Of the events that iowskaters chose to focus on last weekend (17 and 18 January), the Leon Lurje Trophy in Gothenburg, Sweden, took priority. The trophy usually sees some fantastic skating from Swedish and Finnish synchronized skating teams, with particular interest this year from an Isle of Wight point of view because Freshwater skater Gemma Marsh has been a member of Sweden’s Team Surprise of Landvetter since August 2014.
As a result, of course, iowskaters has been following Swedish synchronized skating more closely this season – and it has been an eye opener.
At junior level, for example, Sweden’s Team Spirit (not to be confused with the UK’s senior Team Spirit from Wales & West) has twice finished ahead of Sweden’s Team Convivium, at the Kungsbacka Trophy and at the Vattern Cup. Convivium historically wins these encounters, so the double upset is of world-ending proportions.
However, it was not to be at the Leon Lurje, where Convivium regained the ascendancy to take first overall with 143.25, Fire Blades of Finland were second on 137.85 and Spirit third on 134.61. Adding variety to the international mix, the USA’s Hockettes were fourth with 122.58, and a new team to us, Team Mirum of Spain, ninth on 62.06.
The world did not end at senior level, either. Team Surprise of Sweden were first with 177.63, Team Boomerang second with 154.07 and the USA’s Starlights third on 143.13. It was the first full outing of Team Surprise’s free programme (it was trimmed back for the Vattern Cup), themed around equality. This emotionally intense programme is packed with potential and includes an insanely daring entry to a group lift that was rightly graded at level 4. It’s worth making the trip to the Spring Cup in Milan (13 to 15 February) to see it all again.
Event website: www.leonlurje-trophy.se