St Albert, Alberta, Canada
January 16, 2011
Team North America sealed their win of the 2011 World Financial Group Continental Cup, presented by Monsanto, on Sunday by beating Team World in the final Skins rounds and setting a new Cup record score of 298-102 and picking up a $13,000 Cdn bonus.
The previous record of 290 was set in Medicine Hat in 2007 by North America.
Team North America actually won the 2011 title on Saturday when they secured 217 of the 400 points available.
On Sunday evening, in a repeat of the Olympic Winter Games men's Final, Gold Medallist Canada's Kevin Martin faced Norway's Thomas Ulsrud in a Skins game where 55 points were at stake and the bonus.
It was a tight game, where the points carried over until the seventh end when 35 were up for grabs. Thomas Ulsrud just missed a double take out to hand Kevin Martin's and Team North America the points.
"I was sure I had it," said Ulsrud afterwards. "I felt kind of stupid when I turned over to the World bench and called out "show me the money!" and...whoops it jammed!"
"It caps off the week for Team World" added Ulsrud as a conclusion to their performance at the event, "it was close but on the wrong side of an inch."
For Kevin Martin's team it was a lucky miss and they went on to win 39-16, "Thomas is a character, he would make that shot more than he misses it - so we were a little lucky."
Speaking about Team World at this event he said: "They didn't get the chemistry going or the atmosphere wasn't right for them for some reason unlike the last year when they made everything and they beat us up bad. I guess that's the way it goes sometimes."
The Sunday morning game between Canada's Cheryl Bernard and China's Bingyu Wang didn't hold much in the way of meaning.
The game started out favourably for Wang and her team. But in the seventh and eighth ends Bernard was able to steal 10 and 12 points to win the game 42-13.
"We tried to win some more points, to get the 55 . . . but the last four ends were not very good," said Wang. "I was always trying to find the right weight, and I could feel the ice changing. We made a lot of mistakes."
"I think we all really gelled together. The people who'd been (at a Continental Cup) before told those of us who hadn't what we had to do, the important things," said Bernard. "And the ice was . . . amazing, which was really great for us. We love this kind of ice.
The 2011 World Financial Group Continental Cup, presented by Monsanto, brought together twelve of the best curling Teams in the world (six representing Team World, six representing Team North America).
A total of 400 points was available from four types of curling competition - Team Games (72 points), Mixed Doubles (36 points), Singles (32 points) and Skins (260 points). Each segment awarded points for wins (or ties). The first side to reach 201 points was declared the winner.
This year, Team North America, the winning side, received $52,000 Cdn ($2,000 per member, including captain and coach) plus the $13,000 bonus, while the losing side - Team World - got $26,000 ($1,000 per member, including captain and coach.)
North America won the inaugural Continental Cup in 2002 (in Regina, Canada), in 2004 and 2007 (both in Medicine Hat, Canada). Team World (then known as Team Europe) won in 2003 (in Thunder Bay, Canada), 2006 (in Chilliwack, Canada) and 2008 (in Camrose, Canada).
The 2012 World Financial Group Continental Cup will be staged in Langley, British Columbia, Canada from 12-15 January.
The World Financial Group Continental Cup is a joint venture between the Canadian Curling Association, World Curling Federation and United States Curling Association.