It was better late than never for skip Rob Van Kommer and crew. The Carberry curler and his Westman rink earned a berth into the 2013 Safeway Championship on the last weekend possible, claiming one of the final four MCA Bonspiel berths in mid-January. In what will be his seventh appearance at the province’s top curling competition Van Kommer believes his crew has learned the key to success, whether that means winning games or simply going home happy with their showing. “Our strength is that we have a good time,” Van Kommer explained with a chuckle. “We just enjoy the sport. We know we’re going to have to go out there and curl well and scratch and fight, but we’ve been at it so long we know you just need to enjoy yourself while you’re there.” Just like the skip, lead Ian Scott has six prior appearances at the tournament while this will be second Cale Dunbar’s fourth appearance. The rink’s fifth, Todd Witherspoon, has three appearances under his belt but his son Joey, who will curl third, is coming to the Championship for the first time. Getting to see the father-son duo curl together in the tournament for the first time, on his team, is one of Van Kommer’s highlights prior to even throwing a rock at the Championship. “For a father, to get a chance to play with his son in a Safeway Championship, that’s what it’s all about,” Van Kommer said, noting that his son is curling in the high school provincials this week as well. “If I get the same chance in a few years to get to play with my son at the Championship, that would be such a great experience.” Don’t let their free-spirited approach to the game fool you though, the Carberry rink still intends to be one of the week’s more competitive teams. Being so close to home the team is expecting a good crew of supporters out, and they’re intending to give those fans something to cheer about. “Everybody’s going to be tough here, or else you wouldn’t be in the thing. But really, after that five or six seed, there’s a lot of teams that it will just depend who’s playing the better game that day. I think we have a good chance to win some games.” Van Kommer’s tournament begins Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m. against Dennis Bohn.