The National Team Challenge (NTC) is under way today (6 July) at Lee Valley ice rink, east London. Clubs fielding teams at this year’s event include Alexandra Palace, Basingstoke, Bracknell, Chelmsford, Isle of Wight, Lee Valley and Slough. Members of the IW team were up at 4am today for the trip to Lee Valley.
Clubs compete in a selection of free skating, ice dance, synchro and artistic groups, plus a compulsory show number. The show number is for Isle of Wight skaters sometimes their first experience of competing on the mainland, and allows them to compete yet have the support of other members of the club. Teams score points based on their finishing position in each group, and with seven teams competing this year, 1st place in each group will score 7 points and 7th place 1 point. Groups can be lightly or heavily contested, leading to easy or hard-won points, which is both the charm of the NTC scoring system and part of the art of doing well at the event. It’s important to note that all calculations about maximizing points from small group sizes fail if one team can outright win in every group through the quality of its skating.
The Isle of Wight has never won the National Team Challenge, but has in the recent past has performed well overall for a club of its small size, finishing second in 2011 and third in 2012 and 2013. In 2013 its show number, Cats, was first; the first time it came top in this group was in 2007 with Phantom of the Opera.
iowskaters will be publishing the results of IW skaters throughout the day. Positions of IW skaters and podium places currently reported are as follows:
Synchronized skating: 1st Isle of Wight, 2nd Lee Valley, 3rd Bracknell
Female beginners: 1st Saphire Recalde-Arnold (IW), 2nd Jayde Young (Slough), 3rd Bethan Rees (Bracknell)
Male beginners: 1st Ennis Finnerty-Mackay (AP), 2nd Max Hall (Bracknell), 3rd James Wright (IW)
Female level 3 and under: 1st Layla Belanova (AP), 2nd Charli Gillard (Basingstoke), 3rd Sophia Bushell (Lee Valley), 4th Toni Delap (IW)
Male level 3 and under: 1st Robert Beale (Chelmsford), 2nd Nathan Todd Smith (Basingstoke), 3rd Will Riley (IW)
Female level 5 and under: 1st Georgina Csori (Lee Valley), 2nd Callie Brown (Slough), 3rd Chloe Curtin (Chelmsford)
Male level 5 and under: 1st Curtis Bushell (Lee Valley), 2nd Jack Hookey (Slough), 3rd Edward Appleby (Chelmsford)
Female level 8 and under: 1st Rei Yoshimoto (Lee Valley), 2nd Caitlin Marsh (Basingstoke), 3rd Sian Moynihan (Chelmsford)
Male level 8 and under: 1st Sam Tudgay (Basingstoke)
Solo free dance Juvenile and Basic Novice: 1st Bettina Hanlon (Slough), 2nd Eloise Simmonds (Bracknell)
Solo free dance Advanced Novice: 1st Callie Brown (Slough), 2nd Chloe Arthur (Bracknell), 3rd Julia Makejeva (AP), 4th Amy World (IW)
Solo short dance Junior and Senior: 1st Lilah Fear (AP), 2nd Bethany Armitage (Bracknell), 3rd Maria Holdcroft (IW)
Dance couples level 6 and under: 1st Nina Lindsay and Michael Canning (Slough)
Dance couples veterans: Hana Conor and Brian Connor (AP)
Solo exhibition level 2 and under: 1st Stephanie Sundier (AP), 2nd Paige Lepley (Chelmsford), 3rd Jane Nelhams (Bracknell)
Solo exhibition level 8 and under: 1st Michael Canning (Slough), 2nd Caitlin Marsh (Basingstoke), 3rd Yasmin Tilly (AP)
2s to 4s artistic: 1st Alexandra Palace, 2nd Lee Valley , 3rd Isle of Wight
Show number: 1st Lee Valley, 2nd Basingstoke, 3rd Isle of Wight
Overall: 1st Alexandra Palace, 56 points; 2nd Lee Valley, 51 points; 3rd Slough, 51 points; 4th Basingstoke, 48 points; 5th Isle of Wight, 47 points; 6th Bracknell, 43 points; 7th Chelmsford, 42 points. Lee Valley were placed 2nd and Slough were placed 3rd on a tie-breaker.
Results are subject to confirmation. Thanks to all reporters for providing updates.
There is no active website or online presence for the NTC.