Skate London Synchro starts the British Synchro Season in Style


Team Zariba competed in the Senior division at Skate London Synchro. (Credits: Team Zariba - 2019)

There was a packed auditorium at the first British synchronised skating competition of the season at Alexandra Palace in London. Thirty eight teams from across the country readied themselves for competition, adorning themselves in beautiful costumes with bling galore. This year is the first time the competition has been held at the historic venue of Alexandra Palace which was turned into a synchro haven for the day with team banners decorating the rink, and also played host to a brand new category.

Team Zariba, the only Senior ISU team to compete
The competition was held over one day so both the short and free programme had to be skated on one day. Team Zariba from Aberdeen were the only senior team to compete. They skated their short programme to "Praise You" in floaty blue dresses. They started with the No Hold Element which gained them a level 3 and was skated in a soft floaty manner. The angled intersection, moves and travelling circle also earned a level 3 with the circle choreography and transition fitting the music perfectly. They scored 29.58 points.

Their free programme was a contrast with a "Casablanca" theme complete with matching sheer brown dresses. There were a few errors and two falls but they still managed to get level 3 on their No Hold, Moves and intersection elements. The artistic wheel was a particular highlight with a central lift and skaters breaking off to jump. The free programme scored 56.14 points with a combined total of 85.72 points.

The new "Inclusive" category
Skating with the girls wearing white dresses with red ribbons and the boys in white and red striped blazers, Spice from Slough delivered Mary Poppins magic at their first ever competition. Gearing up the crowd before they even started by gesturing for more cheers, Spice started with a box intersection. They performed an artistic wheel with change of formation and included spirals at the end of the wheel spokes. The line lead into a neat pass through into a circle followed by the artistic block. This was the highlight of the programme and included spiral pairs and two stationary lifts. The crowd was cheering and there were plenty of tears in people’s eyes! Spice scored 14.35 and earned gold in their category.

“Hi my name is Anzar from Team Spice from Slough and I am the vice captain of the team. The training was kinda nerve wracking. It wasn’t our best because we had a few mistakes but in the competition we just wanted to go out there and have fun and win gold at our first ever competition. I was gobsmacked. I wasn’t expecting it. To come out here, I’m proud of how the team coped. I’m so happy with the team and how they pulled together. Most of us were nervous but we went out and enjoyed ourselves.” Vice captain Anzar - Team Spice

“Inclusive Skating has been developed by Margarita Sweeney-Baird, and has already run competitions and created rules for solo skating, pairs and teams. This category was developed from those rules. We didn’t want to make life difficult so adopted a programme using these requirements to make it as inclusive as possible. A real programme. There has been two years of exhibition skates at the British Championships but this is the first year to have a real competition. Inclusive skating is now a part of the competition. They wanted to be part of the proper competition and we were delighted to be able to accommodate that. Even for those who have seen them skate before it’s still quite an emotional experience for both the audience… and the tech panel. The woman doing data input was wiping a tear from her eye!” Chris Buchanan 
Two Senior B teams
Skating to a Queen mix, All Stars from Slough delivered an enjoyable performance in floaty blue dresses. Their artistic circle wowed the crowd with skaters performing inverted lifts. The choreography was different which gave the audience plenty to look at. They scored 39.72 points.

Aura from Lee Valley have made the jump from Mixed Age to Senior B this season but that did not phase them. They skated a fast and exciting programme to ‘Run Boy Run’ where the elements appeared to come out of nowhere yet also showed their versatility with the contrasting ‘Ain’t no sunshine’ and soft powerful skating. The audience were enthralled and they scored 60.32 points.

Junior B: Whizz Kids won the gold
Whizz Kids from Altrincham earned the gold medal with 61.00 points. They skated to the Greatest Showman in a fast paced programme which gained level 4 Synchronised Spins and a level 3 No Hold Element. They included vaults that kept the crowd interested and were the only team to attempt death spirals - to the audience’s delight.

Unum from Sheffield came second with 45.91 points. Skating to "Dance Macabre", they showed off choreography which fitted the music beautifully and floated through some of the xylophone inflections very prettily. However, they dropped some levels, especially on the Moves Element. 

Seven Mixed Age teams skated their new program
There were seven teams in this category and the stand out winner was All Stars from Gosport. They skated a carnival infused programme with interesting and different transitions into new formations, especially in their artistic wheel. They earned 51.73 points in bright pink dresses with stars.

“Our PB was 35 points. Our strategy - we focused on the skaters taking ownership on how they think they can improve. We’ve given them the belief that they can improve and they’re not stagnant.”  Coaches - Paul & Jenny

The skate was amazing. The skating is good fun and it showed in the performance. We just can’t believe it."  Jenny & Libby - captains of All Stars 

The silver medal went to Ice Unite from Nottingham. They scored 48.82 points with a fast, confident routine to ‘Stronger’ and looked powerful and in control. They had quick transitions and pleased the crowd with their now infamous skirt flick during the preparation for their pivot block.

Earning the bronze medal was Team Phoenix from Lee Valley who scored 43.06 points. They skated to Lady Gaga and come onto the ice with attack and smiles. They had sharp movements and transitions in keeping with the music and looked like they were having fun.
Supernova and Wight Sparkles competed in Basic Novice
Securing the gold medal was Supernova from Lee Valley who scored 27.59 points with a Spy Kids themed programme. Their costume was striking as they wore shorts. They were speedy from the get go with interesting spread eagles in chains and really motored the travelling circle. Their egg beater was also a crowd pleaser, generating cheers. 

Wight Sparkles from the Isle of Wight earned silver with 25.28 points. They skated to a very sparkly Spice Girls routine with a fast and snappy line and a wheel which was very energetic. It was an enjoyable programme to watch.

Adults, the most popular division
With eight teams, this was a popular category but Orion from Lee Valley won the gold medal scoring 22.82 points. Skating to Prince, they had a very receptive home crowd and the programme was delivered with attitude. The egg beater caused gasps and they maintained a good speed and energy throughout the performance. ‘Purple Rain’ was performed with a nice subtlety which created a contrast in the routine.

Illusion from Slough gained the silver with 21.73 points. Skating a disco infused number including Boogie Wonderland, the costumes exuded an almost psychedelic charm. The routine was full of fun and skated very musically, the choreography helping to generate the disco mood. 

Earning the bronze was Amethyst from Bradford who scored 19.09 points. Dressed in shocking sparkly pink, they had a Dirty Dancing theme with an interesting V shaped intersection. The movement in the wheel was also unusual and the audience enjoyed the spiral transition.

"High School Musical" to win the Beginners category
Pearl from Bradford came first in this category, scoring 16.81 points. Wearing red and white USA costumes, they skated to High School Musical. It was speedy and smily and there were some nice nods to the film in the choreography.

Stardust from Lee Valley came second with 10.41 points. Wearing suit and tails, they skating to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but unfortunately had several falls.
Pre-Juveniles: a team from Nottingham won the title
Ice pops form Nottingham came first with 20.35 points. They skated a Baby Shark programme with a funny introduction and choreography in-keeping with the song. It was very controlled and fast. 

Twizzles from Altrincham came second with 15.42 points. Wearing red tail coats, their music included Monty Python and Kermit the Frog. A highlight was the spiral spread pairs. 

Wight Sequins from the Isle of Wight came third with 9.50 points. They wore Woody from Toy Story costumes and were a very young team. Their spirals were very high and the audience were impressed.

Juveniles exceeded 30 points
In first place was Ice Jems from Nottingham who scored 32.60 points. The second they stepped on the ice, they flew and delivered a feisty performance to high school musical. The had a nod to the musical with basketball bounces and throws in their circle and it was very confident.

In second place was Novus from Sheffield who scored 21.73 points. They had a spooky programme to the Addams Family with a confident start. The choreography was in-keeping with the music and the skaters really performed it.

In third place was Angels from Deeside who scored 16.90 points. They skated to the Sound of Music in dresses which swished nicely with the music. There were nice nods to the film in the choreography and the Lonely Goatherd was very funny.
Intermediates: the victory went to Shooting Stars
Skating a 1920’s Charleston, Shooting Stars from Gosport earned first place with 27.45 points. It was a fast paced routine skated with confidence.

In short red dresses emulating flames, Malachite from Bradford earned second place with 24.87 points. It was an energetic routine and ended with the fire extinguished in water.

Skating to Pitch Perfect in blue sparkly dresses, Magic from Slough scored 23.42 points. It was a confidently skated routine delivered with smiles.

The next competition in Great Britain will be Britannia Cup at the beginning of January 2020. 

Results - TOP 3

Skate London Synchro Opens 2019
NOV 11, 2019 - NOV 11, 2019

TEAM Score
1Zariba (GBR)85.72

Senior B
TEAM Score
1All Stars (GBR)39.72

Junior B
TEAM Score
1Whizz Kids (GBR)61.00
2Team Unum (GBR)45.91