Basingstoke Opens – head coach’s report

Ryde head coach Terri Smith writes: IW skaters returned from Basingstoke Open Competitions on Tuesday 21 to Thursday 23 June with a collection of trophies and medals.

On Tuesday, Nicola Baxter, performing to Miss Saigon, skated first in the beginner ladies aged 14 and over event, setting a very high standard: with 14 skaters to follow, she did well to hold onto her lead to take home the trophy. Hannah Barfoot gained a creditable 4th place and Hannah Brookes 6th.

Miles Grist was next to skate in the beginner men. He performed his free programme to Michael Jackson with ease, doing enough to take silver in a class of 14 competitors.

The level 1 to level 3 competitions took place on the Wednesday. Keelin Scholes won the competition for level 1 ladies aged 14 and over, which was an excellent achievement for someone who has only just moved up to that level. Keelin passed her NISA test on the closing date for the opens, meaning she had to move up a class and skate a more challenging programme, which she did with flow and style to music from Robin Hood. Beckie Vockins finished 6th in the same class of 12 competitors.

Mitchell Brown just missed out on a medal position finishing 4th in the level 1 men.

Thursday saw the more advanced skaters compete, from levels 4 to 10. In the level 8 men, Archie Bicknell debuted his new free programme to Pirates of the Caribbean, a demanding routine with six double jumps and two axels. Archie had a good skate, landing all his jumps and performed well to take second place, just missing out on first with a 3:2 split between the judges.

This didn’t stop Archie. IW skaters have an excellent record for winning exhibition events, and Archie’s name joined those of many other IW skaters such as Robert and Davina Paxton, Terri Fleming (Archie’s coach) and Matthew Kershaw on the trophy for solo exhibition any standard. Archie’s programme to Queen’s We Will Rock You/I Want To Break Free went down a storm with the whole arena, especially the judges, achieving high scores that included a 6.0 for entertainment.

Maggie Read took silver in the same class with her interpretation of Monster Mash. She did well to finish second as she skated very early on in the class and held on to first place till the last group. Nikita Heathfield finished in 5th, skating to Be Our Guest from Beauty and the Beast.

“This competition was a huge class with 18 competitors, therefore first, second and fifth places are brilliant results,” said Ryde head coach Terri Smith. “Also in the solo exhibition class for level 4 and under aged 11 and under, level 1 skater Roxy Collins took 4th in a field of 18 competitors.”

The last event of the day was the 2s to 4s exhibition class where Archie Bicknell and Maggie Read skated their Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better routine. The IW’s double trouble pair finished a very close second in a field of 12 groups, again holding first place from the start of the competition until the very last competitors. Nicola Baxter, Keelin Scholes & Beth Howarth finished in a creditable 5th with their Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men routine.

“Our skaters have once again done their coaches and parents proud, and of course themselves,” said Terri Smith. We are now looking forward to the National Team Challenge competition at Lee Valley on Sunday 3 July, where most of our club will be seen competing in ice dance, pairs, free skating, synchronized skating and the compulsory big show number.”

Report edited and condensed by

A version of this report also appeared in the Isle of Wight County Press, 1 July 2011. PDF archive of report: iwcp_01_07_2011

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