40 teams, 160 curlers and four solid days of bonspieling.

For the first time ever, Cochrane hosted the 55+ Sports Provincial Curling Championship to rave reviews.

Curlers from all eight Alberta zones enjoyed the lighter side of bonspieling, coupled with some fine performances on the ice.

"We had good camaraderie, lots of compliments over the food, entertainment and the social aspect," says drawmaster Doug Campbell, a director of the Zone 2 Big Country Senior Sports Society. "All of the curlers raved about the high quality of the ice here."

Dale Enzenauer was skip of a Peace River team competing in the 55+ men's division that travelled the furthest to attend.

"The ice was great, the hospitality was fantastic, and I think it was pretty well organized."

Piper Don Hepburn led the curlers, some of them in costumes, around the parameter of the six sheets as part of the celebration. Saturday, fun events were held to coincide with the nationwide Curling Day in Canada celebrations.

Gary Hawkes 65+ men's rink successfully defended their provincial championship and have qualified for the nationals in Quebec City in late August.

Other Cochrane area teams were among the medalists.

The Buxton rink won silver in 55+ men's: skip Mike Buxton, third Ken Weisner, second Herb Smith, lead Rod Rutherford.

The Campbell rink won silver in 70+ men's: skip Doug Campbell, third Bob Bleaney, second Colin Gilbert, lead Doug Sherriffs.

The Buckley rink of Springbank won bronze in 55+ women's; skip Bev Buckley, third Janet Biagioni, second Laurie Coopersmith, lead Cheryl Fricker.

The Ferguson rink won bronze in 55+ mixed: skip Dan Ferguson, third, Cheryl Whittal, second Bill Brock, lead Jean Prince.

The McGrath rink won bronze in 65+ mixed: skip Shaun McGrath, third Peggy Schlosser, second Barry Nameth. lead Linda Bint.

Winners in seven of the nine categories at provincials have the opportunity to advance to the 55+ Sports national games in Quebec City, Aug. 27 to 20. The 70+ men's and women's categories do not exist at the national level.

The door is left open for the second place to advance should the gold medalists decline.