Brad Gushue shoots a stone during the 10th draw of the Pinty's Grand Slam of Curling Tour Challenge in Regina. (Anil Mungal)

Gushue, Sweeting qualify for Champions Cup

September 21, 2017, 3:08 PM

The Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season just started, but Team Gushue and Team Sweeting already know where they’re going to be when it finishes.

Gushue and Sweeting captured the Tour Challenge Tier 1 titles earlier this month in Regina to secure spots to the season-ending Humpty’s Champions Cup, returning to WinSport Arena in Calgary from April 24-29, 2018. Ticket information will be announced in the near future.

Both squads posted perfect 7-0 records en route to the trophies.

Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., earned his eighth championship in the series and became the first to capture six different titles. The only one left to scratch off the list is the Humpty’s Champions Cup.

“Obviously there are some great curlers that didn’t have the opportunity because some of these newer events have come on [recently] but the one that I’m really proud of is having won the four original ones because those have been around for 16 years,” said Gushue, who defeated Team Walstad 9-1 in the men’s final. “Now to add the Tour Challenge and the Elite 10 to that and hopefully we’ll add the Champions Cup in the near future, certainly proud of it. But more importantly playing against the top teams and anytime you can win against those guys is nice and gives you a lot of confidence going forward.”

Team Gushue also includes third Mark Nichols, second Brett Gallant, and lead Geoff Walker.

The Edmonton native Sweeting successfully defended the Tour Challenge Tier 1 women’s title to earn her third championship in the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling.

“It’s really exciting and to get that berth in the Champions Cup early is always a bit of a relief,” said Sweeting, who stole to beat Team Hasselborg 6-5 in the women’s final. “You don’t know when you’re going to be back in the final, so you want to take advantage. It was a great event. We were excited to play here in Regina and it was a good time.”

Sweeting is joined by third Lori Olson-Johns, second Dana Ferguson, and lead Rachel Brown.

Team Gushue and Team Sweeting are the first to qualify for the Humpty’s Champions Cup in 2017-18. Last season’s winners Team Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and Ottawa’s Team Homan will return to WinSport Arena as well for a chance to defend their titles.

A total of 15 men’s teams and 15 women’s teams will compete in the 2018 Humpty’s Champions Cup. Teams must win a high-profile event in order to receive an invite. Below is a list of eligible events. New for 2018: Olympic gold medallists from the Winter Games in South Korea will be invited.

2018 HUMPTY’S CHAMPIONS CUP FIELD

Men’s Qualifying Events Women’s Qualifying Events
2017 Humpty’s Champions Cup
Brad Jacobs
2017 Humpty’s Champions Cup
Rachel Homan
Tour Challenge (Tier 1)
Brad Gushue
Tour Challenge (Tier 1)
Val Sweeting
Masters
Oct. 24-29
Masters
Oct. 24-29
Boost National
Nov. 14-19
Boost National
Nov. 14-19
Meridian Canadian Open
Jan. 16-21
Meridian Canadian Open
Jan. 16-21
Princess Auto Elite 10
March 15-18
Players’ Championship
April 10-15
Players’ Championship
April 10-15
Pacific-Asia Championship
Nov. 2-9
Pacific-Asia Championship
Nov. 2-9
European Championship
Nov. 17-25
European Championship
Nov. 17-25
Scotties Tournament of Hearts
Jan. 27-Feb. 4
Winter Olympics
Feb. 14-24
Winter Olympics
Feb. 14-25
U.S. National Championship
March 3-10
U.S. National Championship
March 3-10
World Junior Championship
March 3-11
World Junior Championship
March 3-11
Tim Hortons Brier
March 3-11
World Championship
March 17-25
World Championship
March 31-April 8
World Curling Tour Spot 1
TBD
World Curling Tour Spot 1
TBD
World Curling Tour Spot 2
TBD

Note: If a team wins more than one eligible event, the winner of the next ranked WCT event based on strength of field will be invited.

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