Date: August 11, 2010
Wind Speed: 5 knots
Temp with wind chill: -30°C
At nearby McMurdo Station, the American Antarctic base, an industrious group of individuals fancied trying their hand at curling this winter. After doing their homework they set about manufacturing curling stones from metal, concrete and plastic buckets. They flooded a small section of ground, complete with the bulls-eyes (“house”) at each end of the curling sheet, and scavenged around for brooms. The result – a pretty funky little curling set-up.
| First practice session at McMurdo Station © A. Batdorff /United States Antarctic Program|
Being Canadian, I’ve definitely watched my fair share of curling matches. I’ve even played a handful of times. Apparently this qualified me as the most experienced curler on Ross Island, so I was recruited to coach a few practice ends for players to pick up the basics of the game. In the dark and cold we curled and swept our little hearts out. Experts on television make it look easy, but it’s just as tough as I remember!
Ben, from the McMurdo team, throws a curling rock in our inter-base match
© S. Sun/Antarctica New Zealand
With a little playing experience under their belts, the American squad of curlers held a mini-playoff. The winner of that match faced off against our Scott Base (New Zealand’s Antarctic research station) four-some this past weekend. It was a hard fought match, and while we didn’t win we definitely had a great time. Huge kudos to the gang that made it all happen – no small achievement by any means. Curling enthusiasts around the world would be proud…
The Scott Base curling squad – Tom, Steven, Mindy and Bobbie
© S. McSweeney/Antarctic New Zealand