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ALEXIA.JOHNSTON

@alliedpress.co.nz

Ida Burn’s annual Macrae tournament is back, giving curlers a chance to showcase their talents.

The tournament, which started last week, features 23 teams from the Ida Burn area and further afield, including Arrowtown and Gore.

Teams compete each Monday and Wednesday throughout June, depending on the weather.

The tournament is named after Lochie Macrae, who was a member of the Alexandra Curling Club. The competition started in 1993, the year the IceInLine complex opened at Molyneux Park.

Ida Burn council member Barrie Wills, who plays for Manorburn, said finals were pencilled in for June 19, but postponement dates were also in place in case weather conditions stopped play at any time.

He said conditions on the ice had been pleasing.

“The new plant up there has been brilliant. It’s holding very well.”

He said one day last week the air temperature was 20degC, which caused “a bit of melt”.

“The guys had trouble getting their stones down the rink.”

To combat the problem, curlers swapped their stones over to the keen side, which meant games could continue.

Conditions were back to normal now and would, hopefully, only improve, Wills said.

“We haven’t had the progressive freezing conditions. It will be the end of the month [before] we get to that point.

“However, a new set of blades on the ice groomer had helped playing conditions.

“Between new blades and good ice, it’s holding very well. It’s all looking good at this stage.”