The Yara Farmers Curling Championship, now in its 33rd year, is taking place again from Monday 25th to Friday 29th January 2016 at the Dewars Centre in Perth.
The largest event of its kind in Europe, with 76 teams competing over the five days, the championship will see an entire industry take to the ice in a spirit of fierce, yet friendly, competition.
The highlight of the Scottish farming calendar
“It’s the highlight of the Scottish farming calendar,” says Alan (Woodie) Wood, Yara Area Manager and Championship Organiser, “and brings everyone together. We have teams of farmers, merchants and hauliers coming from all areas of Scotland.”
Local teams, including Rob Niven and Graham Shaw from Perth will pit their skills against those from Dumfriesshire and six ladies teams will compete this year including one skipped by Brenda Macintyre from the Black Isle and one from North Berwick led by Gwen Prentice.
The competition is expected to be intense. 2015’s champions, skipped by Alan Marshall will be defending their title against runners-up James Stark, Alastair Hodge, Any Reed and John Cannon from Duns who, last year, were denied a keenly anticipated ‘3 in a row’.
Mr Wood, due to retire last July, has confirmed that 2016 will indeed be his final year. Having organised the event for all of its 33 years he has been a major force in its development from a simple knockout competition to its current status as the largest event of its kind in Europe.
Exciting right down to the last stone
“We started with 64 teams as a knock out event and then introduced the high road and low road format to keep the excitement and camaraderie going,” said Mr Woods. ”We now attract many of Europe’s top curlers to an event that lasts five days and keeps its excitement right down to the very last stone.”
Even after 33 years of organising the event, Mr Woods is not keen to predict the winner. “That’s the beauty of it, you can never predict. Like any sport it is so precise, so easy to make a mistake, the end result will be right down to the wire.”
Yara’s Scottish support team, including Alan Wood, Peter Smith, Elaine Nicol, Greg Dall and Gareth Flockhart are looking forward to meeting both contestants and supporters at the championships.
More information from Yara can be found here
YARA 2015 winners
Skip Allan Marshall receives the silver salver from Yara's Marketing Manager Rosie Carne with team members (front) Kyle Smith, Colin Reid and Colin Howden; and (back) Yara’s MD Benoit Lamaison and Area Mgr Alan Wood.