From 1968 to 1985, the World Men's Curling Championship was sponsored by Air Canada. Ten countries competed each year for the Air Canada Silver Broom.
I saw a little of 1969, but I consider the 1975 event in Perth as the first that I really appreciated, although I was just a spectator. In the days before digital cameras, I took a few shots as 35mm colour slides, and I managed to keep hold of these through the intervening years. I got these digitised recently, and I would like to share them here. They provide a glimpse of what international curling was like thirty-three years ago!
Canada, USA and Sweden finished the round robin with identical 7-2 records. Switzerland was on 6-3. Scotland (skipped by Alex F Torrance with Alex Torrance, Tom McGregor and Willie Kerr) had a record of 5-4, France and Germany and Norway went 4-5, Denmark 1-8, and Italy 0-9.
Bill Tetley's Canada were tied against Switzerland in the last end of the semifinal with two stones to come. With three Canadian shots lying against him, Swiss skip Otto Danieli played an angled-raise with his last stone to take out the Canadian stone at the front of the four foot. With the Swiss shot hidden, Tetley had to play a draw to win, but slipped through.
Many will remember the Swiss shot in the semi, but how many recall that the Swiss had beaten Canada when the two countries met in the round robin.
USA (Ed Risling, Chuck Lundgren, Gary Schnee, Dave Tellvik) beat Sweden (Ragnar Kamp, Björn Rudström, Christer Mårtensson, with Axel Kamp skipping and leading) in the other semifinal. Danieli, with Roland Schneider, Rolf Gautschi and Ueli Mulli, were always in control in the final against the Risling team. The US skip missed twice in the ninth to give the Swiss a 7-3 lead. Switzerland had won the Silver Broom.
Lots of stats about world events can be found on the World Curling Federation site here. The problem is that the information about the 1975 Broom (here) appears to be wrong! Some scores must be incorrect. Canada lost only one game in the round robin according to the WCF, and that was to France. And France did not finish the round robin with five wins as the WCF records say. Neither did Norway finish with just three wins. It goes to show that you cannot always believe what you read on the Web! I wonder if the information I've posted above is the accurate version!
Please comment if you know what is correct.
The Earl of Elgin set off his cannon to get the event under way!
The traditional ceremonies.
Bill Tetley, Rick Lang, Bill Hodgson and Peter Hnatiw of Canada at the opening ceremony.
In the days before the internet, Doug Maxwell, the Executive Director, always made sure the media were looked after, and the stories from the world championships went around the world!
I wonder if the BBC has anything in their archives?
That's Scotland's Willie Kerr in the centre of the photo.
Round robin action.
USA skip Ed Risling in the final.
Otto Danieli of Switzerland delivers in the final. Did you notice that this transparency has been scanned from the wrong side!
All photos copyright Bob Cowan.