Sarah Wark and Jeff Richard have been named the 2017 BC Mixed Doubles Curling Champions after defeating the defending champions 7-2 in the final.
Wark, from Chilliwack, and Richard, from Kelowna, will now represent B.C. at the 2017 Canadian Mixed Doubles Championship, which take place at the Nutana Curling Club in Saskatoon from Apr. 5 to 9.
Wark/Richard defeated the Vernon duo of Jim and Jaelyn Cotter. Jim, the reigning B.C. Men’s Champion, was playing with his daughter, Jaelyn, who competes at the U18 and U21 levels. The Cotters won the 2016 event held in Enderby.
Wark has had recent success. She skipped a team that made it through to the playoffs at the 2017 Scotties BC Women’s Curling Championship. Meanwhile, Richard is part of a men’s team (Team Geall) who qualified for this week’s 2017 belairdirect BC Men’s Curling Championship in Abbotsford.
In third place was Victoria-based Carley Sandwith and Kelowna-based Andrew Nerpin.
A total of 28 teams took part in the largest ever BC. Mixed Doubles Curling Championship, which took place at Kelowna Curling Club from Feb. 2 to 5. The teams played in four pools with the teams with the best records advancing to a 12-team knockout.
Participants at the national event will hope to get a step closer to a trip to the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
The Canadian champions will wear the Maple Leaf at the World Mixed Doubles Championship, Apr. 22-29 in Lethbridge, Alta. That event will determine the final eight-country field for the 2018 Winter Olympics. It is hoped that Canada will be among the eight teams in the field in Korea.
The Mixed Doubles game format 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 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.
Scores for the BC event are available to view.