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Mixed curling rink thrilled to be part of very rare ‘eight-ender’ at local club
When Jerry Chamberlain lined up to shoot his final stone in a recent afternoon mixed league game at the Osoyoos International Curling Club, he knew it wasn’t just another shot.
“I knew there was a thin double there and that if I hit it just right and kept my shooter around that we would score eight,” said Chamberlain, who has been a competitive curler since moving to Osoyoos 20 years ago. “I made the perfect shot as the sweepers didn’t touch it.
“I made the shot and we had our eight-ender.”
That might not sound like much to non-curlers, but for those who love the popular game, an eight-ender is exceptionally rare – it happens far less for curlers than a hole-in-one happens for golfers.
The vast majority of curlers can play the game for 30 or 40 years and never see or be part of an eight-ender. That’s how rarely it happens, said Chamberlain.
For the uninitiated, an eight-ender only takes place when every curling rock from one team stays in the rings or scoring zone, while every one of the eight rocks from the opposing team is further away from the button than the furthest stone of the scoring team.
Considering the relatively small scoring area on a large sheet of ice and the fact there are 16 stones in play during each end, it’s exceptionally rare for an eight-ender to happen at any level of play.
That’s why it is so thrilling to be a part of, said Chamberlain.
Chamberlain’s teammates during the historic achievement included lead Helen Bromley, second Rick Neumann and third Dawn Lemke.
Ironically, Bromley was part of a team 45 years ago that was on the other end of an eight-ender when she was a junior curler in Esquimalt, B.C.
“I was on the wrong end of an eight-ender when I first started curling as a youngster and I can tell you it’s a lot more fun being on the good end,” she said laughing.
What makes this story even more interesting is the fact that Neumann’s wife was on the other team when the eight-ender took place.
“I was really happy … she wasn’t,” he said.
During their many years of curling in Osoyoos, none of the members of Chamberlain’s team can recall any other team scoring eight points in one end at any level of competition.
“When there’s an eight-ender, everyone at the club knows about it and I can’t remember another one in my 20 years at this club,” said Chamberlain.
Chamberlain’s team was actually trailing 5-1 in the match at the time.
“We scored eight and that put us well in front, but we had to hang on because they scored a couple the next end, but we did end up winning the match,” he said.
For their rare achievement, all four team members have received congratulatory pins from the B.C. Curling Association and will soon be receiving pins from the Canadian Curling Association.
Numerous members from the club have also come up to them and congratulated them on being part of local curling history, said Bromley.
“The mixed league is very friendly and a lot of fun and we received a lot of recognition for scoring the eight-ender,” she said. “It happens very rarely in curling, so it’s kind of a big deal.”
Chamberlain admits he was very pleased to have made a good shot to score eight points.
“It sent a nice rush of adrenaline through the system for sure,” he said. “Other players on the other teams were coming over to see all eight rocks in the rings just to confirm what we had just done.
“It was similar to getting my first hole-in-one in golf because it really is exciting.”
This was even more exciting that getting a hole-in-one because it was accomplished as part of a team and he got to share the experience with his teammates, said Chamberlain.