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Synchro Tour’s new competition format offered two evening spectacles to Finnish audiences


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The Synchro Tour, a new idea in Finland to develop the popularity of the discipline. (Ville Vairinen - 2023)

Finnish synchro audiences got to enjoy two full evenings of skating, cheerleading, and other entertainment when Synchro Tour’s new evening competition format took place at the Helsinki Ice Hall. The first, short program competition was on Wednesday, November 22nd, and the second, free program competition on Monday, November 27th. The competitions started at an unusual time, at 6 pm on a weekday, to create an interesting yet compact experience.

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Flashing lights, a dimmed ice rink, hype music, and a crowd-rousing presenter—this, for example, is what the evening competitions added to the already-existing extravagance of synchro. "Let’s shout!" echoed in the ice rink as the first event opened on Wednesday.

In the Seniors category, all four teams—Helsinki Rockettes, Lumineers, Marigold IceUnity, and Team Unique—competed on both days. In Juniors, ten teams were invited based on their ranking in the previous Nationals and their ability to participate in a weekday competition. Dream Edges Junior, Festa Aboensia, FireBlades, Ice Infinity, Ice Steps, Musketeers, Reflections, Sun City Swing, Team Fintastic, Team Mystique, and Valley Bay Synchro all attended either one or two of the competitions.

"It was a fun new experience to have that kind of atmosphere on the ice!"
"The preparation was a bit different; many of us were in school, and then we had our practice a little later than usual," shared Julia, Ada, Roosa, and Tuuli from Reflections, who had come to the competition directly from practice. "We weren't as nervous." Of the playing of music and dimmed lights while stepping on the ice, they said, "It was a fun new experience to have that kind of atmosphere on the ice!"

Helsinki Rockettes earned gold on both days, improving their season’s best score in both their short and free programs. They were followed by Team Unique in second, Marigold IceUnity in third, and Lumineers in fourth. The order remained the same on both Wednesday and Monday.

In the Junior category, there was more fluctuation as Dream Edges Junior secured gold on the short program day, ahead of Valley Bay Synchro and Team Fintastic. In the free skate on Monday, Valley Bay Synchro—the winner of the first Finnish qualifiers—claimed first place. Team Fintastic came in second, and Musketeers took third. Dream Edges Junior didn’t attend the free program competition. 

Aside from skating spectacles, the evening consisted of audience games and immediate interviews with team captains during ice resurfacing breaks. Both evenings were closed with cheerleading performances before the award ceremony, which provided an interesting peak into the similarities and differences between the two sports. 


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The cheerleaders presented their performance on ice on a mat. (Ville Vairinen - 2023)

The Finnish Synchro Tour, a new concept
The two evening competitions were part of the Finnish Synchro Tour, a new concept designed to provide an overarching story for the domestic competition season. The tour consists of six competitions for seniors, starting from Finland Trophy and concluding with Finnish Nationals. Both evening competitions are counted separately on the scoreboard, awarding the winner of each 15 points, respectively. In contrast, the two-day 1st Qualifiers on November gave its winner, Team Unique, 30 points. Juniors will only have five competitions, excluding Finlandia Trophy.

"Synchro Tour aims to increase the visibility and awareness of synchronized skating. We hope that the popularity of the sport grows, and that new enthusiasts discover synchronized skating," said the organizers. Winners of later competitions in both categories will receive higher scores, as the tour’s organizers want to reward progress throughout the season. Through commercial partners, the tour aims to collect reward money for winners.


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The Helsinki Rockettes (Ville Vairinen - 2023)

Before the second qualifier, the Helsinki Rockettes were currently leading the Synchro Tour with 70 points. In the Junior category, Valley Bay Synchro was in the lead with 39 points. The team seems to be heading towards a strong season, and along with Dream Edges Junior and Team Fintastic—both of which attended Junior Worlds last season—will contribute to another thrilling season as the teams fight for the opportunity to represent Finland in the World Championships in Neuchâtel in March.

After the second qualifier, also part of the Synchro Tour, the next competitions in Finland will be the Nationals in February.