The Welsh Open Solo Dance Championships take place in Deeside this week from 24 to 26 March. Two members of the IW synchro teams are involved, representing their mainland clubs. Amy World is due to take part in the Advanced Novice Ladies, and Maria Holdcroft competes in the Junior Ladies.

Update: Amy was 7th in the short dance with 14.70 and 4th in the free dance with 32.21 in the Advanced Novice Ladies. Maria was 4th in the short dance with 34.17 and 8th in the free dance with 40.07 in the Junior Ladies.

Results: www.obfusk.co.uk/WelshSD14/

Wight Jewels were Junior British champions for the 2008/9, 2009/10, 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons, runners-up in 2012/13 and 2013/14; Junior Scottish champions in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013; Junior Welsh champions for the 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons. They were members of NISA’s performance squad for 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14. The Trophy D’Ecosse in 2013 gave them their first gold medal at an ISU event.

The Jewels competed at the Junior World Challenge Cup (JWCC) – the junior world championships – in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 2010, placing 19th. They improved their place to 17th at the JWCC held at Neuchâtel, Switzerland, in 2011. At the JWCC in 2012, again held in Gothenburg, they achieved 15th place – the highest position achieved by a British team for more than 10 years (event archives at http://www.eiskunstlauf-ecke.de/). At the time, the only British team to have has placed higher was Bracknell’s Ice Metrics, who placed 11th at the first ever JWCC in Neuchâtel.

The Jewels were ranked as high as 14th in the world, according to the ISU world standings published on 10 June 2012.

The team has achieved all this based on a two-thirds sized ice rink, on an island with a limited catchment area: the team has tended to field everyone who shows an interest, rather than having the luxury of try-outs for places. The Jewels have attracted skaters from the mainland, including Mikki Graham from Derbyshire, Gemma Sanders from Basingstoke, Maria Holdcroft from Oxford, and Amy World from Gosport, all of whom have made incredible sacrifices to practice and skate with the team.

The above photo montage by Wight Jewel Beth Howarth will allow you to relive all that.

Skate Southern takes place at Lee Valley Ice Centre from 17 to 20 March, and a number of IW skaters are taking part in this club international, some heading straight from the Trophy D’Ecosse in Dumfries for the event.

Saphire Recalde-Arnold skates in the beginner ladies aged 9 and over, Toni Delap in the level 2 ladies and Will Riley in the level 2 men.

Update: Saphire placed fifth in a group of 21, Toni was sixth in a group of 23, and Will was fourth

Link: www.skatesouthern.co.uk

Results: www.obfusk.co.uk/SSLV14/

First out to skate in the mixed age class at the Trophy D’Ecosse were Wight Crystals, who scored 29.97 after a deduction for a fall. The result earned them sixth place overall.

The mixed age class saw Solway Stars repeat their triumph of the British, scoring 41.55 for first place, ahead of Nottingham’s Rocking Robins in second on 37.58 and Poland’s Le Soleil in third on 35.43. Solway Stars’ pedigree as a former junior team shone through, with impressive speed over the ice.

The class concluded a good competition for the Polish teams from Torun, for whom two bronze medals is a good result. It was touching to see the young members of the juvenile Le Soleil team run to congratulate their mixed age team after their skate. The result is a reminder too to UK teams of the comparative strength of European teams.

That strength showed in the juniors, where Wight Jewels were unable to improve on their second place, scoring 55.26 in the free for a total of 84.28. Les Cometes of Dunkirk scored 59.49 for a total of 90.05 and first place. Les Cometes’ score is quite a turnround from the French championships on 28 Feb to 2 March where they scored  79.69.

Despite a short programme score close to that achieved in the British championship , the Jewels’ final result turned out to be 7.9 points down from the British championship score of 92.18. With fellow juniors Nottingham Icicles’ score at the JWCC this month (93.16) and in February at the French Cup (94.15) being substantially down on that of the British (121.46), no British junior team has gone on this season to repeat these high scores at more testing ISU events. The same is again true of several other junior teams at other countries’ domestic championships, and iowskaters will be looking at this when it completes its usual JWCC analysis.

Results: www.iceskating.org.uk/nisa_uploads/TDE2014/index.htm

Event: http://trophydecosse.co.uk/

Apologies for the delayed coverage of the Trophy D’Ecosse in Dumfries on 14 to 16 March, but with the Isle of Wight teams based in a tranquil but remote farmhouse, internet access is limited, though deer and llamas are abundant.

Wight Jewels are currently second to Les Cometes of Dunkirk after the junior short programme. Out first, the Jewels turned in a clean skate for 29.02 points, which was encouragingly within a point of their British championship score. Cometes turned in a far stronger result than their recent championships, taking the lead with 30.56. Both teams have just completed their official practice for the free, and the final result should also be close.

Wight Sparkles, out first to skate in the juveniles , scored 21.49 for what turned out to be fifth place. The event was won by Nottingham Silhouettes (30.11), with Solway Lightning second on 27.70 and Polish team Le Soleil third on 23.62. Lightning was unlucky – a fall and subsequent grade of execution deductions may just have cost them the opportunity to topple Nottingham from top spot.

Results: www.iceskating.org.uk/nisa_uploads/TDE2014/index.htm

Event: http://trophydecosse.co.uk/

Team GB, Nottingham Icicles, took 14th place at the Junior World Challenge Cup in Neuchatel, Switzerland, this weekend, the highest place achieved by a British synchronized skating team in recent years. It marks a steady advance up the positions at the junior world championship event, with Icicles coming 15th in 2013 and Wight Jewels 15th in 2012. The only team to do better was Bracknell’s Ice Metrics, which achieved 11th at the first ever JWCC in 2001, also, curiously, at Neuchatel.

Well done Icicles: it’s a great achievement for British synchro.

The event was won by Team Finland 1 (Fintastic), with Canada 1 (Les Supremes) second and Finland 2 (Musketeers ) third. Sweden 1, Convivium, managed an excellent advance to fourth place.

iowskaters’ usual analysis of the event will follow later: there’s a lot to look at, particularly with several teams’ all too recent domestic championship scores not withstanding the scrutiny of world class judging by some 20 to 30 points.

Results: http://events.skating.ch/events1314/JWCC_2014/index.htm

Live streaming of the 2014 JWCC and the Neuchatel Trophy is at: www.ustream.tv/channel/synchro-skating-events-switzerland. The broadcast has adverts unless you have a premium Ustream account.

Streaming coverage on Friday 7 March is scheduled to begin at 3pm CET (2pm GMT) with the senior short programme in the Neuchatel Trophy, with the junior short in the JWCC at 5.15pm CET (4.15pm GMT). Skating times are later – the first team in the Neuchatel Trophy, for example, is not due on ice until 4pm CET (3pm GMT).

Coverage on Saturday 8 March begins at 2.30pm CET (1.30pm GMT) with the senior free programme in the Neuchatel Trophy, with the junior free in the JWCC at 5pm (4pm GMT).

Link: www.ustream.tv/channel/synchro-skating-events-switzerland

Event: www.jwcc2014.com

Results: http://events.skating.ch/events1314/JWCC_2014/index.htm

Event Twitter feed: twitter.com/NeuchatelTrophy


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