Eight weeks later, nobody knows why the ice plant at the Corner Brook Curling Club is only operating at 50 per cent of its capacity.
Ice has been put down at the curling rink and volunteers have begun painting the ice and putting down the circles, but curling club volunteers and city engineering staff haven’t been able to solve the problem just yet.
“It’s been a very frustrating ordeal, to say the least,” said curling club president Gary Oke Tuesday afternoon while volunteers carried out painting duties.
It normally takes two hours for the water to freeze, said Oke, but it’s been taking 12 hours so it’s been a long process that has many folks scratching their head as to what can be done to fix the situation.
Curlers are waiting anxiously to get on the ice. The season has been delayed by two months and club officials have no idea when some meaningful league play will get underway.
Oke said it definitely won’t be until after the holidays so he knows this is causing some members to get frustrated because nobody can provide them with any answers right now.
“We’re still looking for answers,” he said.
Oke is worried about the financial impact the problem will have on the club. He said the light bill isn’t going to change because there is no ice and the rent must be paid to the city so he wonders what the future holds for the sport.
“We have a few dollars in the bank as resources but that’s not going to last long,” he said. “What it’s going to mean to the future of curling in Corner Brook I’m not sure.”
Moving ahead with painting of the ice is the club’s optimistic approach to the problem. Once they stop flooding the ice at 50 per cent capacity club officials hope they will be able to maintain the temperatures to allow curlers to get back throwing rocks.
“We’re just taking a chance that everything is going to work out. Is it going to work out? I don’t know,” he said.
Oke said the club will be holding a meeting for members on Monday to give them an update on the situation and he hopes curlers will be on the ice next week getting some practice with hopes of having league play back on the go early in the New Year.