By James Clarke – Parksville Qualicum Beach News

It has become one of, if not the best summer curling bonspiel on the rock, but it looks like the economy has effected even curling.

“We only had 26 teams this year — we had a whole bunch of teams that dropped out at the last minute,” Parksville Curling Club Mixed Summer Bonspiel co-chair Jim Hoffman said Monday morning, explaining the bonspiel, attracted 32 teams last year.

“But other than that everything else was great,” said Hoffman, who pulled the sixth annual together with his wife Margo. “The ice was good, the camaraderie was good, the food was good … we had lots of great prizes and everyone had a good time.”

The good times were evident on the ice when The News stopped by Sunday morning, as curlers of all stripes were in great spirits.

“We won, but not by that much … they were so much fun,” Connie Henderson chuckled when asked her take on their quarterfinal game, which pitted veterans against rookies.

“Probably longer than you’ve been alive,” Henderson shot back when asked how long she’s been involved in the sport.

“I’ve been curling 49 years.”

Connie, who, along with husband Mel who was skipping their team, are two of PCC’s founding members and hosted the old hockey rink’s first-ever bonspiel.

The rookies — three in all — were on PCC assistant ice-tech Cody Hall’s team, and all three turned in a spirited effort in this, their first bonspiel.

“Amazing,” Rebecca Stubbings, 24, surmised through a smile when asked her take on her first ‘spiel. “It’s so much fun.”

Also on hand shaking off the summer rust was Parksville’s Darah Provencal who got the call this summer to play with Kelly Law. Stay tuned for more on her journey.

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