26 curling teams from throughout the South battled for the gold medal at the Masters Games in Dunedin. Traditional style curling known as ‘crampet’ was one of the more unusual competitions on offer during the huge multi-sport event. Veteran curlers competed on indoor ice rinks and enjoyed the warmth and comfort of a bar and facilities which are a far cry from the frozen lakes of Central Otago where curling competitions, or Bonspiels, are normally held.
Teams such as the Curling Stone Cops, Pink Hats, and Taeri Swede Munchers, wore silly hats, while the Tartan Tam O’Shanter’s laden with club badges were in deadly earnest.‘Tom’s Team’ from Balclutha chose their name to honour a long serving member who died on Christmas Eve.
The game is conducted with elegant restraint. Attendance at the bar combined with advancing years can make it difficult to stay upright on the treacherous ice as they throw the 20 kilo stone, or sweep ahead of it to ease its passage towards the jack. The stone is delivered with a sliding motion from a crampet (a metal plate placed upon the ice).