Team Dunstone’s remodelled vehicle, with new part Kirk Muyres at second, has been sitting in park, with all curling roads blockaded by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sick of waiting for the test drive, Team Dunstone built its own turnpike — the Vaderstad Saskatchewan Men’s Super Series presented by Calidon Leasing.
“We were ready to start curling, so we took matters into our own hands,” skip Matt Dunstone, a Kamloops resident, told KTW.
Five Saskatchewan teams — skipped by Dunstone, Colton Flasch, Kody Hartung, Rylan Kleiter and Shawn Meachem — will compete at the event, which will run from Oct. 16 to Oct. 18 in Regina at Highland Curling Club, Team Dunstone’s home rink.
Three teams will qualify for the playoffs, with the top round-robin seed advancing directly to the final. The prize purse is $5,000 and teams will abide by CurlSask’s return to curling guidelines, which were published on Aug. 27.
Lead Dustin Kidby and third Braeden Moskowy round out the Dunstone rink, which won bronze at the Tim Hortons Brier in March in Kingston.
“It’s nice to finally have a season in our sights,” Dunstone said, noting his team will play in another event at Highland Curling Club the weekend after the Super Series. “It’s been seven months since we touched the ice last, so we’re pretty eager to get going.”
Dunstone, who lives with girlfriend and B.C. champion curler Erin Pincott in the Tournament Capital, is the only member of his team who does not reside in the Regina area.
Travelling back and forth this season, with Team Dunstone expected to curl mostly in Saskatchewan, will require the skip to undergo regular testing for the novel coronavirus.
“That’s a whole other story, but we’ve gone into all the safety precautions for me to go back and forth,” Dunstone said, noting team sponsors will help out with transportation costs.
“It’s put a big twist onto things, but in a roundabout way, it’s kind of fun to adapt to something new.”