Team Peter de Boer
Sweepers Jamie Chisholm and Phil Dowling are urged on by skip Peter de Boer

8 Jul 2019 – Experience triumphed over youth (just) at the 2019 New Zealand Curling Championships when Team Bridget Becker won the Women's title and Team Peter de Boer the Men's.

The only time de Boer led the Men's final was after the last stone of the game had been thrown, when they recorded a 4-2 win over Matt Neilson's Junior Men's side.

Neither side dominated the game, thanks to some terrific shot-making by both teams – starting with a cross-house double take-out in the second end from Neilson's fourth-stone player Anton Hood, which prompted a blank end from de Boer.

It took a well-crafted steal in the final end for de Boer, Kenny Thomson, Jamie Chisholm and Phil Dowling to claim the victory.

2019 NZ Mixed Doubles finalists
L-R: Runners-up Holly Thompson and Anton Hood, champions Jess Smith and Ben Smith

17 Jun 2019 – Jess and Ben Smith backed up their 2018 success when they beat Holly Thompson and Anton Hood 6-3 in an entertaining and high quality final of the 2019 NZ Mixed Doubles Championship on Sunday afternoon.

The Smith siblings held a narrow 3-2 lead at the fourth end break, but successive steals immediately afterward set the path for their win, reversing the pool result between the teams and handing Thompson and Hood their only loss of the weekend.

Courtney Smith and Hamish Walker made perfect use of their powerplay in the last end of the bronze medal game, scoring three points to head off Bridget and Sean Becker 8-6.

2019 NZ Mixed winners
2019 NZ Mixed winners Thivya Jeyaranjan, Jennifer Jack, Garion Long and Benjamin Frew

3 Jun 2019 – Thivya Jeyaranjan won her fourth New Zealand Mixed Championship title last weekend, playing as third and vice-skip alongside Garion Long (skip), Benjamin Frew (2nd) and Jennifer Jack (lead). It was the second NZ Mixed title for Long, and the first for Frew and Jack.

They lined up against top qualifiers Glenys Taylor, Peter Taylor, Sasha Goloborodko and Nikita Derevianko in the final.

Both sides had finished the round robin with a 2-1 win-loss record, but Team Taylor earned the direct route to the final with their head-to-head 6-5 win over Team Long in the last preliminary round.

2019 WMDCC - NZL v SWE
Bridget and Sean Becker after their playoff game vs Sweden. Photo WCF / Tom Rowland

27 Apr 2019 – New Zealand's Mixed Doubles and Senior Men's teams were both eliminated in the first knockout round of their respective World Championships in Stavanger, Norway overnight.

The run for the Mixed Doubles side ended when they were beaten 9-4 by Sweden in the round of 16.

Bridget and Sean Becker started strongly, and took an early lead after capitalising on some uncharacteristic misses from the Swedish pair.

However the top qualifiers Anna Hasselborg and Oskar Eriksson soon got into their stride and left few opportunities for the Kiwis as the game progressed.

Holly Thompson
Holly Thompson at last year's Winter Games NZ. Photo © WCF / Clare Toia-Bailey

17 Apr 2019 – Entries are open for the five National Championships to be held this season.

Entries for all will close in May, with three – NZ Mixed Doubles, NZ Nationals and NZ Juniors – closing on Monday 13 May.

Curlers should also note a major change in the calendar.

The Mixed Doubles Championship will be held in mid-June, two months earlier than in past years.

This will aid selections for the Winter Games at the end of August.

Tournament dates and entry details are:

Bridget Becker and Sean Becker
Bridget and Sean Becker. Photo NZCA / Peter de Boer

29 Mar 2019 – The 2019 New Zealand Curling season kicked off in fine style in Naseby last weekend with the annual MCI Doubles event.

Originally developed as a pre-Mixed Doubles Worlds training event, the competition is now a favourite way for many to get together and look forward to the season ahead.

This year was no different with 14 teams entered, everyone having at least six six-end games, and the top four from each pool qualifying for either the main event or plate semi-finals.

Once the dust had settled, the main event was contested by Jess and Ben Smith, a Simon / Matthew / Lucy Neilson combo, Courtney Smith and Peter de Boer, and Bridget and Sean Becker.

Ben Smith and Anton Hood, NZ v Switzerland at WJCC2019
Ben Smith and Anton Hood, NZ v Switzerland. Photo © WCF / Richard Gray

24 Feb 2019 – New Zealand's Junior Men's Curling side achieved their major goal at their first-ever World Championship, which has just concluded in Liverpool, Nova Scotia.

Their four wins saw them finish in sixth place overall, allowing them to automatically re-qualify for next year's event and avoid the World Junior "B" qualifier.

This is by far the best result for any New Zealand Junior side and could herald a step change for New Zealand curling.

Although their sixth-place finish was guaranteed before their last game against Canada, the team were still keen for a good performance.

NZ Men, 2019 World Junior B gold medallists
L-R: Peter Becker (coach), Jayden Apuwai-Bishop (Alternate), Hunter Walker (Lead), Ben Smith (3rd), Anton Hood (vice-skip, 4th), Matthew Neilson (skip, 2nd). Photo © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

11 Jan 2019 - New Zealand Curling history was made in Lohja, Finland overnight when the NZ Men's side won the gold medal at the World Junior B championships.

With the medal came an entry to the full World Junior Championships in Canada next month – the first by any Kiwi side.

The team of Matthew Neilson, Anton Hood, Ben Smith, Hunter Walker, and Jayden Apuwai-Bishop beat Italy 8-4 in the final.

They qualified from their pool with a 5-2 win-loss record. They then defeated Russia 6-4 in their quarter-final, and stole an extra end to pip China 6-5 in the semi to earn their shot at the gold.

2018 PACC bronze medal match
Handshakes for Warren Dobson and JeongJae Lee after the bronze medal game. Photo © WCF / Tom Rowland

12 Nov 2018 – They say it's a game of millimetres, and that was never more true than in the Men's bronze medal match at the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2018 in Gangneung, Korea

A feathered guard late in the game was all that stood between New Zealand and their first Pacific-Asia medal since 2011.

Some outstanding shot-making from the Kiwis had Korea on the back foot. An in-off to remove Korea's shot stone in the fifth end scored them a pair, and then a surgical removal to take three in the eighth end earned them a 3-point lead going into the ninth.

But the match turned when NZ's final shot of the ninth end to remove at least one of two Korean counters feathered that guard. 

Team NZL v Canada, WMxCC 2018
Team NZ in action against the hosts in Canada. Photo © WCF / Jeffrey Au

21 Oct 2018 – The bar was set high at the World Mixed Championship in Kelowna, BC, Canada said Team New Zealand skip Dave Watt.

"We didn't play bad," he said after the competition where they finished with a 1 win - 6 loss record. "We just got no breaks."

"Team Canada [the eventual gold medalists] told us that they played their best game against us up to that point," he continued. "Same with Slovenia – and Austria got up for us too."

"Against Norway we played well too – but did get some breaks!"