Fog puts curling plans at risk

Curlers in action at the  national bonspiel  in Naseby  yesterday. Photos by Peter McIntosh.
Curlers in action at the national bonspiel in Naseby in 2015. Photos by Peter McIntosh.
It is almost at the point where thoughts of a bonspiel in Maniototo this year will be put on ice.

Unless there is a dramatic change to colder temperatures in the next two or three weeks, there is unlikely to be sufficient natural ice to hold the traditional outdoor curling event on the dams at Oturehua or Naseby.

The last bonspiel at Oturehua was in the 1990s and at Naseby five years ago.

NZ Curling executive and Oturehua farmer Ken Gillespie said yesterday Oturehua had "brilliant" sunshine but fog was preventing a hard frost.

Mr Gillespie had just checked the Oturehua dam, which was iced over, but the 7mm-8mm was "not thick enough to get on"; about 10cm of ice was needed.

The weather was not consistently cold enough for the ice to build up.

"We need it to clear, but we don’t need the fog.

"You never get such hard frosts when you have that inversion layer of fog."

Asked if a bonspiel was on the cards, Mr Gillespie said: "I think we would be struggling."

Curlers had two artificial rinks and the next round of the McRae Trophy would be contested indoors at Naseby, on Tuesday and Wednesday nights next week.

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