Windy City Open - Chicago Curling Club
Team Clingan, minus Aaron plus Pat Connolly, made the trek to Chicago Curling Club on the North side of Chicago to participate in the Windy City Open. While we had a good run the results didn't show in the end finishing 1-3. Some things that we found the most challenging was adapting to ice conditions at two different locations. This speil occurs both at Chicago Curling Club and at Exmoor Country Club, both beautiful facilities but with incredibly different ice surfaces. Chicago curling club has a more traditional club curling ice feel and is well maintained and very consistent, Exmoor has a good ice surface as well but tended to lose pebble and play a little more inconsistent throughout the weekend. Switching between two different style ice surfaces like that was a challenge and something that took extra thought as a skip. The competition was pretty good, and being a 4 game guarantee really did a good job of separating the events up where each team played competitive games. I only noticed a handful of lopsided play where one team just completely outmatched the other. Lots of Canadian teams and teams from areas we don't typically play within GLCA.
What set this spiel apart was their atmosphere and off ice time. Chicago Curling Club has a spacious warm room area with a lot of activities that are both unique and unique to curling. The traditional board games, and table curling were available as well as a game I hadn't seen before called Hammershlagen. It is an interesting game involving beer, a hammer, a nail, and a tree stump. All three meals were provided on Friday and Saturday, and on Thursday dinner was available while on Sunday breakfast and lunch were available. The food was great and plentiful. You won't go hungry at this spiel, and you won't get bored either.
All things said this is one of the best spiels I've been to. They want to do an expansion next year for their 10th anniversary so I would highly recommend you put this event on your calendar next year.