On­tario beats P.E.I., moves into top spot at Scot­ties Tour­na­ment of Hearts

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS -

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. (CP) — On­tario’s Krista McCarville im­proved to 6-1 and took sole pos­ses­sion of first place af­ter Draw 11 at the Scot­ties Tour­na­ment of Hearts with a 9-3 victory over P.E.I.’s Kathy O’Rourke on Tues­day night.

O’Rourke sits in a sec­ond-place tie with Canada’s Jen­nifer Jones at 5-2.

Ear­lier, Jones re­bounded from a tough Mon­day to post back-to­back vic­to­ries.

Jones beat Al­berta’s Va­lerie Sweet­ing 9-7 be­fore up­end­ing B.C.’s Kelly Scott 10-7.

Jones, the de­fend­ing cham­pion, lost twice Mon­day af­ter start­ing the tour­na­ment with a 3-0 record.

In other late action, Que­bec de­feated North­west Ter­ri­to­ries/Yukon 6-5, New Brunswick topped Saskatchewan 8-7 and Nova Sco­tia out­lasted New­found­land 7-6.

B.C., Que­bec and Man­i­toba sit at 4-3 af­ter Draw 11, fol­lowed by New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Al­bert, which all stand at 3-4.

New­found­land and North­west Ter­ri­to­ries/Yukon are 2-5, with Nova Sco­tia at 1-6. VAN­COU­VER — If warm tem­per­a­tures and lack of snow weren’t caus­ing enough headaches for 2010 Games or­ga­niz­ers at out­door Olympic venues, Van­cou­ver’s wily weather can also wreak havoc in­doors.

Or­ga­niz­ers are work­ing around the clock to ready the freestyle ski­ing and snow­board­ing cour­ses in the spring-like con­di­tions at Cy­press Moun­tain, on Van­cou­ver’s North Shore, but venue op­er­a­tors in the city have their own bat­tles to wage.

Both the curl­ing cen­tre and the Olympic speed­skat­ing oval have built-in mea­sures to com­bat the re­gion’s high level of hu­mid­ity.

“ When spec­ta­tors come in or any­body comes in and it’s been rain­ing out­side, your jacket dries off,” Neil Hous­ton, sport man­ager for curl­ing at the Van­cou­ver Olympic and Par­a­lympic Cen­tre, said in a re­cent in­ter­view.

“It’s just like the en­vi­ron­ment. It evap­o­rates up into the air and it’s go­ing to cir­cu­late and we work re­ally hard to make sure that as it cir­cu­lates, it does not come down on top of the ice sur­face.”

Hous­ton, a for­mer world ju­nior curl­ing cham­pion, said air han­dler units have been fixed to the ceil­ing to suck any ex­cess mois­ture away from the field of play.

“One thing that peo­ple don’t know be­cause we are an in­door venue is that the out­side en­vi­ron­ment can have a very pos­i­tive or neg­a­tive im­pact on the field of play,” he said.

“ This venue has very ex­ten­sive heat­ing, ven­ti­la­tion and air con­di­tion­ing sys­tems which al­lows us to con­trol the hu­mid­ity and the tem­per­a­ture, which ul­ti­mately leads down to the play­ing con­di­tions.”

Brian Ea­ton, the venue’s gen­eral man­ager, said plan­ners got a good feel for what they’re up against last Fe­bru­ary and March when the fa­cil­ity hosted the world wheel­chair curl­ing cham­pi­onship and the world ju­nior curl­ing cham­pi­onship.

But that au­di­ence was only one-third of what it will be dur­ing the Win­ter Games.

“On our best days, we had 2,000 (spec­ta­tors) or so,” he said. “So when you add an­other 4,000 in, plus the hu­mid­ity and ev­ery­thing else, it’s def­i­nitely go­ing to change the dy­nam­ics to the build­ing. That’s why we’ve done things like, we’ve added ex­tra air han­dlers, we’ve added ex­tra de­hu­mid­i­fiers, just so we can pump out all that hu­mid­ity.”

In a memo on Olympic ice­mak­ing, Games or­ga­niz­ers say it’s their pri­or­ity to keep hu­mid­ity at in­door venues at about 45 per cent. Any­thing more could cause frost, which could in turn af­fect speed.

Dave Cobb, ex­ec­u­tive vi­cepres­i­dent and deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer for the Van­cou­ver Olympic or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee, or VANOC, says he had many brushes with hu­mid­ity dur­ing his ten­ure as an em­ployee of the Na­tional Hockey League’s Van­cou­ver Canucks.

“ We would al­ways get a lit­tle bit wor­ried about the hu­mid­ity and the qual­ity of the air as the team made it fur­ther into the play­offs and we got into warmer weather,” he said Tues­day.

“ Th­ese venues have been fit out to deal far bet­ter than I’ve ever ex­pe­ri­enced be­fore with hu­mid­ity.”

Matt MacDon­ald, a me­te­o­rol­o­gist at En­vi­ron­ment Canada, said the amount of wa­ter vapour in the Van­cou­ver air is no sur­prise.

The av­er­age rel­a­tive hu­mid­ity for the month of Jan­uary was 87 per cent in the city; it was 66 per cent in Cal­gary, which hosted the Win­ter Games in 1988.

MacDon­ald said he un­der­stands why 2010 venue op­er­a­tors worked so hard to try and com­bat hu­mid­ity.

“I could see how it’s an avid fac­tor to con­sider,” he said. “But I don’t think it’s a sur­prise. We’re right on the side of the Pa­cific Ocean so it’s def­i­nitely a hu­mid place. It’s a rain­for­est, af­ter all.”

When asked what sort of weather Van­cou­ver res­i­dents and vis­i­tors can ex­pect lead­ing up to the Games, MacDon­ald said the above av­er­age tem­per­a­tures should con­tinue, but the news isn’t all bad.

“ The fore­cast, at least over the next week, looks wet but not huge amounts of rain,” he said, adding that snow-starved Cy­press Moun­tain might well get some more fresh pow­der.

Cobb said the Rich­mond speed­skat­ing oval has taken some unique steps to con­trol the hu­mid­ity level.

“ When spec­ta­tors walk through, there’s, in ef­fect, a dou­ble-door­ing sys­tem,” he said. “ You walk into tents first and then you go through an­other door to get into the oval and that’s de­signed in part to keep hu­mid­ity out.

“Even if peo­ple are walk­ing in and they are damp, it’s rain­ing, you walk into that first level and you’re in there for at least a few min­utes as you go through, so the heat will be higher in there.”

Oval gen­eral man­ager Mag­nus En­feldt said, like at the curl­ing venue, plan­ners have in­cluded an in­tri­cate de­hu­mid­i­fier sys­tem.

“ When this build­ing was de­signed, we were aware of the fact that we’re at sea level and we spent a lot of time and ef­fort looking into the de­hu­mid­i­fi­ca­tion sys­tem,” he said in a re­cent in­ter­view.

“ The main thing for us is to make sure we get the cool­ing from be­low and make sure the hu­mid­ity lev­els stay low and we’ve done ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble for that. Now we’ll leave it up to the ath­letes to show us who is the best on the day.”

En­feldt said the feed­back he’s re­ceived from ath­letes on the ice qual­ity has been ex­cel­lent.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.