Inch No Hack When It Comes To Curling

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Jeffrey Reed, Editor, LondonOntarioSports.com

If there’s anyone who wants the 2018 World Financial Continental Cup to hurry hard and get here, it’s Southwestern Ontario’s biggest curling advocate, Peter Inch. The chair of Curling Canada’s board of directors is not only a key player in promoting the game locally, but he’s also the sport’s biggest cheerleader.

Curling’s version of the Ryder Cup returns to Canada for the first time since 2015 in Calgary, and should offer fans attending from January 11-14, 2018 at Western Fair Sports Centre a peek at many of the teams who will compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

The WFG Continental Cup is a four-day event pitting Team North America against Team World in three competitions: traditional team games; mixed doubles; and skins games. Point values are assigned to each match, with a total of 60 points available. The first side to hit 30.5 points wins the event and $52,000, while the losing side gets $26,000. In addition, the team with the most points in the six skins’ games will earn $13,000.

January 2018 will mark the 14th edition of the Continental Cup, with Team North America on a five-year win streak, including the 2017 event in January at Las Vegas. Inch, whose off-ice curling resume in recent years is unparalleled in our area, said next year’s event will bring the game to a whole new level in London.

Peter Inch. Photo: Curling Canada.

“You are going to be right on top of the players, which we like,” Inch said. “We want this noisy. We don’t want a quiet arena. We want it loud, bells, everything happening so the players feel they are in the atmosphere. We believe the Western Fair District makes that atmosphere work for us.”

London has a rich history of hosting big-time curling, including the 1974 Macdonald Brier, 1981 Air Canada Silver Broom, 2006 Scotties Tournament of Hearts and 2010 Tim Horton’s Brier. Inch, general manager at Roy Inch & Sons (a Service Experts Company), was chair of the Brier and the Scotties. In 2003, he was vice chair and marketing director of the JVC/TSN Women’s Skins Curling Game at his home St. Thomas Curling Club.

“We hosted a great Scotties, a great Brier, but it has been awhile since we’ve hosted an event,” Inch explained. “The discussion came around, ‘What could we host next?’ So (well-known curler) Ted (Smith) and his committee put together a proposal. And believe me, it was an awesome proposal. It made it clear, there is no other place to host this event but London.”

Continental Cup host committee vice-chair Smith has strong support from the London, Ilderton and St. Thomas curling clubs, as well as Highland Country Club. With that type of support, and with London boasting a solid track record in hosting world-class curling, Inch said “the Brier, the Scotties, could come back here in a minute.”

Inch has also filled the roles of director of ceremonies at the 1994 Labatt Tankard Ontario Men’s Curling Championship; director of banquets, 1996 Ontario Farmers Curling Championship; director of ceremonies, 1997 Ontario Intermediate Curling Championship; and chair, 2002 Canadian Seniors Men’s and Ladies Curling Championship. But his love affair with the sport began at Thompson Recreation and Athletic Centre at Western University in 1981.

“Why am I here today? At the 1981 Silver Broom, as I sat in the stands, I said, I’m not good enough to play in this event, but maybe someday I could run one of these things. And here I am now, chair of Curling Canada. Who would have thought that? It all started with an event, and a dream,” Inch said.

“I expect to sell out (the Continental Cup),” Inch said without hesitation. “It will rank up there with the Scotties and the Brier.”

Without a doubt, Inch and the host committee will be on the right side of the inch come next January.

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About jeffreyreed

A leading Canadian communications professional. Corporate office http://www.JeffreyReedReporting.com established 1989. Publisher/Editor of this website and https://londonontariogolf.com.

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