The British indoor champs retured to Maldon this year, and what a great event it was. With over 100 entries, and over 100 spectators packed in to the rink, the atmosphere was loud and exciting. UK skating has been down in the doldrums for a few years, but yesterday you would not have known. The British Federation (FISS) and every club have been responsible for pulling together to encourage skaters the last 18 months, to change the atmosphere and culture of racing in the UK. IT WORKED! Numbers are up, and so are the speeds, and the skills.
The rink at Maldon has easily the best floor in the country, fast and grippy. Maldon (SWF home) always supports a good atmosphere, and the event was run smoothly, on time, and refereed well. It was as close to "the perfect event" as you can get. Well done FISS, SWF and all the volunteers.
Jamie Flanagan (Sk8skool UK + SWF) was the dominating force once again in the Senior Men (18+ Category) , winning the 500m, 1500m, 3000m relay (with Harry Hoare) and placing 3rd in the 100m after slipping in the first corner. Jamie has been receiving Sk8skool coaching since his return to skating in August 2014, after a 12 year break.
I placed 2nd behind Jamie in the 1500m (I couldn't race the shorter distances as an old back injury hurts when I do aggressive starts.) I took the race on at lap 3 out of 15, and tried to lay down a pace that would blow the race apart. It succeeded. Only Jamie could keep up, although John Morrison of SWF hung on for longer than expected, only dropping off after 11 laps, with 4 laps to the line. Jamie passed me with 3 to go and took the win with arms raised like a true champ.
Other noteable results from Sk8skool'ers were:
Ang. Wymer (Masters women) won all her races: 100m, 500m, 1500m. Toby Wymer (mini boys) won all his races, and broke the British 100m record. Ellie Wymer (Junior girls) improved her times considerably in the shorter races and got close to beating Fionn in the longer race with a dive for the line at the end, but more importantly her self-confidence is improving, and she hesitates less and takes chances more often. Well done Ellie. Alex Wymer had his best indoor event ever, but remains frustrated with indoor. To quote him "I will never like indoor, but I will keep trying to like it". 😜 Michal Roman (Senior Men 18+) had difficulty with the technical aspects of the grippy floor, especially with a bad wheel choice for the first two races, but improved considerably later after changing wheels to G13's, made the 1500m final, but missed the break and placed 2nd in the relay final with Will Dobson.
So a great day for Sk8skool (and online coaching). Now let's skate outdoor.....
Let's go faster,
p.s. No we didn't do any disco-dancin' under that giant disco-ball. LOL 😂