Members of the Port McNeill Figure Skating Club on Saturday will host the Barbara Rasmussen Memorial Figure Skating competition for the first time in the event's 35-year history.

Members of the Port McNeill Figure Skating Club on Saturday will host the Barbara Rasmussen Memorial Figure Skating competition for the first time in the event's 35-year history.

Figure skaters bring competition to Port McNeill

Fresh off provincial STARskate championships, local club hosts Barbara Rasmussen competition for first time

Alyssa Busch of Port Hardy and Whitney Murgatroyd of Port McNeill both posted top-six finishes and Lisa Cochrane of Port McNeill narrowly missed the top 10 at the 2011 Pacific STARskate Figure Skating Championships in Cranbrook Mar. 4-6.

The skaters all compete for the Port McNeill Figure Skating Club, which this Saturday will host the 35th annual Barbara Rasmussen Memorial competition beginning at 9 a.m. at Chilton Regional Arena in Port McNeill.

Busch placed fifth in the Senior Bronze Women’s event out of 20 competitors.

Murgatroyd placed sixth of 20 skaters in the Preliminary Women’s competition, and Cochrane was 11th among Senior Silver Women.

“All of the girls skated very well,” coach Elizabeth Kines said.

On Saturday, the Port McNeill club will host the Barbara Rasmussen Memorial for the first time. Named for the longtime coach who was killed in an automobile accident in 1977, the event has been held in Courtenay since its inception.

A shortage of volunteers to host the competition this year prompted parents in the Port McNeill program to step up and take it on for Kines, who was injured in the same accident that claimed Rasmussen’s life.

“We know how much this means to her, personally,” said Pita Rosback, a member of the club’s executive board.

The event will bring 115 competitors from several clubs throughout Vancouver Island and will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Judges are being brought in from the Island and from the lower mainland, and local volunteers will handle other jobs during the competition.

No admission fee is required for spectators.