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From Fairbanks with love: 77th Bonspiel starts today

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Posted: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 11:29 pm | Updated: 1:52 pm, Wed Jan 16, 2013.

FAIRBANKS—The Fairbanks Curling Club’s 77th International Bonspiel has a James Bond theme this week as a tribute to Roger Moore.

It’s not the actor Roger Moore, who, in seven films during the 1970’s and 1980’s, portrayed the fictional British super agent who was created by author Ian Fleming in 1953.

The tribute — which led to renaming the event International Bondspiel — is for Roger Moore, who died last year and was an ice maker at the curling club for more than 10 years.

Terra Bowen, the Bondspiel registration director, said some of Moore’s friends, who also are ice makers and curling club members, had given Moore the nickname of ‘OO7’, the code name for Bond in Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

The 28 men’s and 16 women’s rinks (teams) entered in the Bondspiel will see a permanent reminder of Moore during the four-day competition, which begins today at 6:15 p.m. with the opening ceremonies.

“When they started the ice in September, they put 007’s in the ice. They thought the bonspiel should have the Bond theme,” said Bowen, who is also the event’s decoration director and a curling club member.

Tables upstairs in the curling club are decorated with table cloths that feature casino elements, a reflection of “Casino Royale,” the first Bond novel written by Fleming.

The participants in the Bondspiel won’t be rolling dice but they’ll be throwing rocks to houses (target areas) on the ice.

About $4,000 worth of prizes will be awarded to the top 16 places among the men’s rinks and top 12 for the women’s rinks. Past prizes, according to Bowen, included bicycles, electronics, tools and jewelry.

There are four divisions — A, B, C and D.

The A bracket features intense competition and the participants in the B bracket are competitive but “not so super intense,” as Bowen said.

“The C and D brackets are where it’s kind of fun competitiveness,” said Bowen.

The defending champion Steven Birklid Rink of Fairbanks is among the men’s rinks entered.

Kaye Huffman was the skip of last year’s winning women’s rink, but Hufman is competing this year on the Lacy Simko-Birklid rink.

The event has consistently drawn out-of-town entries and the Bondspiel includes curlers from Anchorage; Barrow; Whitehorse, Yukon; Vancouver, British Columbia; and California.

“There are fairly committed and loyal each year to keep coming,” Bowen said.

Draws (games) go all day during the Bondspiel and the finals are scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday.

There also is entertainment slated each night, starting tonight with DJ Ben Jammin.’ Sweating Honey, a local band, plays Friday night and another band, Arly Jylz, performs Saturday night.

The cover charge for Sweating Honey is $5 per person for the general public. Curlers entered in the Bondspiel and Fairbanks Curling Club members are admitted free.

There is no cover charge for DJ Ben Jammin’ or Arly Jylz.

Contact staff writer Danny Martin at *459-7586.

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