It’s that time of year again – Eastbourne Extreme o’clock yay! This weekend (14th & 15th July) sees two full days of roller derby outdoors on Eastbourne seafront. This year will feature two tracks for the first time, so double the derby. In fact, there are no fewer than 24 games (several of them full length, but most 30-minutes or less), which means putting together this year’s online preview was even more of a mission than usual. Huge thanks to all those who helped and provided words etc.
HOW TO GET THERE
The roller derby is taking place as usual 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 for the day we think) 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. The postcode to punch into your SatNav or map app for the venue is BN22 7AA.
FACILITIES AND THAT
Admission to the roller derby is completely FREE yay! The games run from roughly 10am-6pm on both days. There are (smelly) public toilet huts right by the venue, but be warned the ladies one often has festival-sized queues between games. There are 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 and more. You can bring in your own booze. The nearest supermarkets (Coop, Tesco Express and Spar) are around four minutes walk inland on Seaside Road. Sunday’s after party is at the Crown & Anchor, a 15-minute seafront stroll back towards town.
WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT – SATURDAY 14TH JULY
10.00 BOURNE BOMBSHELLS vs BRIGHTON ROCKERBILLIES
10.45 TERRA HURTZ vs SURREY ROLLER GIRLS
12.30 BRIGHTON ROCKERBILLIES vs TERRA HURTZ
13.15 BOURNE BOMBSHELLS vs SURREY ROLLER GIRLS
15.00 BRIGHTON ROCKERBILLIES vs SURREY ROLLER GIRLS
15.45 BOURNE BOMBSHELLS vs TERRA HURTZ
The women’s tournament consists of six 30-minute games between a total of four teams. Three of these – Eastbourne Roller Derby’s Bourne Bombshells, Brighton Rockerbillies (Rockers B-team) and Surrey Roller Girls – know each other very well. They have met in open and closed door action on several occasions in recent times. The other competitor, Terra Hurtz (the B-team of Chelmsford-based Killa Hurtz), are a slightly more unknown quantity, though the Bombshells and Surrey have faced their A-team in British Champs in the past. But what are the teams themselves expecting…?
ELLE HOUND OF BOURNE BOMBSHELLS SAYS…
“Eastbourne Extreme is the sunshine tournament on the roller derby calendar. Being the only outdoor free (and usually very sunny) tournament in the UK it attracts skaters from all corners of the country and beyond. The Bombshells are gearing up for our three games on the Saturday after coming off a tough but very successful British Champs season.
We have become a small-statured team compared to some others, but rely on our jammers’ skilled footwork and twirling to get through the pack, paired with our blocker’s great tactics, teamwork and track awareness to get one up on the larger-built teams. We know there will be some tricky opponents, but our synergies as a team have helped us to go up against tough opposition and come out victorious even when the stats are against us.
Being the home team means we have had the advantage of being used to playing outside on very hard and hot concrete. This allows us to feel confident from the first jam. As these are just 30-minute games we have to throw all our efforts in from the whistle as we have no time to get comfortable in the game. Having so many of the Team GB Juniors squad coming from our league has been a fantastic boost to our coaches and the whole league. We support them fully and we’ve been furiously raising funds to help get them all over to the USA. See you all trackside!”
SLAP DASH OF BRIGHTON ROCKERBILLIES SAYS…
“The Rockerbillies are the Brighton Rockers B-team. We’ve had quite a lot of change in our team in the past six months, so we have mainly been working on building up our skills collectively and supporting our newer players to gain more experience. This is the first Eastbourne Extreme for quite a few of our players, so we are really looking forward to the new challenge of playing together outside… and of course the ice cream afterwards!
The more experienced Rockerbillies who have played at Extreme before have been able to give advice on outdoor wheels and the importance of sun cream. Getting to play three games is really exciting and that’s a new challenge for us. We’re hoping to keep improving throughout and to adapt to each opponent.
In terms of Rockerbillies to watch, I would look out for Go Go Gozer – she is coming up in the team as a brilliant jammer. Also look out for our new captain Goldiblocks, who has a brilliant derby brain and is proving to be a super speedy blocker. Overall, I’m hoping that the Rockerbillies fully fulfil our motto – have fun, learn and win.”
PEG 4 MERCY OF TERRA HURTZ SAYS…
“This is the Terra Hurtz’ debut in an open door event. We founded the team this year as a part of the Killa Hurtz. We are mega-excited as we have some skaters making their kHz debuts. First up we have Kreacher, who has got a bit of rep in training for being a badass. Then we have Tricky, don’t let her small stature fool you – tricky by name, tricky by nature. Finally, we have Thundra, who we are excited to see playing in purple – watch out for the big hits!”
DR FRANCANHURTER OF SURREY ROLLER GIRLS SAYS…
“Surrey Roller Girls are so excited to take part in the Saturday tournament of Eastbourne Extreme. We look forward to some friendly competition and plenty of track time as we play the other teams. We can’t wait to experience roller derby in the sun and have all the fun at Eastbourne Extreme.”
MEN’S SEVENS TOURNAMENT – SATURDAY 14TH JULY
11.30 BOMB S’QUAD vs KINGS OF BLOCK N ROLL
12.00 GENTS IN PINK vs SURREY JAMMERWOCKIES
14.00 GENTS IN PINK vs KINGS OF BLOCK N ROLL
14.30 BOMB S’QUAD vs SURREY JAMMERWOCKIES
16.30 KINGS OF BLOCK N ROLL vs SURREY JAMMERWOCKIES
17.00 BOMB S’QUAD vs GENTS IN PINK
If the 30-minute games of the women’s tournament seem to be over in a flash, the men’s tournament will be even more hectical. This is being played under Derby Sevens rules, a format invented by Essex Men’s Roller Derby that usually features squads of seven playing a 21-minute game (though some folk round this down to 20). The four sides taking part in this tournie are Eastbourne’s Bomb S’Quad, Surrey Jammerwockies, Devon’s Kings Of Block N Roll and the Gents In Pink challenge team. Here are some words from them all…
CHASIN’ STATUS OF BOMB S’QUAD SAYS…
“Welcome to Eastbourne Extreme’s Sevens Tournament. Sevens with a difference. Teams will be playing to the usual rules, but the subtle difference is there may be slightly more than seven players on each team (up to ten, in fact). Our host team Bomb S’Quad have lost a couple of players since last year; have one player (Tenacious P) welcomed back from premature retirement; and thankfully have their numbers bolstered today by the lovely Bombshells Smash’er Fierce and Bullet Bomber.
There are also a couple of additional members since last year in RiDdick Yule and Royale Wid Cheese. Then of course we have the usual suspects: Chase, Spank, Filthy and the absolute legend that is Harry Trotter. The team will be looking to make the best of the home advantage, but are certainly not underestimating the competition.
The Kings Of Block N Roll are a bit of an unknown quantity, but if their names are anything to go by they will no doubt be out to cause as much trouble for the opposition as possible. Lukelear Blast is a known on-track trouble maker and certainly one to keep an eye on. The Gents In Pink are a free flowing collective of inter-changeable not so gentle men. Jay Low, Crush Of Blood and Bang stand out, and those in such feted company will likely be made of similar fibre, so they’re certainly a team to watch!
Last but not least… Surrey Not Sorry. Probably the Bomb S’Quad’s longest standing allies and competitors. They always play hard, fast and smart, giving their all. The Jammerwockies are certainly NOT to be underestimated. Look out for Smacks’em, Danger and Vor-Paul Sword, and of course EVERYONE loves The Adorable One! Saturdays Sunny Seaside Sevens Shenanigans Should Surely Satisfy Sunbathing Spectators. Grab a cup of cake, a slice of tea and a chair (before they all go) ’cause this is gonna be goooood!”
SURREY JAMMERWOCKIES SAY…
“The Jammerwockies are no strangers to Eastbourne Extreme, having played in previous years as a team and as individuals in mixed teams, and it remains a highlight of our calendar every year. Our history with the Bomb S’Quad goes right back to the early days of both teams but we recognise plenty of old and recent friends on both the Gents’ and the Kings’ rosters. We’re bursting with excitement to be catching up with so many pals on and off the track and to be cheering on our BFFs, Surrey Roller Girls. Expect to see a variety of play styles from our skaters; Jam Tart’s super slick footwork, The Adorable One’s deceptively feisty shoulders, or even a biological threat in the form of a sweaty Smacks’em!”
KINGS OF BLOCK N ROLL SAY…
“The Kings of Block ‘n’ Roll had their first ever game in 2013 with all Devon-based skaters. The team later expanded to include Cornwall in 2015 and now Bristol in 2018! Many of the Kings are Eastbourne Extreme veterans and love playing on the rough tarmac in the sunshine with the sea to cool off in at the end of the day. If you want to know who to look out for on the team, well look out for everyone. These skaters have represented Ireland and Scotland at the last three Men’s Roller Derby World Cups, they’ve got years of refereeing experience, and take their name as seriously as they take their skating. They’ll be the ones lifting a trophy by the end of the day.”
GENTS IN PINK SAY…
“The Gents In Pink fully embody the derby spirit. Skaters of all genders and orientation from Scotland, England and Wales coming together to represent in pink. This team at Eastbourne Extreme return after a double win against Team Denmark prior to the World Cup and we’re planning to bring home another win.”
JUNIORS TOURNAMENT – SATURDAY 14TH & SUNDAY 15TH JULY
SATURDAY 14TH – TRACK TWO
11.00 RED vs WHITE
11.45 WHITE vs BLUE
12.30 BLUE vs RED
14.00 JUNIOR BOOT CAMP
SUNDAY 15TH – TRACK TWO
10.30 RED vs WHITE
11.15 WHITE vs BLUE
12.00 BLUE vs RED
With the exception of a women’s intermediate game on Sunday afternoon, the brand new second track at Extreme will be the preserve of the Juniors. With just days to go until the Junior World Cup (and several of Team GB and Team Europe in attendance) this is a great opportunity to see some of the next generation of roller derby stars…
RACHELL (NEW BOURNES & TEAM GB SKATER) SAYS…
“2018 welcomes Eastbourne Extreme’s first ever junior tournament, which consists of three teams that will play each other twice over two days in 30-minute games. Each team will have between 13-14 players as well as being benched by skaters competing in the Roller Derby World Cup. There will be junior skaters travelling from all around the UK as well as France and Sweden, who also feature skaters playing in the Junior Roller Derby World Cup on the 23rd-24th July in Philadelphia. On the Saturday, New Bournes Junior Roller Derby will be leading a boot camp for the other visiting skaters, teaching them skills we have learnt from England coaches and other training sessions.
A total of 23 British under-18 skaters will be competing in the Junior Roller Derby World Cup. It’s the first time Great Britain will take part in the World Cup, so to make sure this debut is successful,we’ve all been putting in long hours of hard work and intense training. The skaters have travelled across the country to attend numerous training sessions run by high level players, and we have England men’s player Toots as bench coach. The skaters have raised almost all the funds for the trip through fundraisers and charitable events. Some have also obtained commercial sponsorship through their impressive skating abilities.”
MIXED LEAGUE GAMES – SUNDAY 15TH JULY (TRACK ONE UNLESS STATED)
This year the whole Sunday (on track one) is given over to a series of mixed league games featuring skaters from far and wide teaming up for full-length matches. Asking for some words from every team taking part would make this preview extra long. So instead, to give us a flavour of the day in general, we’ve randomly asked one person involved in each game (and three for the rookies game, just because) to give us some words. Here are those words…
10.00 WOMEN’S ROOKIE GAME
PREVIEWED BY MEMBERS OF THE ROOKIE MONSTERS (WHITE TEAM)
SKATER BAMBIDEXTROUS SAYS…
“I’m pooing myself about the game (first game jitters) – why are we playing in white dammit! Even though it’s an outdoor game I’m still wearing shorts rather than leggings – bring on the potential and imminent derby kisses, ouch! What can the crowd expect from the rookies game? To see some awesome people play an awesome game, and my team is especially awesome because our name is awesome. Do the thing, score the points, yay sports!”
BENCH COACH BERSERKER SAYS…
“The main difference between roller derby at Extreme and traditional sports hall games is that whole ‘WHAT IS THIS FIRE IN THE SKY?’ thing. Things to look out for in the rookies game: All the shouting, none of its coherent. Also, concealed weapons.”
LINE-UP MANAGER MIMIKA MAYHEM SAYS…
“I love Extreme as it has such a wide variety of games to choose to be a part of, whether skating in or on the bench. I really like skating outdoors. I haven’t noticed much difference once you’re in full game mode as you just adapt. The key is to wear indoor wheels. Don’t go for outdoor wheels because you’ll never get moving *wink*.
This game will be lots of fun. I dare say there will be a fair few penalties from both teams as the skaters get used to playing a proper game, plus a game outside on concrete and all that that entails. We’re going to let the rookies play all the positions they want. I think for us it is more about the taking part and the achievement of playing than winning. Winning will just be the icing on top, or the cream with my strawberries. Yay Wimbledon!”
11.30 MEN’S INTERMEDIATE GAME
PREVIEWED BY DANGER RUSS, JESPER & THE BLOCKERNAUGHTS (BLUE) BENCH COACH
The Men’s Intermediate is not going to be pretty derby! There will be testosterone mixed with powerful hits and good skating skills, but not always the level of control you see from top level men’s derby. But don’t be fooled, these guys are skilled derby players; they know the tactics, they know the rules, and they will give every jam their heart and soul.
The one thing every skater will need to overcome is the fear of falling on tarmac. Unlike the usual wooden sports hall floor or plastic skatecourt, tarmac is far less forgiving and the resultant rink rash will be more deep scrape than surface burn. If they can play like they are on an indoor surface then they will have the advantage over the more timid. They should definitely be packing outdoor wheels and extra toe-stops, because indoor wheels will be slow outside and there’s a definite possibility of wearing toe-stops down to the metal!
This is my first time benching, so I can’t really say how I’m going to play it in terms of tactics. However if you ref as many games as I have, you do pick up do’s and dont’s, and one thing that will lose you a game is penalties. So we are going to try and get as few as possible. Look out for our captain Jesper Larsen (Nurgle Bomber) – he played for Team Denmark at this year’s Men’s World Cup – and RiDdick Yule, the newest member of the Eastbourne Bomb S’Quad, who is a rising star in that team. Also our lovely LUM Lady Painelope will be looking fabulous.
13.00 WOMEN’S INTERMEDIATE GAME 1
PREVIEWED BY SWANN, TEAM BANANA (YELLOW) LINE-UP MANAGER
Team Banana will be looking fabulously summery in yellow on Sunday, and you can expect a mixing pot of skaters from different leagues (including hosts Eastbourne) who are all about having fun and looking fabulous in sunglasses. In terms of tactics, you can mostly expect some offensive plays designed to prevent our jammers getting heatstroke, using our strength to stand firm and maximise time in the best tanning spots.
Lady Painelope has stated her only weakness is Microsoft Excel, so I’m expecting her to perform outstandingly, unless the NSOs get too close with a stats sheet. Playing outside comes with some extra considerations, such as horrible grazes, sunburn, silly tan lines and the challenge of hockey stopping on tarmac, but I’m confident Team Banana will smash it on Sunday.
13.15 WOMEN’S INTERMEDIATE GAME 2 (TRACK TWO)
PREVIEWED BY MADTRIX, EXTREMELY BURNT (RED) SKATER
The game is going to be really interesting, because it’s a mixed team of mostly people who have never skated together before. It’s always fun to see how you work as a team. Skating outdoors is not something I personally have a lot of experience with. I know that it’s super hard to stop properly and do a lot of the basic skating skills we all take for granted, so there’s definitely going to be an added challenge to the game. It’s such a relaxed and fun environment. A lot of people will just be there to enjoy the weather and avoid getting sunburnt!
Eastbourne Extreme is so much more fun than indoor roller derby. Why? Because it’s summer, it’s warm, it’s by the sea, and you get to see loads of people you often won’t see for the rest of the year, which is always super. Also it’s a great excuse to have a drink (when you aren’t skating of course). On my team I’m lucky enough to have two of my Apex Predators teammates, Sk’Aly Wag and Knit One Hurl One, so definitely look out for us as we will probably spend a lot of time on track together… but I’m sure it’s going to be a fun game whoever we are skating with.
14.30 MEN’S ADVANCED GAME
PREVIEWED BY JAY LOW, BOGIES (LIME GREEN) SKATER
Introducing the Mighty BOGIES! Inspired by the shirt colour and of course Dick and Dom, the team represents the fluorescent marvel of them both. Captained by pivot and star pass fanatic East Anglo Smackson Jay Low, they feature experienced and dangerous jammers Alpha Papa and Boomstick of Portsmouth and Dorset respectively and regular EE participant Horndog of Southern Discomfort.
They are backed up by further EE regulars, See Slick Steve of Oxford and Blizzard Of Oz of Kent, who know how things are done on The Cage floorcourt. Extreme originals Spank Me Sideways and Pont Blank will bring experience and skill, while relative newcomers Hard N Sharpe of Bristol, Red White And Bruise of Crash Test Brummies and Stuntman Psyk of The Inhuman league show what depth and talent we have across the team. Finally we have Crush of Blood now of SDRD, Tagg of Suffolk and Scott T Dogg stepping in with the ability to jam, block, pivot, kick butt and shout ‘BOGIES’ louder than any skater. BRING IT ON… SEE YOU IN THE CAGE!
16.00 WOMEN’S ADVANCED GAME
PREVIEWED BY MOTHER MERCY, ORANGE IS THE NEW BLOCK (ORANGE) SKATER
We’re all super psyched for Eastbourne this Sunday. Quite a few of us have skated in various teams at the event over the years. Myself and Dee Mosquito skated against each in the first Eastbourne Extreme tournament 10000 years ago. I can’t pick out any one skater to look out for as there’s going to be so much awesome flying about the track. Big shout out to our bench and line up, Savage Hun and Mimika Mayhem, for taking on the task of keeping us all in line.
We’ve definitely got our hands full with the other team. The Beckoning, Spink, Toxic and Berry are all names that immediately stand out. And let’s not forget the power house that is Hard N Sharpe, who seems to be playing in 574 games over the weekend. The biggest thing I’ve always noticed at Extreme is having to have better track awareness as you have no rope to feel. That and how cool you can look skating in sunglasses!
[Photos by John Hesse]