The World Curling Tour descended on Penticton this weekend, featuring some of the top-ranked male curlers.
But even before the four-day event is over, curling club manager Cathy Jones said it’s been so successful they are expecting the WCT to return next fall, making the Ashley Home Store Curling Classic an annual event.
“We’ve had great respect from all the teams, letting us know that bar none, this is the best event that they’ve ever been to on this tour,” said Jones. “It has really put Penticton on the curling map.”
With hundreds of fans attending, the 63-year-old curling club is at full capacity, according to Jones, who also said the event is drawing fans from not only the Okanagan but across B.C. and Alberta.
With some of the top rinks in the world among the 24 competing this weekend, the bonspiel offers a sneak peek at the 2018 Olympics.
“It’s a really nice spot. The ice has been really good so far and the whole town has been good,” said Niklas Edin, skip of the world second-ranked Swedish rink.
“It’s really friendly here,” added Edin’s third, Oskar Eriksson. “The fans appreciate every game and every player, which makes it really nice to play here”
Eight of the 24 rinks advance to the qualifying matches Sunday, with a total prize purse of $66,000 available to the field. The Curling Classic wraps up Monday morning, with the championship game starting at 9:45 a.m.