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29 May 2017

Disaster Strikes as Guildford Ice Rink Melts Mere Hours before Competition

British ice skating fans were left disappointed this past Monday (May 22nd) when they arrived at Guildford Spectrum leisure centre eager for the upcoming Guildford Open IJS 2017 figure skating competition, only to find that the 4-day event had been called off due to a distinct lack of ice on the rink.

More than 400 figure skaters of all ages and genders were scheduled to compete in the competition. However their hopes were quickly dashed by what has been described as a “catastrophic failure” in the rink’s refrigeration plant, which left them with nothing to skate on. Ice is, after all, somewhat crucial to ice skating of all forms.

The issue was brought to the attention of organisers on the Sunday afternoon before the competition was due to start. They did try to combat the issue by arranging an emergency refrigeration plant, but were still unable to freeze the ice in time for the event, leading to its cancellation.

In a statement, event referee Stephen Fernandez said: “It is with great regret that we have had to cancel the first day of this year's event. This has been due to events outside the organising committee's control.

“There has been a catastrophic failure with the refrigeration plant and despite the management at the ice rink arranging an emergency refrigeration plant they were unable to freeze the ice in time for today's event.

“As I am sure everyone will be aware, in order to hold an ice skating event, we must have ice. At present we do not have ice, hence cancelling the events on today and the review later today for tomorrow.

“The OC, rink management and referee have discussed the option of moving the today's cancelled events to another day. However, due to all the unpaid, volunteer officials having other commitments this has not been possible to do.”

This marks the first time in over 20 years that such a disastrous event has occurred in the ice skating field, as Fernandez also noted in his statement: “It is rare for this to happen and the last time something of this nature has occurred was in 1995 at the World Championships held in Birmingham UK hosted by our very own NISA.”

Representatives from Guildford Spectrum have stated that they hope to get the rink fully operational once again in time for the Guildford Open Competitions, scheduled to begin on Monday 29th.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.