Reflecting on the sport High Commissioner Steve decided to change the name of the sport to Rutabaga Hurling to more accurately reflect the nature of our sport. After it was pointed out that hurling had multiple meanings, not all flattering when relating to food… the name change was only effective for the 1999 season. This year saw the initiation of many traditions. Our first torchbearer, Becky Bosch, then our market manager, opened the games dressed in toga over her winter garb carrying a retrofitted tiki-torch, which had a flaming rutabaga atop it. As she ran through market, all in attendance knew that this was not a typical market day. One vendor who got caught up in the excitement of our games, Andris Goncarovs of Telmani Farms, grabbed the helm of the market intercom system and started to announce the games. His color commentary was just what our games needed, adding a real sports-like touch. Even though much of what he said about the athlete’s background and training techniques may have been inaccurate his antics established Andris for years as “The Golden Voice of the Rutabaga Curl”. Andris was among our first class of inductees into the Rutabaga Curling Hall of Fame!
By now word of our games were starting to grow as people started to travel from out of town to join in our event. This years curl featured perhaps 50 athletes and our first local press coverage by the Ithaca Times. When the dust settled the 1999 Games were won by market’s own Amy Hnatko. Seneca Falls native Jamin Uticone placed seconded while Sarah Highland of Ithaca was third.