(CCA) - The teams have now been confirmed for the 2013 World Financial Group Continental Cup, presented by Monsanto in Penticton, British Columbia.
The ninth edition of this unique international curling competition takes place January 10-13 at the South Okanagan Events Centre. It's the third time the event has been staged in BC, following Chilliwack in 2006 and last year's renewal in Langley.
The 'Cup' features six teams from North America competing against six teams representing The World in various disciplines during the four days - Team games, Mixed Doubles, Singles, Mixed Skins and Skins games. Each segment awards points for wins (or ties).
Currently, North America and The World are knotted at four wins apiece since the inaugural Continental Cup in 2002 in Regina.
North America will be represented by four teams from Canada – skipped by Glenn Howard of Coldwater, Ontario, Kevin Martin and Heather Nedohin of Edmonton and Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg and two teams from the United States - skipped by Heath McCormick of Sarnia, Ontario and Allison Pottinger of St. Paul, Minnesota.
The captain will be 2000 World Champion and 2002 Olympic bronze medallist Kelley Law of Coquitlam while three-time Brier winner and two-time world champion Rick Lang of Thunder Bay will return as coach.
Howard is a four-time Brier and world champion, who captured the 2012 world title in Basel, Switzerland. Martin is also a four-time Brier winner, 2010 Olympic gold medallist and 2008 world champion.
Howard's team qualified for the World Financial Group Continental Cup by winning last year's Tim Hortons Brier in Saskatoon, while Martin earned his berth by taking the 2011 Capital One Canada Cup in Cranbrook, BC.
Nedohin secured her berth with a victory at the 2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Red Deer, then earned a bronze medal at the Ford World Women's in Lethbridge, Alberta. Jones, a four-time Scotties winner and 2008 world champion, won last year's Canada Cup to earn her spot for the Penticton event.
McCormick, who was born in Lansing, Michigan, but resides in Sarnia and Pottinger, the 2003 world champion, are the reigning US national champions. McCormick finished eighth at the 2012 Worlds while Pottinger was fifth at the 2012 Ford World Women's.
The World's colours will be worn by teams skipped by Sweden's Niklas Edin of Karlstad, Scotland's Tom Brewster of Aberdeen, Norway's Thomas Ulsrud of Oslo, Sweden's Margaretha Sigfridsson of Skellefteå, Switzerland's Mirjam Ott of Davos and Scotland's Eve Muirhead of Dunkeld.
The captain will be Scotland's former world champion David Hay while Sweden's Peja Lindholm, a three-time world champion, will be the coach, the same positions they held last year when winning the Cup in Langley.
Brewster has earned a silver medal at the last two world men's, losing the final to Canada's Jeff Stoughton in Regina in 2011 and to Canada's Glenn Howard in Basel in 2012, while Edin has been a bronze medallist both years. Ulsrud, a two-time European champion, earned a silver medal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, losing the final to Canada's Kevin Martin. He's also finished fourth in the last two world men's.
Ott is a two-time Olympic silver medallist and current world champion, having won the 2012 Ford World Women's gold medal final in Lethbridge over Sigfridsson. Muirhead, the 2010 world silver medallist, is a four-time world junior champion and the reigning European champion.