Swiss skip De Cruz excited for chance to win “serious money”
De Cruz aiming for the Grand Final in Beijing
Peter de Cruz is looking forward to the chance of winning “serious money” in the Curling World Cup, which begins at Suzhou Olympic Sports Centre next week.
De Cruz will be skipping the Switzerland rink in first leg of the new four-leg series which begins on 12 September.
As well as skip De Cruz, the Swiss men’s team consists of fourth Benoit Schwarz, third Sven Michel and lead Valentin Tanner.
The event will mark the first time competitors can earn prize money while representing their country, with $USD 66,000 up for grabs for the first three legs in Suzhou, Omaha and Jonkoping and $USD 112,000 in the Grand Final next year in Beijing.
De Cruz said: “The Grand Final in Beijing would be great to be part of and having the chance to win some serious money there too.
“It’s always an honour to wear the national jersey and represent your country. The new format is exciting because we are always fighting for funding to cover our season costs, but there is nothing quite like playing for your country.”
“It’s great to be able to experience this brand new format with the team. We also have a new player in Sven so it will be an opportunity to measure ourselves to the very best teams.”
The Swiss side have made one change to their side that won Olympic bronze in PyeongChang earlier this year, with Michel coming in for Claudio Paetz. The three players that remain have been by each other's side on the ice since they won the World Junior Championships in 2010.
In the men’s draw there are multiple World and Olympic medalists in the field, including Sweden’s Team Edin and Canada’s Team Koe, and De Cruz believes it will only motivate them more to perform well and win.
The Swiss said: “We are going into every competition we play to win it, but we know that we will have to play very well to reach this goal because of the high level of competition.
“You don’t have many jokers in this format. If you lose your first game, you will probably have to win all the other games to make sure to have the number one spot in you group - we’ll have to be consistent.”
NEWS: We would like to welcome Sven Michel into the team! Next season, Sven will replace Claudio Pätz who decided to retire after the PyeongChang Olympics. Sven has accomplished a lot for swiss curling during his career. He has earned several strong results on the tour as well as two European medals (1x gold and 1x bronze). He also skipped Switzerland at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. We look forward to integrating Sven into the team next season, starting at the 2018 Baden Masters (August 24-26). This season, Sven won the Mixed Doubles Nationals and will represent Switzerland again at the Worlds in Sweden with Michele Jäggi, starting on April 21. After this season, Jäggi’s future in competitive sport is still open.
For the inaugural World Cup, format changes have been introduced to add excitement and drama to the ice during the event. These include one-stone shootouts, time allowances and coaches being down at ice level.
The 28-year-old welcomes the additions and thinks it will put teams under pressure but believes he has a trick up his sleeve with a member of his team.
“Benoit is a pretty good draw player - so we are feeling confident,” the former World Junior Champion said on the one-stone shootout.
“I think it’s a fair system and it might be easier for the spectators to understand the thinking time. It also puts a bit of pressure on teams that will often be tight on time at the end of ends.”
And on having his coach Thomas Lips on ice level between ends, he added: “For me this is something that we should always be allowed to use, and I think that the coach is totally part of the team. He probably still trusts us to make the right decisions.”
Team De Cruz will be in the same group as Canada, Japan and Scotland with the winner going straight into the final on Sunday 16 September.