NATIONAL CHAMPS TEAM JACKSON LINE UP FOR KW FALL CLASSIC
Scottish champions Team Jackson will conclude their first transatlantic trip of the season at the KW Falls Classic, which gets underway in Ontario today (19-22 September).
Skip Sophie Jackson is hopeful they can emulate the form that took them to the play-off stages when they made their season debut at the Stu Sells, which was followed by a tough draw at the Shorty Jenkins, however she feels that her rink have learned from both competitive experiences and is keen to put that to good use this weekend.
“The Stu Sells at Oakville was a big event with 36 teams, with eight out of the top 16 world ranked teams playing. We played a solid set of qualifying games finishing with three wins and one loss. In the first knockout game we were drawn against Olympic Champion Anna Hasselborg. We lost a close game and she went onto to win the event,” Jackson said.
“We moved onto the Shorty Jenkins at Cornwall. This had a really strong field with five out of the top eight world ranked teams playing. We played Hasselborg again and this time beat them. We were disappointed to end that event with a one win and three loss record, but learned a lot and we’re a stronger team for the experience.
“We’ve arrived at Kitchener-Waterloo for our final event of this trip, the KW Fall Classic. We’ve had a couple of training sessions so far at the rink. The ice conditions look quite different from the other events, but we’ll adapt and we’re determined to finish with some strong performances.”
They are accompanied by their new team coach David Aitken, who joined the British Curling programme this summer and he believes that the tough Canadian fields have provided them with the ideal test.
“In July and August, the team trained hard at the National Curling Academy (NCA) focusing on a lot of technical aspects of the game, so it has been great to get a chance to put that into practice in the first events of the season, and there’s no better place to do it than in Canada against world class teams,” he said.
“This is my first season coaching Team Jackson and while I’ve got to know the team well over the months of pre-season work, I’m really looking forward to working with them throughout their competitive events.
“One of our goals this season is to climb the world rankings and these three events in Canada have provided us with a great first chance to earn some points. They’ll also give us a lot of experience and things to work on when we get back,” he added.
Team Jackson face Japan’s Team Sayaka Yoshimura in their first game.
Images: Perthshire Picture Agency - Graeme Hart.