Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The 1980 Uniroyal

Bob Cowan writes:

The young team on the cover of the April 1980 issue of the Scottish Curler magazine is the focus of this post. Dick Adams, Hugh Aitken, Norman Brown and Andrew McQuistin (skip) won the Uniroyal World Junior Curling Championship in March 1980 at Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. The Scots beat Canada's Mert Thompsett and his team of Lyle Derry, Joel Gagne and Mike Friesen in the final. It was a significant victory, the first gold medal performance of a Scottish team at the World Juniors.

The other teams in the competition, and all the results (well, not quite all, see below), can be found on the World Curling Federation's website here.

The Scots lost their opener against the Canadians, then won eight in a row to qualify for the semifinals. Their third round robin game was against Switzerland, skipped by Rico Simen. McQuistin won the toss and blanked nine ends, scoring a single in the tenth for a 1-0 victory. The Scottish Curler editor, Robin Welsh, described this as 'the most remarkable result in the history of world curling'. It certainly had many traditionalists at the time shaking their heads!

Interestingly, this score is not recorded in the World Curling Federation's Historical Results, see here. Perhaps the person who compiled this database did not believe the score? However, other results from Round 3 are also missing.

Dick Adams, Hugh Aitken, Norman Brown and Andrew McQuistin on the podium. From the April 1980 Scottish Curler.

Perhaps you are too young to remember 1980. But some of the names may be familiar. You see, Hugh, Norman and Andrew are members of the David Hay team which won the Scottish Senior Championship recently and will represent Scotland at the World Seniors in Fredericton, New Brunswick, next month. How time flies!

Third player Norman Brown has been singled out for praise for one shot he played in the final game back in 1980 - a triple takeout which turned the end, and the game, on its head. Indeed, for many years, whenever Norman was mentioned in the pages of the Scottish Curler and elsewhere, there was always an accompanying reminder of his triple takeout!

More than thirty years later I wondered if any recording of the actual shot existed. To my knowledge, the promotional 16mm film of the event (I believe there is one) has not been digitised. I asked Norman about this, and he loaned me an old VHS tape which contains part of a recording of a 1980 episode of BBC's Sportscene. The TV programme contains footage of part of the ninth end and the whole of the tenth end of the Uniroyal final game, in a segment presented by a very young looking Dougie Donnelly! The televised footage had come from CBC's coverage of the game. The late Don Chevrier and Don Duguid were the commentators.

I have digitised the footage, and uploaded the last end of the game to YouTube, see here, or click on the screenshot below. Fifteen minutes of curling history! Norman's triple is six minutes in. The quality of the video is not very good, but hopefully the clip will take those interested in the development of curling back thirty-three years. And it is great to be able to listen to the two Dons again. Enjoy.

Many thanks to Norman Brown for supplying the original VHS tape.

Have a look at all the Stranraer 'Curling Connections' in this article by Louise Kerr.


gavner said...

I wish to play the Youtube video on our smart tv but when I type the title into the search engine, it cannot be found.
Is it s restricted video?

Bob Cowan said...

Hi gavner
Anyone can watch it. It is only restricted in that you have to know the link. The YouTube video is at this link:
which is what is given in the post above. You should always be able to get to the video by going through the History Blog post above.)

(I do know that certain smart TVs have had issues with playing YouTube videos, but the problem is with the TV's browser, NOT with the videos)

Hope this helps.