Daytona Beach, FL
Keri Lotion Figure Skating Classic

Oct 3-4, 1998

Silver Blade Tours Inc. was proud to begin our first tour of the season at the "Keri Lotion Figure Skating Classic," formerly named the Nice N' Easy Figure Skating Classic in Daytona Beach, Florida. Santioned by the United States Figure Skating association (USFSA) and the International Skating Union (ISU), skaters represented the United States, France, Ukraine and Russia, from new and upcoming skaters to World and Olympic Champions. Daytona Beach can now claim another "s" word to sun, sand, and now skating as this prestigious event returned to sunny Florida a second year in a row. How nice to have this event so close to home in DeLand, Florida where Silver Blade Tours, Inc. is based.

The Adam's Mark, Daytona Beach Resort , located directly on the beach and across from the Ocean Center, was our place in the sun this first weekend in October. With oceanfront rooms, we had spectacular views of the sun rising over the ocean and a beautiful full moon shining its light over the sea at night. Swimming, shopping and visiting the local sights was on the agenda along with our nights of spectacular skating.

This event featured some of the best ladies and men's skaters from around the world. Michelle Kwan, 1998 U.S., Worlds, Goodwill Games Champion and Olympic Silver Medalist headlined the ladies along with fellow Americans Nicole Bobeck, 1995 U.S. Champion, National World and Olympic competitor and Angela Nikodinov, upcoming National competitor. Russian Maria Butyrskaya, 1998 European Champion, World and Olympic competitor, France's Surya Bonaly five time European Champion, World and Olympic competitor, and 1988 Olympic Silver Medalist Elizabeth Manley from Canada, completed the roster of lady skaters.

1998 U.S. and Goodwill Games Men's Champion, 1996 Worlds Champion, and Olympic competitor Todd Eldredge, led a strong U.S. men's field. Fellow Americans Michael Weiss, 1998 U.S. Silver Medalist, World and Olympic competitor, Timothy Goebel 1998 Junior Series Champion and National competitor, and Rudy Galindo, 1996 U.S. Champion and Worlds Bronze Medalist completed the U.S. men's contingent. Russia's Ilia Kulik, 1998 Olympic Men's Champion, and ISU Champions Series Final Champion and Ukranian Viktor Petrenko, 1992 Olympic and Worlds Champion rounded out the men's field.

Skaters competed in a two night format with a two minute short program counting 33.3 percent on Saturday and the interpretive free skate 66.7 percent on Sunday. Men's leader after the short program was Todd Eldridge, who debuted his new short program. The audience really appreciated his great skating by holding up 6.0 signs and giving a standing ovation. His strength, extension, and great centered spins truly were showcased as he skated to first place. Michael Weiss who recently became a proud father was second with Ukranian Victor Petrenko third.

Michelle Kwan placed first in the short program skated to "The Fate of Carmen." Her artistry, elegance, and intricate footwork along with her trademark change of edges for her spiral sequence earned her 5.9's from all seven judges. Angela Nikodinov has improved since Goodwill Games and came in second, while Russian Maria Butrskaya came in third.

Final results after the Interpretive Free Skate were Todd Eldredge men's champion with Michael Weiss second and Victor Petrenko third. In the Ladies Event, Michelle Kwan first, Angela Nikodinov second, and Maria Butyrskaya third. This was a great competition to start off the season, and Silver Blade Tours, Inc tour participants are looking forward to another competition here in sunny Daytona Beach, Florida.

Silver Blade Tours, Inc.
"The Skating Tour Experts"
Claudyne Cassella Hutchinson
2672 Flowing Well Road, DeLand, FL 32720-8903 USA
Tel. (386) 943-4071 - Fax: (386) 738-2512
Experience the Thrill and Excitement of Live Competition! is owned by Silver Blade Tours, Inc.
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