Curling centre offers state-of-the-art features

  • Jan. 9, 2013 4:19 p.m.

As you enter the new Red Deer Curling Centre it’s easy to see the improvements from the 12 sheets of ice to the expanded lounge area on the second floor but behind a door on the west side of the centre lies the heartbeat of the entire operation.

“I can control the ice plant computer from my home,” stated ice maker Wade Thurber. The plant looks to be something created by the folks at NASA and Thurber says there have been a few glitches in the early going but generally it’s running more efficiently than most plants.

“It’s doing its job and we’re just tweaking a few things.”

Both Thurber and the creator of the plant can go on line in order to check the history for each day since it was fired up back in October 2012 to create the best ice possible for the curlers.

While the ice plant is a major part of the operation, the rest of the building needs to be looked at as well in order for the centre to operate smoothly.

“Putting it all together like a recipe and making it work,” said Thurber. “It’s been nice because we have the ability to control our environment – we could never do that before.”

What was happening outside weather-wise was always a concern as he had to keep a close eye on temperature changes to make the needed adjustments indoors when it came to the ice conditions.

“There are certain air movements out here we’re still dealing with but generally I would say 10 of the 12 sheets are pretty much the same, and the outside one and 12 we’re working on a few issues there but we’ll get through them and hopefully have all 12 sheets running the same.”

Nineteen-year-old Brittany Tran, a member of last year’s Canadian Junior champs has called the centre home since she started the game 13 years ago and she likes what she sees with the multi-million dollar makeover.

“It’s definitely a change in the atmosphere here,” she said.

Tran added the ice conditions now allow the team to be able to practice basically all the shots needed at their level of competition whereas in the past some days the ice was too heavy so working on your draw wasn’t possible because you couldn’t get the rock to the other end, she said.

Thurber says he can change the ice conditions to suit the type of curlers using the centre by adjusting the temperature and how they pebble the ice.

“It’s been fun and we start keeping track and figuring it out and some of the things we did in the old building don’t work in this building and vice versa,” he said. “It’s trial and error, we see what works and what doesn’t work and go from there. We’re always trying to learn.”

sports@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Alberta male team takes silver in Winter Games relay speed skating

Alberta was close behind Quebec in the team relay speed skating finals

WATCH: Pet therapy brings calmness to Winter Games athletes

Canada Winter Games in Red Deer continue on until March 2nd

Jayda Monilaws is selling cupcakes again for Central Alberta Humane Society

The 10-year-old Red Deerian is selling cupcakes today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Alberta was crowned champions in Wheelchair Basketball at Canada Winter Games

Ontario won silver while Quebec took home the bronze medal

Pride Days are Feb. 21st and 28th during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Events will be held at the 52 North Music + Cultural Festival

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

Child advocacy centre raising funds through Dream Home Lottery

The child advocacy centre in Red Deer uses its resources to help kids all over Central Alberta

Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice

Mueller report looming, new attorney general in hot seat

Robert Mueller is required to produce a confidential report to pursue or decline prosecutions

B.C. woman shares story of abuse with church officials ahead of Vatican summit

Leona Huggins was the only Canadian in the gathering ahead of a historic summit at the Vatican

Sylvan Lake’s Megan Cressey misses Freestyle Skiing Big Air podium

Alberta’s Jake Sandstorm captured silver in the men Freestyle Skiing Big Air contest

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

Most Read