If you're walking by the Royal City Curling Club this weekend, don't be surprised if you come across the reigning Olympic champion.
It's that time of year when Kevin Martin comes to town and, once again, he's defending his title as Westcoast Curling Classic titleholder.
Martin is one of 18 teams vying for a total purse of $52,000 at the cashspiel that runs from Oct. 4 to 8.
The 18 teams will compete in three groups of six, with each team guaranteed to play five games.
Martin's group includes local curlers Brent Pierce and Ken McArdle, along with William Lyburn, Yusuke Morozumi from Japan and Brady Clark.
The headline game from that group goes Friday at 2 p.m. when Pierce and Martin will butt heads. McArdle will get a piece of the Olympic champion on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Pool 2 features 2010 world champion Kevin Koe of Alberta, along with another Alberta heavyweight, Dave Nedohin, and local Sean Geall. Filling out pool 2 are Steve Laycock, Brendan Bottcher and Jay Wakefield.
Pool 3 features B.C. champion Jim Cotter, along with tough competitors Andrew Bilesky, Brock Virtue, Randie Shen, Steve Petryk and Charley Thomas.
All matches will be eight ends, with each team having 33 minutes plus two one-minute time outs on the "thinking time" system.
The field is strong, with 10 of the top-50 world-ranked teams in the field at the Royal City Curling Club.
After Thursday night's Skins Game featuring Martin against Cotter at 7: 30 p.m., there will be four draws on Friday, five draws Saturday, at least three draws Sunday and the semifinals and finals on Monday.
The final is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving Monday. New to this year's event is the inaugural Westcoast Junior Invitational, featuring eight junior teams playing for a total purse of $4,800.
Two pools of four teams will begin competition on Friday night and play through a knockout stage before competing in their final matches on Monday afternoon.
People who want to see worldclass curling just need to show up at the Royal City Curling Club at 75 East Sixth Ave. and purchase a day ticket or an event pass.
Weekend passes purchased before Oct. 4 are available for $35. This gives the pass holder admission to all four days of draws and the dance on Saturday night. Event passes after Oct. 4 are $40, day passes are $15 and passes for the Monday semi-finals and final are $20.
For more info, go to www.westcoastcurlingclassic.com.