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Gilles and Poirier Open International Season with Victory at Autumn Classic International

PIERREFONDS, Que. – Ice dancers Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto opened their international season Saturday with a victory to conclude the Autumn Classic International figure skating competition.

The world championship bronze medallists earned 208.97 points for top spot with Olivia Smart and Adrian Diaz of Spain second at 191.31 and Caroline Green and Michael Parsons of the U.S. third at 188.43.

‘’We’re very pleased with the way both programs went,’’ said Poirier. ‘’We didn’t try to force things or have that perfect skate. We just want to get everything sharper and we’re really excited to deliver such a strong showing and show that we keep improving.’’

Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of St-Hubert, Que., the 2019 world junior champions, totalled 181.74 for fourth.

‘’We’re really happy with the free dance and we didn’t hold back,’’ said Lagha. ‘’During the off season we really worked on our skating skills and made some needed changes to our programs.’’

Carolane Soucisse of Chateauguay, Que., and Shane Firus of North Vancouver were fifth and Haley Sales of Kelowna, B.C., and Nikolas Wamsteeker of Langley, B.C. took sixth.

In an all-Canadian men’s event, Conrad Orzel of Woodbridge, Ont., took the gold with 207.31 points, Bennet Toman of Brampton, Ont., was second at 172.33 and Beres Clements of Gibson, B.C., third at 153.48.

After landing two quads in the short on Friday, Orzel couldn’t execute them cleanly in the free skate and he also fell on one of his triple Axels.

‘’There’s some good takeaways from this competition despite a really bad long,’’ said Orzel, 21, sixth at this event in 2019. ‘’There’s no way of sugar coating it, it was not what I had been showing in practice. But it helps me re-evaluate how I should prepare when I compete.’’

Besides Saturday’s four medals, Canada also won a silver in pairs with Vanessa James and Eric Radford on Friday.

Full results: https://results.skatecanada.ca/2021ACI/

James and Radford Take Silver in International Debut at Autumn Classic International

PIERREFONDS, Que. – Vanessa James and Eric Radford launched their new partnership for Canada with a silver medal in pairs on Friday at the Autumn Classic International figure skating competition.

This past April, two-time world champion and three-time Olympic medallist Radford announced he was coming out of retirement to skate for Canada once again. But this time it was with new partner Vanessa James, a European champion and world championship medallist who formerly competed for France.

Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara of Japan stayed in first place for the victory Friday with 204.06 points followed by the new Canadian pair with 184.01. Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy Leduc of the U.S. hung on for third with 170.64.

Skating to Harry Styles, James and Radford opened with a solid triple twist and executed a clean throw triple Salchow later on. But they were shaky on their side-by-side jumps with James falling once and stepping out of another.

‘’We were hoping for better obviously,’’ said Radford, 36. ‘’But there’s so much for us we have to keep in perspective, and we are finding out how to do this. We know we are going to have a clearer target at our next competition. We have a huge opportunity here and that’s how we are going to take this.’’

‘’For me it’s a learning lesson on how to control my stress,’’ added the 33-year-old James, born in Scarborough, Ont. ‘’I’m taking this as a step in our career.’’

Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil, Que., missed a berth on the podium by less than a point finishing fourth at 169.91 while Lori-Ann Matte and Thierry Ferland of Levis, Que., remained seventh.

In the women’s free skate, Marilena Kitromillis of Cyprus won the gold ahead of two South Koreans: Young You and Seoyeon Ji.

Emily Bausback of Vancouver, B.C. was the top Canadian climbing from ninth to seventh. Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., was eighth and Alison Schumacher of Tecumseh, Ont., 10th.

“There’s a lot of positive takeaways from this competition,’’ said Bausback, whose free skate ranked sixth. ‘’I learned a lot about myself and how to deal with my nerves. It’s something I can build on going into Skate Canada International.’’

In ice dancing, world championship bronze medallists Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto, Ont. are first after the rhythm dance with 83.35, Olivia Smart of Adrian Diaz of Spain are second at 75.20 and Caroline Green and Michael Parsons of the U.S. third at 73.93.

‘’We were very pleased with our speed today because it’s always hard to come out for the first event and not overdo it,’’ said Gilles. ‘’We skated very sensible and considering where we are in the season, we are super happy.’’

There are three other Canadian entries: Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of St-Hubert, Que., are fourth at 71.27, Carolane Soucisse of Chateauguay, Que., and Shane Firus of North Vancouver are fifth at 65.11 and Haley Sales of Kelowna, B.C., and Nikolas Wamsteeker of Langley, B.C. are sixth at 59.91.

All three entries in men’s competition are Canadian. After the short program, Conrad Orzel of Woodbridge, Ont., is first with 80.82 points, Bennet Toman of Brampton, Ont., second at 63.30 and Beres Clements of Gibson, B.C., third at 55.48.

‘’I was really nervous and holding back on some of the jumps,’’ said Orzel, 21, in his third season at the senior level.

The ISU Challenger Series provides an opportunity for senior skaters to compete at an international level and earn world ranking points.

Competition ends Saturday at the Pierrefonds Sportplexe with the men’s free skate and the free dance.

Full results: https://results.skatecanada.ca/2021ACI/

Satisfying start for James and Radford at the Autumn Classic International

PIERREFONDS, Que. – The new Canadian pairs partnership of Vanessa James and Eric Radford made its international debut on Thursday and earned a satisfying second place in the short program at the Autumn Classic International figure skating competition, the second stop on the ISU Challenger Series.

This past April, two-time world champion and three-time Olympic medallist Eric Radford announced he was coming out of retirement to skate for Canada once again, but this time with new partner Vanessa James, a European champion and world championship medallist who formerly competed for France.

Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara of Japan are in first place after Thursday’s short with 72.32 points, James and Radford follow at 68.29 and Ashley Cain Gribble and Timothy Leduc of the USA are third at 59.58.

Skating to a song called First Time, the Canadians had one mishap when James fell on the side-by-side jump.

‘’When we get out there, we’re waiting to find how we feel exactly,’’ said Radford, 36, from Balmertown, Ont.

‘’We need a little bit more time to figure that out. I think by the end of the season with a bit more comfort we are really going to be able to be able to bring the joy of our skating which is where we connect.’’

James agreed that she and Radford are trying to work towards a point where their experience will be more obvious on the ice.

‘’For today we felt like we had a really great time and performed it,’’ said the 33-year-old born in Scarborough, Ont. ‘’In six months to put two programs together, learning and still mastering all of our elements, we are doing a really good job.’’

Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil, Que., also in their debut as a team, are fourth at 57.83 and Lori-Ann Matte and Thierry Ferland of Levis, Que., are seventh at 51.17.

‘’It went O.K.,’’ said Stellato-Dudek. ‘’We’ve been waiting a long time for this opportunity so a bit disappointed. Practice had been much, much better.’’

Matte and Ferland were fifth at this event in 2018.

‘’We know we can do better,’’ said Ferland. ‘’Some elements were good and we are working on consistency which has to improve much more.’’

The women’s short program was also held Thursday. Marilena Kitromilis of Cyprus is first followed by two South Koreans: Seoyeon Ji and Young You.

Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., is the top Canadian in eighth, Emily Bausback of Vancouver is ninth and Alison Schumacher of Tecumseh, Ont., 10th.

‘’I’m happy to be back competing internationally,’’ said Daleman, 23, a two-time Olympian. ‘’But from a skating perspective that was awful.’’

Bausback also wanted to do better.

‘’I’m a little bit disappointed with how I skated,’’ said Bausback, 19, the 2020 national senior champion. ‘’It wasn’t how I skated in training. But it was super awesome to compete again in front of a panel of judges and I had a great time.’’

The ISU Challenger Series provides an opportunity for senior skaters to compete at an international level and earn world ranking points.

Competition continues through to Saturday at the Sportplexe Pierrefonds.

Full results: https://results.skatecanada.ca/2021ACI/

International Competition Returns to Canada at Autumn Classic International in Pierrefonds, Quebec

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada will send 16 entries for a total of 24 skaters to Skate Canada’s Autumn Classic International (#ACI21) in Pierrefonds, Que., Skate Canada will have five entries in men, three entries in women, as well as four entries in both ice dance and pairs. The 2021 Autumn Classic International is the second event in the 2021/2022 ISU Challenger Series. The ISU Challenger Series provides an opportunity for senior skaters to compete at an international level and earn world ranking points. Please note that the men’s discipline will be a domestic event only. The 2021 Autumn Classic International will take place from September 16 to 18, 2021 at the Sportplexe Pierrefonds.

CANADIAN ENTRIES AT ISU CS 2021 AUTUMN CLASSIC INTERNATIONAL – PIERREFONDS, QUE.

DISICIPLINE NAME AGE HOMETOWN CLUB COACH
Men Nam Nguyen 23 Ajax, Ont. Richmond Hill Training Centre Robert Burk, Danielle Rose
Men Conrad Orzel 21 Woodbridge, Ont. Toronto Cricket Skating & Curling Club Brian Orser, Tracey Wilson
Men Beres Clements 20 Gibson, B.C. Champs International Skating Centre of British Columbia Joanne McLeod, Neil Wilson
Men Samuel Angers 28 Varennes, Que. CPA Varennes Guylaine Blouin
Men Bennet Toman 24 Brampton, Ont. Skate Oakville Michelle Leigh, Kathy Zahakos
Women Emily Bausback 19 Vancouver, B.C. Champs International Skating Centre of British Columbia Joanne McLeod, Neil Wilson
Women Gabrielle Daleman 23 Newmarket, Ont. Granite Club Lee Barkell
Women Alison Schumacher 18 Tecumseh, Ont. Toronto Cricket Skating & Curling Club Joey Russell, Tracy Wilson, Ghislain Briand
Pairs Vanessa James / Eric Radford 34/36 Scarborough, Ont. / Balmertown, Ont. EPJM / C.P.A Saint Leonard Julie Marcotte
Pairs Evelyn Walsh / Trennt Michaud 20/25 London, Ont. / Trenton, Ont. Brantford SC / Trenton Skating Club Alison Purkiss
Pairs Lori-Ann Matte / Thierry Ferland 22/25 Levis, Que. / Levis, Que. CPA St. Romuald / St. Jean Levis Ian Connolly
Pairs Deanna Stellato-Dudek /
Maxime Deschamps
38/30 Vaudreuil, Que. / Vaudreuil, Que. CPAR Vaudreuil / CPAR Vaudreuil Ian Connolly
Ice Dance Piper Gilles / Paul Poirier 29/30 Toronto, Ont. / Unionville, Ont. Ice Dance Ellite, Scarboro FSC / Ice Dance Ellite, Scarboro FSC Carol Lane, Juris Razgulajevs, Jon Lane
Ice Dance Marjorie Lajoie / Zachary Lagha 19/19 Boucherville, Que./
Saint-Hubert, Que.
CPA Boucherville/
CPA Saint-Lambert
Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon, Romain Haguenauer
Ice Dance Carolane Soucisse / Shane Firus 26/27 Chateauguay, Que./
North Vancouver, B.C.
CPA Repentigny/
CPA Repentigny
Carol Lane, Juris Razgulajevs
Ice Dance Haley Sales / Nikolas Wamsteeker 24/25 Kelowna, B.C./
Langley, B.C.
Kelowna SC /
Champs International Skating Centre of British Columbia
Scott Moir
Mike Slipchuk, Skate Canada High Performance Director and Josée Bourdon, Skate Canada Senior Manager, High Performance Coaching will be the Canadian team leaders at this event. Physiotherapist Josiane Roberge of Boucherville, Que., and Dr. Erika Persson of Edmonton, Alta., will be the Canadian medical staff on site. Jérôme Poulin of Montreal, Que., Reaghan Fortin of Auroa, Ont., Véronique Gosselin of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., and Ron Conacher of Toronto, Ont., will be the team officials at the event.
 
For more information, please visit www.skatecanada.ca or www.isu.org.

Pierrefonds to host 2021 Autumn Classic International

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada has announced that it will host the 2021 Autumn Classic International in Pierrefonds, Quebec. The seventh edition of this event will take place September 16-18, 2021 at the Sportplexe Pierrefonds.

The senior international figure skating competition has previously been a stop on the International Skating Union’s (ISU) Challenger Series in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. In 2020, the Autumn Classic International event was cancelled due to the pandemic. This season, the ISU has included this event as part of the 2021-2022 Challenger Series.

“Skate Canada is thrilled to be heading back to Pierrefonds and to Sportplexe Pierrefonds for the 2021 Autumn Classic International,” said Debra Armstrong, CEO, Skate Canada. “This event always attracts top-tier athletes, and we are excited to be bringing them back to a such an amiable city.”

Pierrefonds, located on the northwestern part of the Island of Montreal, has been a longtime partner of figure skating, hosting Skate Canada’s Autumn Classic International previously in 2016 and 2017, as well as Skate Canada Challenge in 2015, 2017, and 2018.

“As host to Skate Canada and ISU events, Montréal is truly committed to figure skating and we are once again delighted to be holding the Autumn Classic International in Montréal. The city is no stranger to major ice skating events as it welcomed numerous competitions, has an international skating history and is an undeniable hub for athletes, coaches and fans from Canada and around the world,” said Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal. “Our organization looks forward to working closely with local sporting partners to ensure that all participants enjoy a safe and memorable stay in the best island getaway in the country!”

Due to the current provincial restrictions and guidelines, there are no planned ticket sales for the 2021 Autumn Classic International. To receive up to date information on our event season please join our mailing list.