Skip Jim Cotter, of Vernon, delivers a stone against Jason Montgomery, from Victoria, in the 2018 B.C. Men’s Curling Championships in Parksville. Cotter will play in Vernon’s Prestige Classic Cashpiel from Oct. 3 to 6. (J.R. Rardon/Black Press Media)

Skip Jim Cotter, of Vernon, delivers a stone against Jason Montgomery, from Victoria, in the 2018 B.C. Men’s Curling Championships in Parksville. Cotter will play in Vernon’s Prestige Classic Cashpiel from Oct. 3 to 6. (J.R. Rardon/Black Press Media)

$40K up for grabs at Vernon’s Prestige Classic Cashspiel

Local curling club to host big timers

Some of B.C.’s top women’s and men’s curlers will join national and international competitors as Vernon’s Prestige Classic Cashspiel starting Thursday, Oct. 3, at the Vernon Curling Club.

Club manager Dave Merklinger said the field will be competing for the close to $40,000 in cash prize money and includes the reigning Canadian women’s champions, the current B.C. men’s champions and competitors from as far away as Japan and Germany.

In addition to the cash winnings, competitors come to Vernon for the chance to build their Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) points totals, Merklinger said.

These points influence entry into a number of events, including provincial playdowns, selection for other cash events, and ultimately can effect selection for the next Olympic curling trials, scheduled for 2021.

The complex system centres around placings in a number of listed CTRS events and the strength of field rating of those events.

READ MORE: Merklinger enters major curling club

Merklinger says 18 women’s teams and 10 men’s teams are in the mix, with last year’s women’s champ Alina Kovaleva from Russia returning to defend her title.

“We have the current Scotties Canadian champions, Chelsea Carey, coming from Calgary, along with Olympic silver medallist Cheryl Bernard and two-time World Junior champion Kelsey Rocque, both from Edmonton.” Merklinger said.

“Our local women’s competitors are Kim Slattery and Morgayne Eby, and they will be up against current B.C. women’s champions Sarah Wark of Chilliwack, and Germany’s Daniella Jentsch and Japan’s Miki Hayashi.”

On the men’s side, the field is headed by Vernon’s Jim Cotter and Langley’s Tyler Tardi, the 2018 and 2019 World Junior champion and a winner of the 2016 Prestige Classic.

Vernon is also represented by veteran skip Mark Longworth and this year’s provincial junior runnerup Erik Colwell.

Finals are set for 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 6. Four day passes are available for $20 at the door and day passes are $7 per day.

Draw times and results are listed on the Vernon Curling Club website.

READ MORE: Vernon’s Jim Cotter wins men’s provincial curling title


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