weekend.
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