For many people this weekend (15th-16th July) is the highlight of the derby year. Eastbourne Extreme features two full days of roller derby action outdoors on Eastbourne seafront. Saturday sees five full games in a variety of flavours (women’s, men’s, open to all, juniors) between 10am and 6pm, whilst the same time frame on Sunday features women’s and open to all sevens tournaments (a total of fourteen 21-minute games). Extreme is part of a wider Beach Life Festival featuring stunt cycling, windsurfing, live music, camper vans, yoga and more.
HOW TO GET THERE
The roller derby is taking place at ‘The Cage’ which is the tennis/basketball courts by Fisherman’s Green. That’s roughly halfway between the Pier and Marina on Eastbourne seafront. It’s around 25 minutes walk from the train station and there’s a car park right next to the venue (£4.80 all day) as well as street parking on side streets. Alternatively, the Wave 99 bus stops a minute’s walk from The Cage (Fishermen’s Club or Roselands stop) – it can be picked up outside Nat West in the town centre (two minutes walk from the station) and runs all the way to Hastings. The postcode to punch into your SatNav or map app for the venue is BN22 7AA.
FACILITIES & INFO
Admission to the roller derby is completely FREE yay! The games run from around 10am-6pm and there are after parties after. There are (smelly) public toilets right by the venue. There’s usually a few food stalls a little further towards the Marina (where other Beach Life Festival things are happening) and an opportunistic ice cream van will probably pull up outside the derby at some point. Being roller derby, there is of course CAKE available at the venue, as well as merch stands, a raffle and more. You can bring in your own booze and that. The nearest supermarkets (Coop, Tesco Express and Spar) are around four minutes walk inland on Seaside Road.
The weather forecast says it’s going to be cloudy, but it’s always advisable to bring suntan lotion to Extreme, as several people each year find out to their cost! There is some seating, but you might want to bring something soft to sit on, eg a cushion, jumper or child. The after party on Saturday is at the Fishermen’s Club right by the venue. Tickets (limited to 120) are priced at £8. Sunday’s after party (free entry) is at Eastbourne Roller Derby’s favourite pub, the Crown & Anchor on the seafront near the Pier. Right below you’ll find an image of the full schedule flyer. Below that we have previews of all the action. Hurrah!
SATURDAY 15TH JULY
10.00 – 11.30
EASTBOURNE EXTREME TEAM v BRIGHTON ROCKERBILLIES (Women’s)
PREVIEWED BY HEADCASE
Last year we had enough players to play a couple of games with our fledgling B-team. This was a very proud moment for veteran Bombshells, but transfers, injuries and dropouts in the A-team (meaning players could move up) led to a fast drop in B-team numbers. This gave us an opportunity to run an Extreme Rookie team, which we have successfully done for three years now.
On the Extreme Rookie team Metal Malicious is a complete unknown who we are looking forward to meeting. Hopefully jet lag won’t be a problem as she has flown in from Canada especially for this special event. Watch out for neat footwork from ERD’s own InnsterSlam – she’s been travelling hundreds of miles to play in challenge team games around the country. This is bearing out in her gameplay and has proved to be an invaluable way to gain roller derby experience as a player hungry for more games.
The PhilosoFear is making a reappearance, having stepped down for most of the last year to complete a BSc Degree in Ecology & the Environment (she got a first, so some might argue it was worth it). Bettsy Bruiser from The Apex Predators has bought a line-up that includes double threat Hustle me Elmo.
We love our Brighton neighbours and meet up for scrims and games from time to time. Rockerbillies we will be watching out for in particular include Yorkshire Brew-ser and Obliviator. Yorkshire Brew-ser is one of our own who transferred to Brighton – we know how good she is at getting through solid walls. Obliviator has played at previous Extremes and has great on-track awareness. She will definitely be taking control on the track. I’m so excited… is it Saturday yet?
11.30 – 13.00
EASTBOURNE ROLLER DERBY A-BOMBS v K-HEM (Open To All)
PREVIEWED BY CHASIN STATUS
We expect this to be a tough game!!! There are a few unknown entities on the K-Hem roster, but like the rest of the team, they are NOT to be underestimated. With the Bomb S’Quad having played and collaborated well with many of the opposition as Mayhem Squad, there are a few known troublemakers to watch out for on track.
Mal Pac-A 105 and Tiggrr 17 are on fire as Jammers. Brute 66 as a Blocker is a bit of a Brute (best not get caught sleeping) and Drop and Give Me 20 is an all round Double Threat. The rest are known to be disciplined and play well.
For the A-Bombs the Jammers to watch include Nesta Vipers 789 and NewMatic Drill 77, who are fast and relentless. Smash’er Fierce blocks like a rock and the rest I would have to say are fairly seasoned Extremer’s 😉
Open To All is exactly that and all those brave enough are welcome. Whatever the result both teams will love this game and I’m sure the crowd will too.
13.00 – 14.30
ERD NEW BOURNES v EXTREME JUNIORS CHALLENGE TEAM (Juniors)
PREVIEWED BY DRAG ‘N’ FLY & HEADCASE
New Bournes Junior Roller Derby started back at the beginning of 2014. Initially we only had five skaters but we have grown and currently have 14 skaters most of which are at Level 3. We train once a week as a team, with some of the older skaters attending Eastbourne’s main league training and helping with NSOing to improve their game knowledge.
This year at Extreme the New Bournes are playing against a mixed team with Hereford Poison Berries coach Tristan Shout benching and another Berries coach Barb Corrick as line-up. Watch out for Niyalator who wooed the crowds with her jamming skills at this April’s drawn game at Anarchy, and also DASH skater T-Brakes, an experienced junior who is playing at her third Extreme.
The roster includes many players who are new to us. This is great and shows that the junior game continues to develop (I believe that that most of the junior visitors are Poison Berries players). Notable mention: Jazzaster for the New Bournes is playing her last Extreme as a junior skater and next year will be on the adult roster. Jazz will be our first graduation!
In August we are taking most of the junior Eastbourne team to participate in Europe’s first junior roller derby tournament in Copenhagen (Creatures of The Abyss Tournament or C.A.T). We’re going on a road trip! You can help support us at Extreme by buying one of our limited edition tour T-shirts, badges, key rings or coasters
14.30 – 16.00
MAYHEM SQUAD v MY NAME IS JEFF & FRIENDS (Men’s)
PREVIEWED BY SPANK ME SIDEWAYS
For the Bomb S’Quad heading into another year at Eastbourne Extreme (Beach Life Festival) we always expect a tough game. The bar is raised by every player on the track as they know their worst critic is every other team/player watching them all weekend, as well as the general public.
We have played against Medway Mayhem a few times over the years and joined alongside their players in mixed team games. We all get along really well and since numbers have fallen (with fewer recruits and older team members retiring) we have been able to join forces to keep the roller derby spirit alive. We have won our last four collaborative games and hope to continue this streak.
One player to look out for from My Name Is Jeff in this match is #42 Jeff (aka BrutAl Deluxe) who is a nifty jammer and loves to jump high on the apex. We also have our own amazing jammer, Nesta Vipers, who has footwork that Michael Jackson would be proud of.
Both teams have big solid, strong, experienced players and we cannot expect this to be a walkover. We will enter this game as we always do – calm, fierce but lethal.
16.00 – 17.30
ERD BOURNE BOMBSHELLS v BRIGHTON ROCKERS (Women’s)
PREVIEWED BY MISTER ADAM
Rounding off the day is this meeting of the top two women’s teams in Sussex. If the rankings websites are to be believed this one could be a bit of a landslide. Brighton are placed much higher than Eastbourne in the UK (23rd v 58th), European (72nd v 233rd) and world (383rd v 1109th) tables. Even allowing for the Bombshells’ home advantage, the online prediction computers give the Rockers 95-98% chance of victory here. The visitors are expected to score three to five times as many points as the hosts, with a scoreline in the region of 250-65.
Of course, the predictometers are geared up for standard sports hall games, and don’t allow for the variables that playing outdoors on tarmac add to the mix. Eastbourne have other causes for optimism. Brighton are unlikely to field a full squad of fourteen, since away teams rarely do. Whilst around half of the current Rockers A-team have previously played at Extreme (the B-team having taken part in the last two years), their most experienced skaters admit to having never played derby outdoors before. The Bombshells, meanwhile, know this surface well through several previous Extremes as well as a few recent mini-Extremes.
Having said that, there are other factors in Brighton’s favour. The Bombshells have seen far less open door action than them in the past year, whilst the Rockers are still buzzing from getting their biggest win ever (453-65 v Belfast) a few weeks ago. This game comes just three days after Brighton attained full membership of the world’s biggest roller derby organisation WFTDA (which only has 21 UK members), something else that might put wind in the Rockers’ sails/skates.
As for players to look out for, Brighton have a number of double/triple threats, as adept at skipping through opposition walls as bracing their own. The likes of Shambolic and Emma The Condemner are likely to see a lot of track time in various positions, whilst newer additions to the A-team roster such as Cruelty Spree and Fellen E Assault continue to build on their experience. Having added irrepressible jamming to her long-standing sturdy blocking skills, Hippy Hippy Skate has been described as “our secret weapon” by other Brighton skaters. The secret is surely out now – Hippy is our Rockers One To Watch.
In the Eastbourne ranks, the relentless Amazing Graze, speedy Bullet Bomber and nimble Crash are amongst those likely to catch the eye. We hope the Rockers have avoided getting sunburnt upper arms during the day, since they are likely to sting after going up against our Bombshells One To Watch, the super tough Smash’er Fierce. With a hometown crowd cheering them on, Eastbourne will be looking to raise their game and upset the odds, although it’s statistically difficult to see beyond a solid Brighton win here.
“We’re super excited to play the Rockers in our finale on Saturday, though it’s going to be a tough one. As south coast neighbours we know them pretty well and often watch their games. I think it’s the Rockers’ first outdoor game, so we will give it our all and see what happens. I remember it was a bit daunting when I first played roller derby outside on concrete, but now I love it. There’s a risk of getting a few grazes, but skating in the sun (hopefully) and being able to go for a post game dip in the sea is the best!”
SMASH’ER FIERCE, BOURNE BOMBSHELLS
“We haven’t played Eastbourne in a very long time and most of us haven’t skated Extreme before, so it’s a bit of an unknown. They’re our derby neighbours and we know each other well, so it’s going to be a fun game to play for sure. I’ve skated outdoors a whole bunch of times, but never actually played derby outside – I’ve been wanting to play Extreme for a long time for the chance to try it out. I imagine sharp stops are going to be interesting. I know we get to wear sunglasses, which is fabulous.”
RACEY, BRIGHTON ROCKERS
SUNDAY 16TH JULY
WOMEN’S SEVENS TOURNAMENT
10.00 COME AT ME BRO v SIRENS & CO
11.00 TEAM METAL LEGS v NORTH DEVON ROLLER DERBY
12.00 COME AT ME BRO v NORTH DEVON ROLLER DERBY
13.00 TEAM METAL LEGS v SIRENS & CO
14.00 COME AT ME BRO v TEAM METAL LEGS
15.00 NORTH DEVON ROLLER DERBY v SIRENS & CO
16.00 WOMEN’S FINAL
OPEN TO ALL SEVENS TOURNAMENT
10.30 ZERO BUCKS GIVEN v SCURVY WENCHES
11.30 7 SLAMURAI v BIG HERO 7
12.30 7 SLAMURAI v SCURVY WENCHES
13.30 ZERO BUCKS GIVEN v BIG HERO 7
14.30 7 SLAMURAI v ZERO BUCKS GIVEN
15.30 BIG HERO 7 v SCURVY WENCHES
16.30 OPEN TO ALL FINAL
SEVENS TOURNAMENTS PREVIEWED BY TENACIOUS P
What’s more exciting than Roller Derby I hear you say? Well imagine Roller Derby that has just seven players per squad, no pesky bench coaches or official reviews to slow the game down, and where each game lasts for just 21 minutes in total (with no stoppages or time outs). What you are ‘imagining’ is Roller Derby Sevens #RDSevens – the fastest paced and most exciting version of Roller Derby yet devised.
This year at Extreme we host the first EVER Seaside Sevens tournament and take #RDSevens to a whole new level. Two tournaments (one women’s, one Open To All) running side by side. A total of eight teams – featuring 56 of the best derby players insane enough to take on the challenge – representing the top teams in both the UK and internationally. Yup, its Sevens outdoors in the sun, with heats running from 10am until 4pm when the best two teams from each group will meet in the finals.
Teams to watch: Seaside Sirens & Co (women’s) and 7 SLAMurai (OTA).
SEVENS TOURNAMENTS PREVIEWED BY HEADCASE
Come At Me Bro, a team of mainly Croydon Roller Derby players, could possibly claim the crown Champions Of Extreme if there was one, with Croydon teams having previously won three out of four years at Extreme. This year they are fielding a mostly Croydon Sevens team that includes President Garfield, ex Croydon skater last seen playing for Bristol, and Coop who now plays for LRR. North Devon have been riding high in their Tier 3 British Champs games, which means they’ll also be strong contenders.
The Seaside Sirens & Co team contains some well-known hard hitters, including The Beckoning, who will be facing her old team mate Mother Mercy, who is back with a vengeance with Team Metal Legs. Prediction: Come At Me Bro for the win in this women’s tournie – it’s almost home turf. As for the Open To All tournament, the teams include Extreme veterans from Southern Discomfort, Portsmouth, Big Bucks and Eastbourne. 7 SLAMurai have a couple of national team players in their ranks, which I think will weigh the odds in their favour.
SATURDAY 18.00-00.00 @ FISHERMEN’S CLUB (tickets £8)
SUNDAY 18.00-00.00 @ CROWN & ANCHOR PUB (free entry)
[Photos by John Hesse]
EXTREME FB PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/EastbourneExtremeRD/
EXTREME FB EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/1124805250982415/
SATURDAY PARTY: https://www.facebook.com/events/458734201158554/
SUNDAY PARTY: https://www.facebook.com/events/241032096410580/
BEACH LIFE FESTIVAL: http://www.beachlifefestival.co.uk/