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IW synchronized skating teams take a break from their nightly travels to mainland training rinks to compete at the Viola Synchronized Skating Competition at Ice Arena Wales in Cardiff on 9 and 10 December.

Wight Jewels compete at senior level, facing hosts Team Viola. Wight Crystals compete at advanced novice B, Wight Sparkles in the juvenile category, and Wight Sequins at elementary level.

The teams are all sponsored by Wightlink.

Update (11 December): The teams came home with one gold and three silver medals. Wight Crystals placed first, and the Jewels, Sparkles and Sequins all placed second in their categories.

Results: http://www.iceresultsuk.org.uk/ViolaSynchroCompetition/2017/index.htm

Unusually,  this year iowskaters gets to report on IW interest in the Australian Figure Skating Championships in Brisbane from 1 to 8 December. Former Wight Jewel Beth Howarth competes as a member of Brisbane’s Team Nova at senior level in synchronized skating on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December.

Update (4 December): Nova finished third overall with a score of 98.64. With luck they will be on the international competition circuit later in the season, possibly even competing against Wight Jewels.

Link: http://isq.org.au/news.php

Results: http://isq.org.au/Results/result.htm

The British Figure Skating Championships take place at iceSheffield this week from 28 November to 4 December. IW skater Nikita Heathfield, now representing Dundee, competes at junior level, the short programme for which is on Thursday 30 November. There are 30 skaters in the category.

Update (4 December): Unfortunately, with a short programme score of 29.14, Nikita was one place outside qualifying for the free programme. As this is her last possible year at junior level, she will move up to compete at senior level next season.

Details: www.iceskating.org.uk

Results: http://www.iceresultsuk.org.uk/BritishChampionship/2017/index.htm

Team Surprise, free programme, Shanghai Trophy 2017

Part of iowskaters’ role is to continue to report on IW skaters who have flown the nest. We are delighted to report that Gemma Marsh, who now skates for Sweden’s Team Surprise, won another international medal when the team took bronze at the 2017 Shanghai Trophy over 24 to 26 November.

The Shanghai Trophy is an invitational event that includes short track speed skating and synchronized skating, and this year was extended to include the four figure skating disciplines: pairs, dance, and individual men and ladies. The synchronized skating competition is attended by teams from the top five nations in the sport.

Team Surprise were in fourth place after the short programme, but pulled up to third in the free.

The competition is no longer available on replay on the Olympic Channel.

Short programme: https://www.olympicchannel.com/en/playback/ice-skating-2017-isu-shanghai-trophy-china-day-1-part-2/

Free programme: https://www.olympicchannel.com/en/playback/ice-skating-2017-isu-shanghai-trophy-china-day-2-part-2/

Gala (starts 3 hours in): https://www.olympicchannel.com/en/playback/ice-skating-2017-isu-shanghai-trophy-china-day-3/

Results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/season1718/sht17/

This month the skater of the month award goes to one of our youngest skaters, Anneliese Smith.

Anneliese started skating even before she was born – her mummy is Terri Smith, head coach at Ryde Arena before it was closed. Now Anneliese spends a lot of her time going back and forth on the ferry and going up and down the country to different rinks, early mornings and late nights, but you never hear her complaining.

Anneliese skates for Wight Sequins and Wight Sparkles synchro teams, she is the youngest on the team for Wight Sparkles and has worked really hard to keep up and prove her place is well deserved. She always supports her fellow skaters and wishes them all good luck in competitions.

Anneliese has had some really good results this year. She won gold at Planet Ice’s Gosport artistic qualifier with her fantastic routine to Moana, and went on to the championship in Coventry where she secured a silver in her section, contributing to the overall gold for the team. She came an impressive 13th out of 40 in her age section (8-9 years) at the Young Stars national ice skating competition at iceSheffield. At the Lee Valley Skate Southern competition recently Anneliese scored a personal best.

The following IW skaters passed NISA tests at Gosport on Wednesday 15 November:

Field Moves

Level 1: Lydia Soar
Level 2: Anna Temporin
Level 3: Lara Harrison, Arwen Rowdon, Ellie Watts, Josie Watts
Level 5: Jess Curtis, Savannah Randall

All results subject to confirmation by NISA.

The Isle of Wight Ice Dance & Figure Skating Club named not one but two skaters of the month for September: Eloise Hayward and Sophia Elliott.

Both girls have a fantastic attitude to their skating and are really committed: they have helped with fundraising events, supported teammates, helped out when needed, they both skate in three IW synchro teams – Eloise is captain of Wight Sequins, encouraging the younger members, and Sophia is captain of the Wight Sparkles.

Eloise was bitterly disappointed when her competition day was cancelled at Guildford earlier this year but was a true friend and good sport when she stayed to support Arwen the following day and cheered her on. She competed in the group artistic in Gosport, claiming gold with pirates and then went on to the championships in Coventry and got a bronze. In August, Eloise took part in the Young Stars competition at Sheffield Ice Arena, it was her first ladies level 1 competition and she scored a personal best but more importantly she received a young star of the day award for her creativity, entertainment and skating with her We are the Kids of America routine, this was awarded out of 42 people. She has also passed her level 4 field moves, had a great skate at Lee Valley recently flying the flag for the IW. What really shines through with Eloise is her love of skating and her team spirit, she was suffering with a terrible ear infection last synchro season and had bouts of dizziness but was determined not to let her team mates down, often leaving training an awful green colour.

Sophia is always a pleasure to watch skating. She has been training hard, skate in three synchro teams, and trains early Saturday morning at Guildford as well. This dedication has shone through with her results this year, she skated brilliantly in Guildford earlier this year and won gold for her artistic at Gosport with her Wizard of Oz routine, which secured her a well deserved bronze at the Coventry artistic championships. Sophia recently took part in a ladies level 2 competition at Lee Valley with her Footloose routine and got a very creditable 4th out of 16 in the under 11 section with a personal best score and passing her level 3 free and elements.

Achievements aside Sophia is always trying her best and wanting to improve, she is truly a dedicated skater, she danced her way around the Isle of Wight day parade last week even though she had been up since 3am for training that day.

Well done Eloise and Sophia, you deserve it.

Eloise (left) and Sophia