A runner-up finish at Japan’s Hokkaido Bank Curling Classic propelled Napanee’s Scott Chadwick and his Team McDonald teammates to the 13th ranked team in the world.
Not a bad way to start the curling season.
Chadwick, a 28-year-old Napanee District Curling Club alum, serves as lead for the Kingston-based McDonald rink.
Their appearance in Japan marked their first time on a curling sheet since mid-May as they look to follow up an extremely successful 2018-19 season that saw them capture the Ontario Tankard and take part in the 2019 Tim Horton’s Brier.
Despite the long layoff heading into their season opener earlier this month, the McDonald rink went 3-1 in pool play and advance through the quarter-finals and semifinals before falling to Japan’s Yuta Matsumura in the finals.
“The goal of every event is to win, but we went over there just hoping to get a good start to the season,” said Chadwick. “We beat every Canadian team that was there and we just came up against a Japanese team that is government funded, so they’re all full-time curlers. They’ve had access to ice all summer and were in midseason form and we’re not quite there. Unfortunately they outplayed us in the final, but I like our chances the next time we get them this year.”
The Sapporo, Japan event marked the start of a busy season for Chadwick, who will be playing major events pretty well every weekend starting in September through April.
“We’re chasing that spot in the 2020 Brier in Kingston,” said Chadwick. “If we’re able to qualify in the hometown Brier, that will be a storybook ending. We’re playing everything to make sure we have a good chance to defend our Ontario championship. If we’re unable to do that, we’ll put ourselves in the conversation to win a wildcard spot to be in the Brier.”
Now 13th in the world, Chadwick says they’re looking to at least make the top 10 by the end of the season.
“We’re just looking to build on that and keep moving up the world ranking,” Chadwick said of their strong start in their premier event of the season. “We’re looking to solidify ourselves as a top 10 in the world and defend that Canadian championship and get to throw rocks next March at the Leon’s Centre in front of a sold out house.”
The Brier is scheduled to run Feb. 29-March 8. Prior to that, the provincials will be held Jan. 28-Feb. 2 in Cornwall.
In the meantime however, Chadwick’s main focus in the Oakville Fall Classic, which runs Aug. 30-Sept. 1.
The team is sponsored locally by L&A Mutual and Chadwick Farms.