by Bob Eley beley@newsminer.com

FAIRBANKS—Most of the top curlers in Alaska will converge on the Fairbanks Curling Club this weekend to compete in one of the richest cash bonspiels in the United States this season.

Twelve rinks, including two from Anchorage, are competing for $12,500 in prize money during the four-day curling extravaganza, starting Thursday and running through Sunday evening.

The field is split into two six-team divisions for round-robin play. The top three teams in each division advance to the qualifiers or championship event, while the remaining six teams drop into the consolation event.

The round-robin portion of the bonspiel starts at 7 p.m. Thursday, with subsequent rounds starting at 2 and 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Quarterfinal matches are at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, followed by semifinals at 2 p.m. and the finals at 5 p.m.

The championship team earns $3,600 in prize money, while second place picks up $1,600. Third- and fourth-place finishers grab $800 apiece and fifth- and sixth-place take home $600 apiece.

The consolation bracket winner takes home $800 and the runner-up earns $500. Paychecks of $250 apiece go to the third- and fourth-place teams, while the fifth- and sixth-place finishers pick up $100 apiece.

New champions will be crowned this year as neither the Pat Paslawski rink (champion) from Whitehorse, Yukon not the Charlotte West (consolation champion) rink of British Columbia are returning to defend their titles.

The event is open to the public and there is a heated spectator gallery overlooking all six sheets of ice.

Read more: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner – Fairbanks curling club hosts cash rich bonspiel

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