Ottawa skipper wins Ontario senior curling championship

For the 12th time in 28 years, Bruce Delaney’s team has swept to victory at the Ontario provincial senior curling championships. He defeated Kirk Ziola of Chatham Granite Club 10-1 Jan. 18 at the Scarboro Golf and Country Club. Delaney was definitely not expecting such a big difference in scoring.

“We expected this to be last rock,” he said. “Kirk Ziola’s is a world-class team. To get a game like this where it ends 10-1 is really an anomaly and you don’t see that very often.”

Delaney’s team, the RCN (Navy) Curling Club, hails from the Ottawa region and many hometown supporters made the long trip to Scarborough to cheer his team on.

Delaney and teammates have been a large presence in curling, especially in the Ottawa region, with more than 12 wins between them in the City of Ottawa bonspiels since 1980.

The RCN (Navy) Curling Club used to be open only to members of the Canadian Navy and Reserves, but has since opened its membership up to anyone who wishes to join.

Kirk Ziola recently moved up to the senior division after having success in other competitions and was considered a tournament favourite going in.

Over 150 people were packed into the viewing gallery on semi-final day, but crowds got thinner as local favourite Bob Turcotte was knocked out before the final game. Turcotte was Ontario senior champion back in 2007.

“This is arguably the largest crowd that the senior provincials has had,” Gregg Truscott said, co-chair of the organizing committee at the club.

All the teams had to first make it out of a zone play down, and then had to defeat others in a regional qualification before making it to the tournament in Scarborough. The tournament began round robin play on Wednesday, Jan. 14.

In preparation for his victory Delaney stressed the experience that comes with playing the game day in and day out.

“Really it’s a whole chess game on ice, you have to study all the scenarios and possibilities and you play the percentages. When you play it long enough, you know them when you see them,” he said.

The senior’s championship has helped to bring some light on a sport that many people may not have had a chance to play or involve themselves with.

The Scarboro Golf and Country Club celebrated its 50th anniversary of curling championships last year. The provincial finals, along with other events have “helped to raise the profile of curling in Scarborough,” Truscotte said.

“I think although it’s a senior tournament it is still quality curling, and there’s an awful lot of quality curling on TV,” Delaney said.