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B.C.-champion rink disbands after Brier appearance

The rink consisted of skip Jacques Gauthier, third Sterling Middleton, second Jason Ginter and lead Alex Horvath
Victoria Curling Club rink, from left, Alex Horvath, Jason Ginter, Sterling Middleton and skip Jacques Gauthier celebrate after winning the provincial title in Chilliwack on Sunday. AMANDA WONG, CURL BC

It was good while it lasted. But the Victoria Curling Club rink that won the B.C. championship this year, and represented the province in the 2023 Tim Hortons Brier national championship in London, Ont., has disbanded after one adventurous season.

“Although the team was only together for one season, we all accomplished something we have been dreaming of since we first fell in love with the game – competing at the Brier,” said the Team Gauthier VCC rink, in a statement.

“The memories made in London competing for the national men’s championship are invaluable and ones we will forever cherish. This team displayed grit and tenacity throughout the entirety of the season and we could not be more proud of our journey.”

The Victoria rink consisted of skip Jacques Gauthier, third Sterling Middleton, second Jason Ginter and lead Alex Horvath. The rink was coached by Bryan Miki and was an amalgam, which is common now in curling. Horvath is from Victoria, Gauthier is from Winnipeg, Middleton is from Fort St. John and now lives in New Westminster, and Ginter was raised in Dawson Creek and now resides in Edmonton. Old curling connections brought them together this year at the Victoria Curling Club.

The announcement went on to say skip Gauthier has taken on a “new role and new opportunity outside of British Columbia” and that “Sterling [Middleton], Jason [Ginter] and Alex [Horvath] will explore their opportunities for the upcoming season.”

Gauthier is a financial advisor in Manitoba.

“I loved everything about playing in B.C. It was truly an honour to represent such a beautiful province with such a deeply talented curling field at the national level alongside these other guys,” said Gauthier, in the release.

“Your teammates become like family.

The Gauthier foursome’s bid to become only the fifth Brier-winning rink from B.C. ended after going 3-5 in the round robin and failing to play the playoff rounds.

Gauthier’s was the first Victoria Curling Club rink to play in the Brier since Dean Joanisse was backed by Mike Wood, Dave Nantes and Chris Atchison in 2007 and the fifth from the club on Quadra Street following also Tony Gutoski in 1958, Tim Horrigan in 1980 and Joanisse in 2001, the latter backed by Jay Tuson, Glen Jackson and Randy Tervo.

Gauthier became the seventh rink from the Island to play in the Brier, including Glen Harper of Duncan in 1960 and 1963. It was looking to become the first rink from B.C. to win the Brier since Greg McAulay of Royal City in 2000 and the fifth Brier-winning rink from B.C. including Rick Folk’s of Kelowna in 1994, Lyall Dagg’s of Vancouver in 1964 and Frenchy D’Amour’s of Trail in 1948.

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