Homan, Koe headline 62-team field for GSOC Tour Challenge

Rachel Homan shoots a stone during the Tour Challenge Tier 1 women's final on Nov. 11, 2018, in Thunder Bay, Ont. (Anil Mungal)

The Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling announced Wednesday the field for the 2019 KIOTI Tractor Tour Challenge taking place Nov. 5-10 at the Pictou County Wellness Centre in Pictou County, N.S. Featuring 62 — that’s right, 62! — teams in action, the KIOTI Tractor Tour Challenge is the largest event in the series with two tiers and plenty of stakes on the line. The Tier 1 divisions, taking place in the Sobeys Arena, include the top 15 men’s and 15 women’s teams from around the world including No. 1 ranked Rachel Homan, whose Ottawa-based club is also the defending women’s champion. World No. 1 Kevin Koe and his Calgary club lead the way on the men’s side. Brad Jacobs’s crew from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., is the reigning men’s Tier 1 champion and also aims to repeat. Tier 1 winners clinch spots in the season-ending 2020 Humpty’s Champions Cup running April 29 to May 3 in Olds, Alta. The Tier 2 divisions, taking place in the adjacent Bell Aliant Arena, features 16 teams each including the next-ranked teams looking to rise up the charts plus a handful of local contenders such as reigning Nova Scotia provincial champions Team Stuart Thompson and Team Jill Brothers. Winners of the Tier 2 divisions receive promotions to compete among the top flight at the 2020 Meridian Canadian Open, Jan. 14-19 in Yorkton, Sask. All divisions will be split up into three pools of five teams for round-robin play with the top eight overall qualifying for the playoffs. A full draw schedule of matches will be released in the near future. Can’t make it to Pictou County, N.S.? Broadcast coverage begins Nov. 7 on Sportsnet with online streaming available via Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare (international).

Tier 1 men’s division

Team Brendan BottcherEdmonton, AB
Team Peter de CruzGeneva, SUI
Team Matt DunstoneRegina, SK
Team Niklas EdinKarlstad, SWE
Team John EppingToronto, ON
Team Jason GunnlaugsonWinnipeg, MB
Team Brad GushueSt. John’s, NL
Team Glenn HowardPenetanguishene, ON
Team Brad JacobsSault Ste. Marie, ON
Team Kevin KoeCalgary, AB
Team Scott McDonaldKingston, ON
Team Mike McEwenWinnipeg, MB
Team Bruce MouatEdinburgh, SCO
Team Yannick SchwallerBern, SUI
Team John ShusterDuluth, USA

Tier 1 women’s division

Team Chelsea CareyCalgary, AB
Team Kerri EinarsonGimli, MB
Team Tracy FleuryEast St. Paul, MB
Team Satsuki FujisawaKitami, JPN
Team Anna HasselborgSundbyberg, SWE
Team Rachel HomanOttawa, ON
Team Jennifer JonesWinnipeg, MB
Team Kelsey RocqueEdmonton, AB
Team Nina RothMcFarland, USA
Team Casey ScheideggerLethbridge, AB
Team Robyn SilvernagleNorth Battleford, SK
Team Elena SternOberwallis, SUI
Team Silvana TirinzoniAarau, SUI
Team Isabella WranaStockholm, SWE
Team Sayaka YoshimuraSapporo, JPN

Tier 2 men’s division

Team Cameron BryceStirling, SCO
Team Braden CalvertWinnipeg, MB
Team Korey DropkinChaska, USA
Team Michael FournierMontreal, QC
Team James GrattanOromocto, NB
Team Tanner HorganWinnipeg Beach, MB
Team Scott JonesMoncton, NB
Team James MurphyHalifax, NS
Team Kirk MuyresSaskatoon, SK
Team Rich RuohonenMinneapolis, USA
Team Greg SmithSt. John’s, NL
Team Karsten SturmayEdmonton, AB
Team Kendal ThompsonHalifax, NS
Team Stuart ThompsonDartmouth, NS
Team Jaap van DorpZoetermeer, NED

Tier 2 women’s division

Team Mary-Anne ArsenaultDartmouth, NS
Team Megan BalsdonLondon, ON
Team Suzanne BirtCharlottetown, PEI
Team Jill BrothersHalifax, NS
Team Corryn BrownKamloops, BC
Team Andrea CrawfordFredericton, NB
Team Hollie DuncanToronto, ON
Team Binia FeltscherLangenthal, SUI
Team Mackenzie GlynnSt. John’s, NL
Team Tanya HilliardHalifax, NS
Team Daniela JentschFüssen, GER
Team Min-Ji KimChuncheon, KOR
Team Jestyn MurphyMississauga, ON
Team Beth PetersonWinnipeg, MB
Team Laurie St-GeorgesLaval, QC
Team Laura WalkerEdmonton, AB

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