The British Figure Skating Championships take place this week from 29 November to 4 December at iceSheffield.
IW skater Nikita Heathfield is competing in the junior ladies, which starts on 1 December. Nikita currently trains at Dundee Ice Arena, having moved up to Scotland for university, and is therefore shown as representing Dundee in the results.
IW senior team Wight Jewels are in action this weekend at the Wales and West Synchronized Skating Competition in Cardiff on 5 to 6 November 2016. A last-minute training injury in Gosport on Friday night, involving a 2am visit to A&E by Beth Howarth for treatment for a dislocated shoulder, mean the alternates see action this weekend.
Update: Wight Jewels were third overall, scoring 19.53 in the short (2 falls) and 44.86 in the free (also 2 falls), for a total of 64.39. Zariba of Aberdeen won with 76.31 and Spirit of Wales & West were second with 74.88. Considering the alternates were slotted in at the last minute because of Beth Howarth’s injury, and that the falls result in an overall deduction of -4 before even considering their effect on the grade of execution of elements, the Jewels should certainly be in the mix come the British Championships in January.
A mechanical digger moved into the rink at the weekend to begin breaking up the ice at Ryde Arena. The chiller was switched off on Saturday despite an article in the IW County Press on Friday 21 October saying that it would continue to run for the next 10 weeks. Flowers were laid by skaters outside the rink on Sunday night, because Ryde ice rink is dead.
In other related and depressing news, the fabulous Wightlink Raiders ice hockey team announced this weekend that they cannot keep going. The team say on their Facebook page that: “We have been forced to make this sad decision as we cannot find enough ice time to continue functioning, and without games we cannot survive financially.” Wightlink Buccaneers, however, plan to continue.
On the up side for figure skating, Wight Jewels and the other synchronized skating teams are determined to carry on this season, travelling at super-daft times of the night and morning to train at Gosport and Bracknell. The Jewels compete for the first time this season in Cardiff on 5 and 6 November; the Crystals and Sparkles are aiming at the British championships in January 2017. The IW skating club needs to continue to support not just them but also the individuals who are travelling to Guildford rink to train. Southampton ice skating club lives on long after the loss of its rink, and so too can the IW club. While the club exists, skaters can continue on compete under the IW banner.
Internationally, the IW also has performances by Nikita Heathfield, now training in Dundee while at university, to look forward to on the junior circuit for the next two years. Plus the IW’s Gemma Marsh, carrying the torch for synchro with Sweden’s Team Surprise, six-times senior world champions.
IW-born skater Tommy-Jo Nyman – or TJ to pretty much everyone – currently features in the US Figure Skating Get Up campaign to promote ice skating: http://www.wegetup.com. TJ is 2015 US intermediate champion and 2014 US juvenile champion.
iowskaters.com will continue to report on their achievements: there may be no rink but IW skating lives on.
Ryde rink may be shut, but IW skaters are still in action. Nikita Heathfield, who moved up to Dundee for university this autumn, is continuing her training at Dundee Ice Arena. This weekend (14 to 16 October) she was competing at Aberdeen Opens in the level 9 ladies short and free programmes: level 9 at this event is the equivalent level for her junior status.
Nikita finished 4th in the short programme with 31.60 points, and 7th in the free with 52.08 points. Her result in the free suffered from deductions for falls, but none the less was a new personal best by five points.
BBC South Today covered the campaign to save Ryde ice rink in its evening broadcast on 12 October.
The broadcast gives the impression that Bracknell is the nearest rink on which the Wight Jewels can train: it is the nearest ice rink for which they can currently get ice time – Gosport and Basinsgtoke rinks are nearer.
Wightlink also sponsors the IW synchronized skating teams, helping with some of the ferry costs.