Olympic Gold Medallists Andrée (Joly) and Pierre Brunet opted not to enter, essentially making the competition a two-way race between two Austrian pairs - Idi Papez and Karl Zwack and Lilly (Scholz) Gaillard and Willy Petter. Gaillard had won an Olympic silver medal with her former partner Otto Kaiser and finished second with Petter the previous year at the European Championships, but had lost that year's Austrian title to Papez and Zwack, who won the bronze at Europeans the year prior.
THE MEN'S COMPETITION
As in the pairs event, there were only five entries - probably owing to the fact that the event was held in England less than three weeks before the World Championships in Zürich. It would have made more sense to some to arrive early in Switzerland and train in St. Moritz or Davos in the weeks leading up to Worlds. As expected, Olympic Gold Medallist Karl Schäfer won the figures by a wide margin, but not unanimously. German judge Artur Vieregg voted for the lone German man competing, Ernst Baier, who placed second. Erich Erdös of Austria, Jean Henrion of France and William M. Clunie of Great Britain rounded out the five man field. In the free skate - and overall - Schäfer, Baier and Erdös were placed unanimously first, second and third - one of the few instances during that period that a panel was able to agree on something!
The "Wiener Sporttagblatt" noted, " Karl Schäfer would not have even needed to skate to his peak, but he actually had one of his greatest days. He was quite faultless. Every second, every one movement and jump made his presence felt... This time he even surprised his friends. His beautiful and easygoing attitude, his calm and general mastery has a counterpart, and that is Sonja [Henie]. With the nonchalance of his difficult program and its compelling structure [he] withstood the sharpest criticism... The Berliner's Baier's compulsory exercises were almost a fiesta of mistakes and his freestyle did not yield the difficulties of Schäfer's but was quite effectively [put together]. Despite his youth, Erdös has already connected himself with the international master class. It is noteworthy that the Berliner had a pleasing, Viennese soft - but almost too feminine - style and that [Erdös] had a powerfully male style."
To the surprise of absolutely no one, then two time Olympic Gold Medallist Sonja Henie dominated the competition from start to finish, placing unanimously first in both figures and free skating. The
"Wiener Sporttagblatt" noted that she was "nervous but well-controlled in the compulsory exercises but in the freestyle her pirouettes were racing, their stopping more precise than anyone else. The Axel she landed and her zigzag steps were so lightning fast that she swirled over the ice."
In the figures, three judges had twelve year old Cecilia Colledge second. Hilde Holovsky and Fritzi Burger received the other two second place ordinals. Colledge's success was considered quite the shock as she had placed only eighth the previous year's Olympics and World Championships. In the free skate, the Austrian judge tied Holovsky with Henie. With thirteen ordinal placings, Colledge took the silver. Burger and Holovsky tied in ordinal placings but Burger was awarded the bronze based on her point total. Belgium's Yvonne de Ligne and Austria's Liselotte Landbeck rounded out the top six. Colledge, who skating on home ice received even more applause than Henie, made history as the first British woman to medal at the European Championships.
The marks of the British judge were highly out of line with the other judges. He had Gweneth Butler, the British skater who placed ninth, third in the figures. The Austrian and Norwegian judges had her seventh and ninth. Not to be accused of national bias, he was the only judge to place Cecilia Colledge down in fourth in the free skate! The British judge also placed Hilde Holovsky ninth in figures, while the Austrian and Norwegian judges had her in the top three.