Dave Merklinger, manager and ice maker for the Vernon Curling Club, lays the centre line as the club works to put in the ice Tuesday, Sept. 11. Merklinger said the Club will have the ice ready for the weekend and the first curling match. (Parker Crook/Morning Star)

Dave Merklinger, manager and ice maker for the Vernon Curling Club, lays the centre line as the club works to put in the ice Tuesday, Sept. 11. Merklinger said the Club will have the ice ready for the weekend and the first curling match. (Parker Crook/Morning Star)

Vernon cashspiel features world-class squads

Headlining the women’s field is 2018 Olympic bronze medalist Satsuki Fujisawa of Japan.

A field of 20 women’s teams and 12 men’s rinks will compete in the annual Prestige Hotels cashspiel from Sept. 27 to 30.

Headlining the women’s field is 2018 Olympic bronze medalist Satsuki Fujisawa of Japan.

There are two rinks from Japan and one each from China, Korea, Germany and Russia, giving the event a true international flavour.

Vernon’s Kim Slattery, who competed at the 2018 B.C. Championships, is also among the field. She’s joined by Alyssa Kyllo, who throws skip stones, and the front end of Kelsi Jones and Morgayne Eby.

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Among the men’s rinks competing will be seven-time provincial champion Jim Cotter of the host club, who will debut his new third, former World Curling Tour and Brier foe Steve Laycock of Saskatoon. Tyrel Griffith and Rick Sawatsky remain as Cotter’s front end.

Vernon veteran Mark Longworth is also in the field, joined by his son, Michael, at third, and the front end of Rob Nobert and John Slattery.

The cashspiel will start at 5 p.m. on the Thursday for the women. The men will start on Friday at 1 p.m. Playoffs will go Sunday with the finals in both divisions set for late Sunday afternoon.

The women will compete for about $35,000 in prize money while the men will go after $18,000 in purse money.

A weekend pass to cashspiel is $25 or it’s $10 per day. Tickets are available at the Vernon Curling Club. The eight-end games will feature the new five-rock rule, where teams can’t hit an opponent’s rock until the sixth rock of the end.