Rachel Homan enjoyed her first trip to the Okanagan and while she’s officially invited to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts next January/February in Penticton, the Ottawa curling queen hopes to be elsewhere at the time.
Homan, the 28-year-old defending world women’s curling champion, would be playing the Scotties nationals at Team Canada. However, she plans on being in Korea for the Winter Olympics. The Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Olympic Trials go Dec. 2-10 in Homan’s hometown of Ottawa.
Homan ambushed Un-Chi Gim of Korea 10-4 in Sunday’s final of the $42,000 Prestige Hotels &Resorts Curling Classic. Homan cruised to a 7-1 lead after four ends before Gim counted three to make things interesting.
Homan rang up three in the sixth end to force an early handshake. She was supported by third Emma Miskew and a front end of Joanne Courtney and Lisa Weagle. They pocketed $9,000, including $500 for five round-robin wins. Homan, who has won three Scotties, has played with Miskew since the friends were 11.
Gim earned $6,550 after going 4-1 in preliminary play of the 20-team women’s field.
“It was a great spiel,” said Homan. “We hadn’t played in Vernon before. We have one of the best ice makers (Dave Merklinger) in the world here and it was awesome to play on his ice. We had a great time.”
Gim, 27, plays fourth stones for Kim Ji-sun on the Korean national women’s curling team. South Korea’s biggest retail conglomerate Shinsegae pledged 10 billion won ($9.42 million) until 2018 for the development of Korean curling.
“They’re (Koreans) a great team,” said Homan. “They played very well; they made some greats to get three there.”
As for her foursome’s style, Homan said: “We’re a pretty aggressigve team. We take our chances when we see the opportunity.”
She is stoked about the 2017-18 schedule.
“I hope to be in the Olympics so I won’t be there (Penticton),” said Homan, who like most teams, headed to Calgary for the $50,000 Curlers Corner Autumn Gold Classic this Thursday.
“It’s kind of the end of a four-year cycle and the trials are in our hometown so it’s an exciting year.”
Gim earned $6,550 after going 4-1 in preliminary play of the 20-team women’s field. Homan clipped two-time Vernon cashspiel champion Shannon Kleibrink of Calgary 6-5 in an extra end, while Gim shaded Chelsea Carey of Calgary 6-5 in the semifinals earlier Sunday. Kleibrink and Carey each collected $4,000 in the quarterfinals.
Homan brushed back Nina Roth of Blaine, Wash. 8-3, Gim stopped Val Sweeting of Edmonton 7-4, Kleibrink iced Kelsey Rocque of Edmonton 5-4 and Carey edged Diane Gushaluk of New Westminster 6-5. Rocque, Sweeting, Roth and Gushaluk each banked $2,750 as qualifiers.
Jeff Guignard of Vancouver edged Adam Cseke of Kelowna 4-3 (extra end) in the men’s final Sunday night. Guignard, who took home $5,000, was backed by Daniel Wenzak, Chris Faa and Nick Meister.
Cseke, who won $3,000, had Matt Tolley at third, Andrew Nerpin of second and Cam Weir at lead in the eight-rink field.
Cseke iced defending champ Tyler Tardi of Langley 6-4 in the semifinals