It was a ‘bluebird’ day on the Tarn at Mt Olympus where eight teams competed in the curling event organised by the Hororata Club. Photo credit Thomas Stephens.

Curling on Mount Olympus

by Ann van Engelen

‘Tarnspeil’ saw more than 100 people playing and encouraging curlers at the event held on the mountain Tarn at the top of the Mt Olympus ski field, 1,800metres above sea level on Saturday.

“This is a unique event, which really shows our club spirit,” said Hororata Club captain Phil Freeman.

“The curling started in 2011 when we received funding as part of the Rugby World Cup promotion to showcase true kiwi events. Since then we have tried to run a curling day annually, but weather and ice conditions have not always been favourable.

“This year we had a bluebird day, and more than 100 people enjoyed watching eight teams compete in Tarnspeil, curling their way through a round-robin, which led to a highly entertaining semi-final and cliff hanger of a final.”

The final saw a Windwhistle Winter Sports Club team take on a team of misfits from Methven.

“The final was tight with a high standard of curling seeing the crowd on their feet. With just one curl remaining, the WWSC Club team had to swing around the guard stone and tap the rearward sitting competitor’s stone out of the circle to take the much-deserved victory.

However, in a cruel twist of fate, the stone gained a small wobble en route to its target. Having likely, encountered some rougher ice near the edge of the sheet. The stone swivelled this way and that, as the crowd held its collective breath.

“Luck swung the way of the visitors, and the stone missed its target by the narrowest of margins leaving the Methven misfits to take the spoils of victory. Whether you are curling or spectating, this is a great social event, and we enjoy welcoming club members and visitors to our field, as curling embodies who we are as a club.”