Charette defeats Howard to win 2003 National

February 2, 2003, 8:00 PM

HUMBOLDT, Sask. — Pierre Charette captured the National Grand Slam of Curling title after holding on to beat defending champ Glenn Howard 8-7 in Sunday’s final.

The Buckingham, Que., team of Charette, fourth Martin, second Michel Ferland and lead Marco Berthelot picked up $25,000 of the $100,000 purse.

Charette, who throws third stones, opened with the hammer, scored a deuce in the first and stole in the second to lead 3-0. A single in the third put Howard on the board and Charette counted three in the fourth to make it 6-1.

Howard came back with a pair in the fifth. The teams exchanged singles in six and seven and Charette was held to another lone point in eight to stay ahead 8-5. Howard took two in the ninth and Charette conceded one in the 10th.

Charette also spoiled Edmonton’s Kevin Martin bid to sweep the Grand Slam of Curling this season with a 7-5 win in the afternoon semifinals. Martin, the 2002 Olympic silver medallist, won the first two stops of the four-event series capturing the Canadian Open in December and the Masters in January. The Players’ Championship wraps up the 2002-03 season at the end of the month in Leduc, Alta.

Howard, of Coldwater, Ont., scored three in the 10th to beat Winnipeg’s Vic Peters 7-4 to reach the championship game. The team of Howard, third Richard Hart, second Collin Mitchell and lead Jason Mitchell earned $15,000.

Charette qualified for the playoffs through the C side of the triple knockout preliminary round while Howard made it through the B bracket.