FAIRBANKS—Ken Persinger didn’t get to finish last year’s Yukon Title Curling Classic, but he got to celebrate.
Persinger was the skip of the 2011 winning rink, which is back for this year’s tournament, which runs Thursday through Saturday at the Fairbanks Curling Club.
The Ken Persinger Rink, which includes third Denny Thies, second Larry Ehnert and lead Larry Crouder, is among 10 Fairbanks entries and 14 teams this week. There are two rinks each from Anchorage and from Whitehorse, Yukon.
Persinger pulled a muscle early into last year’s tournament, leaving the rink with three members to finish Yukon Title Classic.
Persinger became the group’s biggest fan, supporting them through the rest of the tournament, including an 8-1 win over the Dave Hill Rink for the title.
“I was watching them from behind the glass and I said, ‘Oh, my gosh! I’ve won,’” Persinger said during a telephone interview Tuesday.
“We’ve curled with just three before, but it’s nicer to have four for the sweeper power and everything else, of course,” Persinger said.
This year’s purse is $11,400 and the 12 teams who qualify for Sunday’s rounds will each earn money, with $3,600 going to the champion rink.
Six rinks qualify for the “A” event Sunday and six more qualify for the “B” event.
The tournament, played under U.S. Curling Association rules, begins at 7 p.m. Thursday. Sessions are scheduled Friday at *9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. The competition takes place Saturday at *8 a.m., 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Quarterfinals, semifinals and finals are scheduled for Sunday, with respective sessions at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
There are five Fairbanks entries each in pool A and pool B. The local entries in pool A are rinks guided by skips Ryan Flippo, Dave Hill, Leo Johnson, Greg Persinger and Leland Rich.
The Fairbanks teams in pool B are led by Ethan Birkholz, Kaitlin Fowler, Dave Hufman, Kaye Hufman and Ken Persinger.
The George Hildebrand Rink from Whitehorse is in pool A, which includes the Marty Schultz Rink of Anchorage.
The Phil Ambrose Rink of Anchorage and the Pat Paslawski Rink of Whitehorse are among the pool B participants.
Contact staff writer Danny Martin at 459-7586.