The Daley Peters curling team will have the whole town of Gimli behind them this weekend.
The Gimli Curling Club is Peters' home club and it's the location of CurlManitoba's Safeway Men's Berth Bonspiel. The 25-team bonspiel begins Friday and will end Monday when two berths will be awarded for the 2013 Safeway Championship, the provincial men's curling championship, set for Feb. 6-10, 2013 at the Yellowhead Arena in Neepawa.
Peters and his team of Chris Galbraith, Kyle Einarson and Mike Neufeld will come in as the top seed.
"It's neat to be the home team in this kind of event," Peters said. "I've been playing for a long time and this is the first time for me for that sort of thing."
With two berths available, Peters said he's expecting a tough weekend.
"You have to play at your best in any event in Manitoba, there's so many good teams, but everyone here will be bringing their best games," Peters said. "It's still early in the season but we really hope we can wrap up one of these spots. It would give us chance to work out some things if we could get that looked after."
Sean Grassie from Deer Lodge is seeded second, Scott Ramsay from the Granite Curling Club is third, Bob Sigurdson's West Kildonan squad is fourth and the fifth seed is Jared Kolomaya of Stonewall.
"It's the first (berth) event this year and it attracts a great field having two berths available to win this early (in the curling season)," said Grassie, whose team includes Cory Chambers, Kody Janzen and Stu Shiells. "It'd be really nice to come out of this weekend with one of those berths so you can focus on other events and gear up for the championship."
Action begins today with eight qualifiers emerging. The quarter-finals will be played on Sunday at 7 p.m. The berths will be awarded to the winners of the two semifinal games on Monday at 10 a.m.
Three teams have already qualified for the 2013 Safeway Championship, including Jeff Stoughton of Charleswood team and Mike McEwen from Fort Rouge, who earned the berths based on their Canadian Team Ranking System points, and the defending champion Rob Fowler of Bandon.
At the men's World Curling Tour event at Brooks, Alta., the $70,000 Cactus Pheasant Classic, four Manitoba teams are competing, including defending champion McEwen, Stoughton, Fowler and William Lyburn. That 24-team, triple-knockout event began Thursday and will conclude Sunday.
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