Curling comes to Zermatt

9th January 2012, by Chris Gill

Curling Zermatt 2011  [(C) CC Zermatt]

Curling Zermatt 2011 [(C) CC Zermatt]

Zermatt, Switzerland, will be hoping the recent snow storms do not deter 70+ international teams on their way to the resort for a special event in its calendar: the Horu Trophy Curling Championships.

The 21st Horu Trophy is an open-air curling competition, due to take place under the watchful eye of the Matterhorn from 15 to 22 January 2012. It is one of the largest curling events in Europe and is hosted by Zermatt’s local club – founded in 1933.

There will be not one but 19 prepared curling lanes in the village, and the emphasis is not just on competition but on friendship and fun. Each part will consist of five rounds of competition, where the teams will brush and throw to closest to the central marker stone and win the most points.

If you watched the British team win an Olympic medal in 2006, you’ll be aware that it can get quite animated and fiercely fought. And the sport has been growing in popularity since.

The final round for the winner’s trophy takes place on the Sunday afternoon, followed by a prize-giving in the town. In 2011 a specially carved ice sculpture was on display too, and there were Scottish-style pipers and other live entertainment to animate the crowds.

The Natureisbahn (ice rink) is right in the centre of Zermatt, and is likely to attract lots of spectators. Last week the resort was cut-off temporarily by the heavy snowfalls, but the forecast this week shows the weather settling down again – it looks to be a blue-sky day to start the new week.

2011 commemorative ice sculpture [(c) CC Zermatt]

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