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Archive for January, 2009

Robert Paxton: a profile

Robert Paxton has achieved a notable first for an IW skater, being the first skater from the Island to compete in the European championships, along with partner Erica Risseeuw. Robert and Erica’s top-ten finishing position is a remarkable achievement for a couple skating together internationally for the first time.

Robert started skating at the age of nine years with his sister on the Isle of Wight and was coached by Katie Rothwell. In 1997 at the age of 14 years he won the British novice championship for men.

After several years of training on the Isle of Wight and Basingstoke, in 2000 Robert moved to Canada to train at the world famous Mariposa Skating Centre under Doug Leigh. He continued skating singles and in 2004 decided he wanted to change to pairs skating.

He has had three previous partners and competed in Canadian nationals at novice, junior and senior levels, winning medals at novice and junior level. However, it was always his desire to return to skate for Great Britain.

In April 2008 Robert tried out with Erica Risseeuw, a singles skater from Alberta, and two months later they teamed up. Both Erica and Robert had to complete exams so could not start skating together until July when Erica moved to Ontario. They knew they had a lot of work to do to get them to a good competive standard and did their first competition after five weeks. After 10 weeks together they came to Sheffield for the IJS event. They returned to Canada to continue training and prepared for the British Championships in Nottingham.

Robert and Erica were selected by NISA to take part in the European Championships in Helsinki as Great Britain’s second couple in the pairs competition. They were in 10th position after the short programme and after the free skate were delighted to be 7th overall.

Robert and Erica are coached by Lee Barkell, the coach of the current men’s world champion.

Update: Robert & Erica retired from the competitive circuit in 2010, and now skate professionally. They joined Royal Caribbean and skate onboard one of its cruise ships.

Paxton & Risseeuw, short programme 2010 Europeans: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07Z9SpbZ1nU

Paxton & Risseeuw, long programme 2010 Europeans: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEi3dBY7yos

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Robert Paxton and Erica Risseeuw

IW skater Robert Paxton and partner Erica Risseeuw achieved a top 10 placing in the pairs competition at the European Championships in Helsinki today, finishing seventh overall. They overtook fellow Team GB members and British champions Stacey Kemp and David King, who finished in 11th place overall.

Robert is the first IW skater to compete at the European championships, and a top 10 placing for the pair is an incredible achievement. Our congratulations to Robert and Erica.

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Coverage of the European Figure Skating Championships in Helsinki begins on Eurosport on 20 January. Keep an eye on IW skater Robert Paxton, who competes in the pairs with partner Erica Risseeuw as part of Team GB.

Official website: www.stll.fi/european_championships_2009/in_english/

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A touching gesture brought together members of the Isle of Wight teams with the help of the NISA TV broadcast of the British Ice Figure & Synchronized Skating Championships.

One key member of the IW synchronized skating teams couldn’t be at the championships – Janet Marsh, one of the team managers, who is in hospital being treated for leukaemia. Thanks to her subscription to NISA TV and a mobile broadband connection, however, Janet was able to watch the IW teams compete – and the Jewels take the junior title.

Waiting for their marks after the long programme, members of the Jewels turned to face part of the arena that, apart from the NISA TV camera, was empty and waved to her.

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The Wight Jewels’ winning long programme at the 2009 British Ice Figure & Synchronized Skating Championships is currently available on Youtube

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IW team Wight Jewels won gold at the British Ice Figure and Synchronized Skating Championships on Friday 16 January, taking the junior synchronized skating title – the highest level of synchronized skating contested nationally this year.

The Jewels scored 27.68 for their short program, 4.4 ahead of the Nottingham Icicles, and 42.14 for their long program for a total of 69.82 with no deductions. Nottingham Icicles’ final total was 61.70 with no deductions.

The Jewels are the IW’s most experienced team and have championship gold behind them: the squad largely comprises the members of the Wight Diamonds that won the novice title last year and who have moved up because of their age and experience. The absence of the senior event at the championships meant that the junior event was the highest level contested. 

The Diamonds this year finished second to the Nottingham Shadows at novice level. With new squad members the competition was always going to be harder but they performed well, outscoring the Shadows on technical elements but suffering three deductions for one fall and for excessive use of the ice in a manoeuvre that ultimately led to silver instead of gold. Bracknell Fusion was third, suffering two deductions for falls, in what was a very close contest. Shadows scored 25.52 (Technical Elements 15.51 + Program Components 10.01, no deductions), the Diamonds 23.22 (Technical Elements 16.80 + Program Components 9.42, 3 deductions), and Fusion 20.14 (Technical Elements 14.31 + Program Components 7.83, 2 deductions).

After the results processing debacle of the 2008 championships, winning this year will have meant much to the Shadows and we’d like to offer them the warmest congratulations on their victory and to praise their sportsmanship.

The IW’s synchronized skating teams are sponsored by Wightlink.

In the senior pairs, Robert Paxton and partner Erica Risseeuw took silver. Placed second to Stacey Kemp and David King after the short program, Robert and Erica won the long but could not make up the points difference lost on the short, finishing on 135.08 points compared with Kemp and King’s 142.47. Robert learned to skate on the Isle of Wight and later moved to Canada for training; he and his partner again skated representing the IW this year.

Official results for the championships, which were marked using the IJS, are at www.johnds.org/British_08-09/

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Christmas Show 2008

A DVD of performances from across the three days of the 2008 IWID&FSC ice show is now available to club members and their families, priced GBP10.00. Order forms were given out to club members at the show, but spare forms are also available from vice-chairwoman Sharon Buckman (head coach Terri Smith is also a point of contact). DVDs are made to order, and all requests for them must be made using an order form.

Extremes of temperature (the cameras failed in the intense cold of the Friday shows) and exceptionally low lighting conditions mean that some performances on the DVD are the only footage that exists of a routine, and we regret that therefore the image quality may therefore not always be the best possible.

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