Last figure skating before long maintenance break

IceSports Southland figure skaters performed routines during a gala exhibition held at the Gore rink on Sunday.

It was the last time the skaters could skate on the rink before it was closed for about five months for maintenance.

Icesports Southland president Robyn Morris said unlike last year Covid-19 had not impacted events.

‘‘We’ve been able to have a full season of competitions.

‘‘We’ve still got nationals to go.’’

Five skaters from the club would go to the national championships.

Ice work . . . IceSport Southland skater Emma Fotheringham, 17 of Gore performs her routine during the club’s figure skating gala exhibition held at the Gore rink on Sunday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON
Skating free . . . IceSport Southland skater Vincent Woodham (9) of Tapanui glides his way across the ice during his routine at the club’s figure skating gala exhibition held at the Gore ice rink on Sunday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Usually the skaters put on an end-of-year show, but with the rink closing it was decided to hold a gala exhibition instead.

About 20 skaters took part, including Kiwi Skaters, who were learning how to skate, and competitive skaters.

Ideally, the ice surface should be relaid every two years, but this had not been done for about six years.

The ground under the rink had become like permafrost.

‘‘Eventually it starts to push up and make the ice surface uneven.’’

It will take time for it to thaw out.

‘‘It is probably going to be December or January before it’s melted enough to start the process again.’’

It would take many volunteer hours to re-lay the ice surface, which involved getting the sand foundation level and then building up the ice level one millimetre at a time, she said.

Paint would be added to the ice so the sand could not be seen and then the lines to mark out the ice for ice hockey games and curling would be laid.