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The Fairbanks curling season ends with renewed International Bonspiel

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Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 7:27 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Fairbanks Curling Club has finally brought back the Mad about Plaid International Bonspiel for the first time in 2 years.

Facing cancellations caused by Covid-19, “The International” as some in the region call it has been absent for two years leaving not one but three clubs saddened and further separated as the pandemic has trudged on. Now in 2022, The International Bonspiel has returned for an 85th time. With it’s return, many curlers from nearby clubs to come compete in the four day spiel.

Starting on Thursday the 31st, the spiel saw over 30 teams compete from both Fairbanks and Anchorage and as the event organizer Jon Johnson put it, “The family is here for the first time in two years.” And of course Sunday saw the conclusion to the spiel in which team Persinger won the event after a very long day ending at 8:30 p.m. with an awards ceremony.

Among the competition and festivities however, the was a sense of sorrow as the bonspiel marked a bitter-sweet moment for the club. While the return of the spiel meant reconnection, the conclusion of the spiel also meant the conclusion of the curling season in Fairbanks. As the games went on and the possible victor’s narrowed, stones came off the ice and eventually the cooling unit was shut down.

As the spring thaw starts, the ice will break up both indoors and outdoors. The ice sheets are set for clearing and eventually the sheets will be without light as the Fairbanks Curling Club waits for the next season to begin after the summer.

However, the season as a whole is far from finished, as the most competitive curlers head down to Anchorage for the Spring Spiel, starting April 7, and ending April 10. The Anchorage Curling Club will close out it’s season next week.

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