Bracknell Ice Skating CLub

BISC - Newsletter February 2004

Bracknell Ice Skating Club Newsletter - February 2004

Rebecca and Christopher Win Ice Dance Title

BISC member Rebecca Forsyth, and her partner Christopher Hockaday, have won the British Novice Ice Dance Championship.

Their success at iceSheffield on February 13-14 strengthens their place in the National Development Squad and confirms that they are firmly following in the footsteps of fellow club members Tamsyn Pack and Richard Boaden and Kira Geil and Andrew Smykowski, who are the current bronze medallists at primary and junior levels.

Rebecca and Christopher won bronze at last year’s novice championship - when they had been skating together for just 11 weeks - and were determined to win this time.

Although only one other couple had qualified for the event, their chances seemed jeopardised when Rebecca arrived at Sheffield with a suspected broken toe while Christopher was still recovering from a back injury which made it difficult for him to lift his partner.

But they beat the opposition convincingly in the two compulsory dances and the free dance section, losing only two marks out of 30 to the other couple.

“They had a very good skate and won all three sections very convincingly,” said David Phillips who coaches the couple with his wife, Lucine Chakmakjian. “We had been a bit miffed that there were only two couples in it but the other entrants were quite good and it was a good win.”

Also competing at the novice championship were pairs skaters Charlotte Hester, 11, and David Truby, 13, who came a creditable seventh out of 10 in what was their first pairs competition; and Claire Miller, 12, who came 15th in the novice girls figure skating event.

Charlotte and David, who have skated together since last Easter, had a tumble in the practice session but skated well in the championship itself.

Both say the experience was very valuable and they thoroughly enjoyed taking part. They will compete in the Bracknell Open in April before deciding whether to continue their partnership. Both also compete as individual figure skaters.

Bracknell’s other pair, Seren and Luc Tudor, who came 6th out of 12 last year, decided not to compete this year because it clashed with Luc going on a school exchange visit. Like Charlotte and David, they are coached by Marcin Glowacki.

Claire, who is coached in free skating at Basingstoke although she has dance lessons with David at Bracknell, started out not too badly in the short technical programme, coming 13th. But she had trouble landing her jumps in the long artistic programme next day and came 15th in that section and 15th overall.

“The club is delighted with our dancers’ success,” said club chairman, Roy Welham. “They and the other Bracknell skaters have all worked hard to qualify for the championship and are all worthy of praise.”

Rebecca and Christopher’s win is also further recognition for their coaches whose dance and synchronised skating pupils have had much success in the past few years.Katie Cussen and John Horne won the novice dance title in 1998 and Joanna May and Andrew Smykowski won it in 1999. Although John, now 17, has been without a partner for some years, he has won several solo ice dance championships and is recognised as one of the top male ice dancers in Britain. Joanna, now 20, and Andrew, 18, went on to win bronze at the 2001 junior championship and Andrew won the same medal with Kira, 18, in 2002 and 2003. They will now compete at senior level.

Rebecca and Christopher hope to qualify for the primary championship in December where competitors will include Tamsyn Pack, 13, and Richard Boaden, 16.

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