Figure skating: Travel woe couldn’t spoil synchro teams’ performances in championships

Team Azariba on the podium.

Aberdeen Synchronised Ice Skating Club’s trip to the British Championships ended in double bus trouble.

However, mechanical issues weren’t enough to wipe the smiles off the skaters’ faces after their successful weekend.

On Friday the club took five teams on the road trip to Nottingham.

It was a long weekend – the youngest of the groups took to the ice early on Saturday, while senior team Zariba, who competed at the World Championships in Colorado last year, didn’t get off until after 9pm on Sunday at the National Ice Centre.

Coach Sara Patterson was pleased with the performances of all the teams – Topaz (six to eight-year-olds), Azura and Zulu (12-18), adults Quartz and two-time senior champions Zariba, who have had a year of transition after several departures.

She said: “The youngest team probably performed the best out of everyone. Their category is a bit unfair – it’s supposed to be a beginner category, but you can have anyone up to the age of 16.

“Our kids were only 0.95 points off a place on the podium. So they were pretty amazing.

“The other two youth teams skated brilliantly in practice, but missed technical levels a little bit. They can improve their scores, but it’s their first competition together, so it’s a really strong starting point.

“Then we had the adults – it was also their first competition – they actually had to do a programme change after practice and coped really well with that. They scored great points and were 12th. I was really pleased.

“With Zariba, it was their first competition as a new team.

“They were pretty disappointed with the marks they got on the first day.

“On the second day they went out with nothing to lose and came second, so I was really pleased with that.”

Sara said it has been a challenging year for the club, with the Zariba rebuilding job and the other teams just finding their feet.

“No season has been as rough as this one and we’re feeling pretty invincible now,” she said.

However, there was a bit of a problem with getting back to the Granite City.

On Sunday morning, with a day of competition still ahead, both buses the club had taken to the competition wouldn’t start.

One was suffering from a flat battery. However, the other’s immobiliser had been triggered – suggesting someone had tried to break in.

The bus driver had to travel to Coventry to get a replacement for the second bus, which was towed back to Aberdeen and the group didn’t arrive back in the North-east until 6.30am on Monday morning.