Those of us who weren’t at last night’s Wightlink Raiders ice hockey play-off final against Invicta Dynamos to hear the news first hand, awoke to confirmation in the media that Ryde ice rink is now in the hands of Ryde Arena Trust (RAT). The trust’s Ian Jenkins said at the match that the rink had been signed over to the trust at 10am on Saturday.

The battle is now for the community to keep the facility not just open, but to turn around its fortunes, something that previous operator Planet Ice has been unable to do.

Fortunately, Ian Jenkins and other RAT members have already gained experience in running the community group that now operates Waterside swimming pool in Ryde. The community must get behind them.

The rink will be closed on Monday 20 April, and reopens on Tuesday 21 April.

Ryde Arena Trust: www.facebook.com/pages/Ryde-Arena-Trust/1026189594062114

The ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships 2015 take place in Hamilton, Canada, on 10 and 11 April.

Team Spirit GB of Wales & West, coached by Katrina Cotterrall, is the UK’s entry among the 25 teams taking part at the championships. The team trains at impossible hours with skaters coming to Cardiff from across the UK. This season Spirit has seemingly been overcoming those disadvantages with some strong international scores compared with last year’s results, and by attaining the much tougher scores required by NISA to compete at the worlds.

UK synchro fans can also with good reason support Team Sweden 1, Team Surprise, which includes Isle of Wight skater Gemma Marsh on its squad.

The event’s official Facebook page is far more active than the official website, and is currently recommended for the most recent updates.

Live streaming is on the ISU skating channel and CBC Sports, with the practices also available on the Skate Canada site. Blackout regions on the ISU’s free skating channel are USA (paid-for access via icenetwork.com) and Canada.

Hamilton is five hours behind UK time, and six hours behind central Europe. Streaming on the ISU skating channel, however, is available after the event when it can be viewed at a more reasonable time.

According to the Skate Canada schedule, the short programme is scheduled to start at 5.30pm (10.30pm UK time) on 10 April, finishing at 10.15pm (3.15am on 11 April UK time). The short programme draw will be seeded based on last year’s results, so from a UK perspective all the top teams will be skating in the small hours. The free programme starts at 1pm (6pm UK time) on 11 April.

iowskaters post updates on this event on its Facebook page.

Live streaming practices: www.skatecanada.ca (check for link on main site)

Live streaming (Canada): www.cbcsports.ca (video on www.cbc.ca/sports-content/video/live/)

Live streaming (USA): icenetwork.com (subscription required)

Live streaming ISU skating channel: http://www.eurovisionsports.tv/isu/

Live results: www.skatecanada.ca/isu-world-synchro-2015/live-results/

Official website: www.skatecanada.ca/event/isu-world-synchronized-skating-championships-2015/

The teams: www.skatecanada.ca/isu-world-synchro-2015/teams/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/WorldSynchro15/766431606771344


What could be IW synchronized skaters’ last skating competition before Ryde rink is due to close sees Wight Sparkles and Wight Crystals heading to Blackpool for the Blackpool Ice Skating Festival on 7 to 11 April. Both teams compete on 9 April: Wight Sparkles in the elementary synchro, and Wight Crystals in the preliminary.

Planet Ice still intends to cease operations at Ryde on 12 April. IW skaters are waiting on news of whether Ryde Arena Trust‘s negotiations to keep the rink running will be successful.

Update (9 April): The IW teams finished the season by taking two golds. Wight Crystals were first in the preliminary synchro with 22.46. In the elementary synchro, Wight Sparkles suffered two falls, but their score of 15.29 was still enough to finish ahead of Deelite Angels (15.11) and Solihull’s Sparkles (13.30).

Link: www.pleasurebeacharena.co.uk/pages/skating-festival

Results: www.icephoto.co.uk/BPL15/

Two IW synchronized skating teams travelled to the Kempen Trophy in Turnhout, Belgium, over the Easter weekend (4 and 5 April): junior team Wight Jewels and adult team Wight Fossils.

The Fossils, skating to music from Les Miserables, finished fourth with 21.88 points. The adult category was won by Iceclusif (Belgium, Ghent) 28.34, with Blade Runners (GBR, Altrincham) in second on 26.20, and Perpetuum (GBR, Sheffield) third on 24.02.

In the short in the junior A event, Wight Jewels were second with 29.16 points. The Jewels had changed their music and programme from their last outing at the Trophy D’Ecosse in Dumfries. French team Les Cometes were just ahead in first on 30.48. Team Temptation Juniors of Belgium were third with 22.04, Solway Stars from Dumfries were fourth on 21.66 and Kids on Ice from Eindhoven in the Netherlands were fifth with 19.69.

The Jewels were unable to close the gap on Les Cometes in the long and finished in second place. A fall and a deduction for apparently holding the splits for too long on the ice at the end of the programme took 2.5 points off their free programme score. And that demonstrates the occasional quirkiness of the judging system – details that have not been identified as a problem all season can be picked up as a fault by a different set of officials.

Solway Stars, however, managed to edge up a place into the medals.

Final positions and score in the junior A competition were: Les Cometes first on 92.46, Wight Jewels second on 86.59, Solway Stars third on 72.69, Team Temptation Junior fourth on 67.70, and Kids on Ice fifth on 64.38.

IW teams have one more competition this season, with Wight Sparkles and Wight Crystals heading to Blackpool for the Blackpool Figure Skating Festival on 7 to 11 April (www.pleasurebeacharena.co.uk/pages/skating-festival). Both teams compete on 9 April: Wight Sparkles in the elementary synchro, and Wight Crystals in the preliminary.

And that may be it for ice skating on the Isle of Wight. Planet Ice still intends to close the rink at Ryde on 12 April. All IW skaters are waiting on news of whether Ryde Arena Trust’s negotiations to keep the rink running will be successful.

Kempen Trophy website: http://not-turnhout.be

Results: www.kbkfwedstrijden.be/KempenTrophySynchro/2015/index.htm

Despite the uncertain future of Ryde ice rink, this year’s adult open competitions at Bracknell on 26 to 27 March included two competitors from the IW.

Miranda McGeoch made her comeback to competitive skating after having a family, and managed a very creditable sixth place in a strongly contested field of 12 in the Silver Class I category.

Carol Taverner, the club’s veteran competitor, managed a first place in her free programme (Silver Class III), and 5th place in the artistic discipline (Silver Artistic).

Both skaters are also members of the IW’s adult synchronized skating team, Wight Fossils. Both are now hoping to get enough practice in to compete in the Guildford Open in May.

Report provided by Terri Smith, head coach at Ryde

Results: www.icephoto.co.uk/BRAAD15/

IW ice skaters came away from the 2014 Isle of Wight Sports Achievement Awards at Medina Theatre with a trophy for synchronized skating team Wight Jewels, and a second and third place for two individual skaters.

Wight Jewels came top in the category for intermediate team, sponsored by Liz Earle. It’s the first time ice skaters have won a category since Terri Smith was named coach of the year for 2007.

Archie Bicknell and Gemma Marsh found themselves up against each other in the category for national/international sports, sponsored by West Bay Club. Archie, currently on tour with Disney on Ice, placed third, and Gemma, currently skating with Team Surprise of Sweden, was runner-up. The category was won by telemark skier James French, completing the domination of the category by winter sports.

It was a remarkable evening for IW skaters. None of their achievements would have been possible without the dedication and passion of their coaches, nor of the skaters themselves and, for Gemma and the Jewels, of all the members of the synchronized skating teams.

Above all, none of it would have been possible without an ice rink at Ryde. iowskaters hopes that Ryde Arena Trust can save it.


Wight Jewels have joined the ranks of ice skaters nominated  for the 2014 Isle of Wight Sports Achievement Awards. They were included in the list of nominees for the teams published in the Isle of Wight County Press on Friday (and keen-eyed readers will note that the capacity for a local paper to muddle facts is astounding).

The awards, which celebrate the achievements of IW sporting teams and individuals in 2014, take place on 19 March 2015.


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