Team B.C. Skip Kelly Scott at the 2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. The Canadian Womans Curling Championship will have a new format when Penticton hosts in 2018. Photo courtesy of Andrew Klaver

Scotties curling fans in Penticton will have shot at new vehicle

Curling fans will be given the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a 2018 Ford Escape

Canada’s top women’s curlers will be showing off their skills in the Ford Hot Shots competition at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and fans will also have an opportunity to get behind the wheel of a new car.

For the first time, thanks to the efforts of those curlers, fans will be given the opportunity to win a two-year lease on the 2018 Ford Escape 4WD, and will be in the arena when the prize is decided — on Jan. 27 in Penticton at the 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. Fans will also have an opportunity to win on March 2 in Regina at the Tim Hortons Brier.

Full contest details, entry and rules can be found at Fans have until Jan. 12 to submit their entries for the Scotties Tournament of Hearts contest.

Related: Englot gets another shot at Scotties title

At both the Scotties and the Tim Hortons Brier, four lucky fans will be chosen from the list of entries, and prior to the final round of the Ford Hot Shots skills competition, they will be matched with the final four entries on the ice. The contestant who is matched with the winning team will win the two-year lease on the 2018 Ford Escape SE 4WD.

As part of the new-look format, the competition on the ice also is being revamped.

Instead of it being an individual contest, the 15 teams (the two combatants in the Friday night Wild Card play-in game won’t take part) will compete as units. All four players on the team will throw the skill-based shots and their scores will be added together. The four teams with the highest total scores will move on to the final round.

Related: Penticton begins countdown to Scotties

While the fan will win the vehicle, the players will hardly go away empty-handed. The winning team will pocket a cheque for $15,000, while the other three finalists will win a $500 donation to the local charity of their choice.

The players will attempt four shots: the famous Al Hackner shot from the 1985 Brier, a straight raise to the button; a drag-effect double takeout; and an around-the-horn triple-takeout to score two.

Players will be given a series of points, from five to zero, depending on how well they executed the shot.

At the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, the Ford Hot Shots preliminary round will take place Jan. 26 at noon, with the final round Jan. 27 at 11:15 a.m.

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