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A brief history of the HearingLife Tour Challenge

Diving into the record books for interesting facts and stats.

The HearingLife Tour Challenge is one of the newest events on the Grand Slam of Curling circuit with the inaugural tournament taking place in September 2015 in Paradise, Newfoundland and Labrador. Only once in the history of the event has it come down to an extra end in the final and wouldn’t you know it happened in the very first year? Team Gushue had the home crowd roaring and made it all the way to the men’s championship game, but they were stymied in an extra end by Team Koe. 

The first women’s final is also notable as Team Tirinzoni took home its first title in the series, and the first for a Swiss club, with a shocking steal of two points in the eighth end to edge Team Homan.

Team Einarson was the first-ever women’s champion of the Tour Challenge Tier 2 and became the first Tier 2 team to go on to win a top-tier title. Einarson captured her first Grand Slam major championship at the National in November 2016, just 14 months after her team earned a promotion.

The first Grand Slam of Curling men’s final featuring two non-Canadian clubs took place at the 2016 Tour Challenge in Cranbrook, B.C. Sweden’s Team Edin was fresh off of winning its first title in the series two weeks prior at the WFG Masters and took a second trophy by defeating Scotland’s Team Smith.

Two teams have won back-to-back Tour Challenge titles. Team Sweeting was crowned women’s champion in 2016 and 2017 while Team Jacobs captured consecutive men’s titles in 2018 and 2019.

Although not consecutively, you can also add Team Homan (women’s champions in 2018 and 2022) and Team Edin (men’s champions in 2016 and 2022), to the multiple Tour Challenge winners group.

Back to Team Sweeting for a moment as the club posted a perfect 7-0 record en route to the women’s title in 2017. So too did Team Gushue on the men’s side that year and it’s the only time both winners have finished the tournament with unblemished records.

There have been two teams on separate occasions who have joined them in the undefeated club. Team Homan went 7-0 through the 2018 Tour Challenge in Thunder Bay when the club took the women’s title. Team Edin did the same last year in Grande Prairie, Alberta. 

Speaking of Team Edin, the Swedish side was without skip Edin for the home stretch as he sustained a knee injury while warming up for the semifinals. Team Edin carried on with Oskar Eriksson calling the shots and became the first club to win a Grand Slam of Curling title as a trio after defeating Team Dunstone in the men’s final. 

Meanwhile in Tier 2, Team Dropkin became the first men’s club to repeat as Tier 2 champions. There will not be a three-peat as Team Dropkin is now firmly in the Tier 1 division.

What interesting nuggets will this year’s event bring? We’ll just have to let it play out and see where it goes!