Eastbourne Extreme 2018 is THIS WEEKEND (14th & 15th July) Yay – Full Preview HERE!

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]

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THIS KENT BE HAPPENING: BOURNE BOMBSHELLS v APEX PREDATORS PREVIEW

Eastbourne Roller Derby’s awesome Bourne Bombshells are in action today/tomorrow… Saturday 2nd December. They’re away to the Apex Predators of Southern CoEd Roller Derby. The game takes place at the Medway Park sports complex in Gillingham, Kent at 1pm (doors open 12.30) with tickets £15 on the door. Point your SatNav at ME7 1HF or stroll ten minutes from Gillingham (Kent not Dorset) station. There’s a mixed teams co-ed game and a cheerleading display too! Flattrackstats gives Eastbourne (228th in Europe on 479.4 points) 52% chance of beating Apex (256th on 469.6). Expected differential of 44:43 means something like a 220-215 away win. But what do the teams expect? We asked some of them…

VARIOUS FOLK – APEX PREDATORS

For anyone who doesn’t know about SCERD/Predators, could you give us a brief summary of your history?

Heisenbird: SCERD started out life in May 2013 under the name of Rochester Royal Rollers Recreational Roller Derby. That’s right, RRRRRD – no problem to pronounce if you’re Spanish. Initially formed purely due to the lack of recreational teams in Kent, eventually many members expressed a desire to be more competitive… And so in 2015 the umbrella league of Southern CoEd Roller Derby was conceived. Apex Predators & Weald Warriors provided “women’s” and “men’s” teams (both teams are open to non-binary skaters) to offer competitive opportunities for those who wanted them. RRR remained until this year when the league felt that there was no need to have a separate rec team. Skaters can train as training partners even if they do not wish to compete. 2017 also saw the inception of the first junior team in Kent – the Artful Dodgers – who are open to 6-17 year old skaters.

We believe some of your players are ex-Eastbourne folk. Who and what should ERD fans look out for from Apex Predators?

The PhilosoFear: Both myself and Swann are ex-Eastbourne players. I transferred to the league in June, after taking a break from roller derby to complete my degree. But I’ve been hanging around SCERD for a few years, as previously I was the Apex Predators bench coach. The Predators and Bourne Bombshells are quite different teams. The Bombshells have some more experienced players than we do (quite a few of Apex are newer skaters) and so they have the advantage of superior skating skills. The only way we can try to counter that is for Apex Predators to have strong default strategies. We have a particular style of play that we’ve been working on. In terms of who to look out for: Sk’Aly Wag’s jamming has come on in leaps and bounds over the past few months. She’s the kind of jammer that I like to call ‘slippery’ as it’s very hard to shut her down. Knit One Hurl One is always one to watch – our little Shetland pony is small but very sturdy. She’ll be jamming and blocking, and is equally strong at both.

Any particular Eastbourne players or tactics that the Predators will be looking out for?

The PhilosoFear: My old blocking buddy Smash’er Fierce is always one to watch. I always loved playing with her and we worked well together, so playing against her will be tough! She’s sure to send a few jammers flying. Bullet Bomber is an all-round excellent player and tough to get past, whilst Hell Block H’s tornado blocking will be difficult for jammers to deal with. But we have the advantage of knowing how the Bombshells play, so we can adjust to work against that – although I haven’t been with Eastbourne for nearly a year now, so I’m sure they’ll have a few surprises for us!

Flattrackstats calls Predators v Bombshells as super close. Maybe a 220-215 away win. What do you expect?

The PhilosoFear: Flattrackstats’ predictions are skewed to favour the home team, which edges the prediction towards an almost even split with the Bombshells given a 52% chance of winning. However, we don’t actually train in our home venue. In fact, we’ve only skated there on one more occasion than the Bombshells have! So averaging out the home and away predictions (Bombshells are given a 63% chance of winning at home) for a neutral venue suggests Eastbourne have a 57.5% chance of winning. Therefore, I think we’d expect the Bombshells to win… but for it to be very close. We won’t go down without a fight, so it’s anyone’s game!

The day’s other action sees a cheerleading display and a mixed game. Any highlights to look out from those?

The PhilosoFear: The MCDA Allstars cheerleaders have been a great support to us, by putting on pre-game and half-time shows at all of our home games. Expect to see some daring moves and people flying through the air! The mixed game is Team Tumbleweed v Gents in Pink. Tumbleweed have some Predators playing, along with some of SCERD’s Weald Warriors, Eastbourne’s Bomb S’Quad and some other friends. Ex-Weald Warrior (now with Wirral Pack Animals) Chandler Bang will be playing under his Tumbleweed name Brusst and he’s one to watch. He always jammed for Weald Warriors, but since moving to the Pack Animals he’s been a blocker and his blocking skills are crazy good! Weald Warriors captain Crush of Blood (Tumbleweed name: Maintenance) is another one to watch – he’s a strong double threat. I don’t know much about Gents in Pink, but I know they have a few from Surrey Roller Derby playing for them. Two of my Surrey favourites, Crazy Cat Lady and Hunter Stompson are playing, so they’ll be ones to watch there.

What can you tell us about your venue and the after party?

The PhilosoFear: Our venue is Medway Park. It has plenty of parking, a café upstairs and we’re lucky to have bleacher seating. It’s an easy walk 10 minute from Gillingham station. As for stalls, we have the wonderful Mockbeggar Farm Shop coming to feed us with their hot Caribbean food. I recommend the vegan curry, it’s excellent! There’ll also be merch stalls. On the Predators stall you can buy some fantastic new stuff, including APs bobble hats, temporary tattoos, greetings cards, shark Christmas decorations (with 50p from every decoration sale going to The Shark Trust) and you can paint your own shark money box. Of course there will also be an epic cake stall. Medway Food Bank will have a collection point at the game – so please bring any food you wish to donate. Check out https://medway.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-food/ to see what items they are desperately in need of and what they have enough of.

Puschifer: The after party is at The Cargo Bar, which is a 2 minute drive from Medway Park or a 15 minute walk. It’s from 5pm-7.30pm (with food available until 7pm) because at 7.30 SCERD are having a sit-down Christmas meal. This is followed by the SCERD Xmas Disco.

What is the Apex Predators’ Christmas Wish?

HeisenBird: Peaceful nations and clean oceans. And a Sport England grant.

Sew Solid Sue: To have our own venue.

Crushin’ Doll: That more women and girls get involved in sport next year, peace on earth and goodwill to all genders.



INNSTERSLAM – BOURNE BOMBSHELLS

You’ll be facing some ex-Eastbourne skaters this weekend?

Yes, there are a couple of players – Swann and The PhilosoFear – who are ex-ERD on the Apex roster. We always look forward to skating with them, regardless of whether we are on the same or opposing side. We have skated with a few other Apex Predators as part of Eastbourne Extreme and midweek scrims.

Who and what are the Bombshells looking out for in terms of players/tactics from Apex?

Obviously we are going to be wary about ex-ERD players as they will know some of our tactics and strategies, along with having a lot of track experience. Other players like Puschifer and Knit One are double threats who are really strong whether blocking or jamming. And of course, Ballistic Whistle [former England and London bench coach] brings a wealth of derby/benching experience. Whilst he’s not on track as such, his presence can sometimes unnerve players!

Any particular Eastbourne players or tactics that fans should be looking out for in this game?

Without giving too much away, let’s just say we’ve been inspired by the recent Champs games and may well be trying some new wall formations. In terms of players, we have a mix of newer and more seasoned players, so it will be good to see how they all work together. Watch out for Hell Block H, Smash’er Fierce and Bullet providing the usual wall of death, along with the likes of Crash and Calemity as double threats.

How different is an away game to a home match?

An away game psychologically puts players on the back foot, especially if the home team pulls in a good crowd. In addition, adjusting to a different floor can take a couple of jams for players to find their feet – or should I say skates! That said, it keeps us on our toes and helps players keep their wits about them.

Flattrackstats call this as a super narrow (three or four point) Eastbourne win. What are you expecting?

It’s hard to predict a score as a lot of factors will come into play on the day. But if FTS are predicting a close game, that means lots of excitement and lead changes. We are going in with an open mind, although we expect it will be a tough game. We just want to have some derby fun.

The day’s other action sees a cheerleading display and a mixed game…

The Gents In Pink v Team Tumbleweed game should be fun. A cheerleading display sounds great – that will be the highlight for me. Are they doing it on skates?

What is Eastbourne Roller Derby’s Christmas Wish?

Apart from world peace? Lots of cake, plus that ERD continues to grow as a team, and we get lots and lots of new players!

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The people of EASTBOURNE are taking on TWO whole COUNTIES at ROLLER DERBY – eek!

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Derby starved peoples of Sussex, be starved no longer. Incredibly we embark upon three consecutive Saturdays of roller derby at the Dolphin in Haywards Heath, with all three of the leagues that call it home hosting double headers there. The Brighton Rockers will be taking on teams from Eindhoven and Southampton/Basingstoke in two weeks time (Nov 12th)… Croydon have two games against Dublin tomorrow week (Nov 5th)… but before all that, the mighty Eastbourne Roller Derby are dusting off their skates with women’s and men’s games TOMORROW (Sat 29th Oct). Yowsers!

The Bourne Bombshells women will be taking on Wiltshire Roller Derby at 1pm, with the Bomb S’Quad men (and guests) staging a rematch against Suffolk Roller Derby around 3pm. Doors open at 12.30pm with tickets priced at £5 for adults, free for under 16s. The Dolphin is seven minutes walk from Haywards Heath station – turn left on leaving the station and follow the signs stuck to lampposts, trees and small dogs. There’s no engineering work, so two direct trains an hour from Eastbourne. Car users should point their Sat Nav at RH16 1LY. There’s a cafe bar and vending machines at the leisure centre. The nearest cash machines are at the big Sainsbury’s halfway between the venue and station. For early arrivers, the pub opposite the train station (Burrell Arms) is a decent enough football and food place with a terrace – it’s also hosting the after party.

Are you one of those people that don’t like reading predictions prior to a game? Then skip past this paragraph. Flattrackstats rank the Bourne Bombshells 283rd in Europe on 457.3 ranking points, some way behind 198th placed Wiltshire (491.7 points). The visitors are given 69% chance of taking the win here, with an expected differential of 17:13 suggesting a pretty close scoreline, something like a 170-130 Wiltshire win. As for the men’s game, unfortunately neither team appears in any FTS ranking system (less than ten UK men’s sides do) so the only barometer we have here is the 190-129 win that Suffolk Men took against Bomb S’Quad here at the Dolphin in August 2015.

Enough maths and stuff, let’s hear from all four teams taking part…

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THE PHILOSOFEAR & ROCKAMILLIE – BOURNE BOMBSHELLS

Hi, several Bombshells teamed up with Brighton B-teamers at the Dolphin in September. How was that and what else have you been getting up to since Extreme?
It was good fun, and it was interesting to see how another team does things. For example, Brighton do their line ups very differently to how we do ours, and they often face away from the track whilst sitting on the bench so that skaters can’t watch the game (that was new to us!). Since Extreme, we’ve also had a closed door against Oxford Wheels of Gory. And we’ve been working on increasing our skater numbers and training new fresh meat – we’ve now got almost enough Bombshells for a B-team!

How important is hosting an event in one of the UK’s top derby venues (as used by Team England, Croydon, Brighton etc) to you and what are your experiences as a team or individuals on the floor of the Dolphin? Do you wish you had a venue closer to Ebo?
Personally I quite like The Dolphin floor – it’s not too sticky or too slippery. The Dolphin is a great venue, and it’s easy to drive to or get the train to. However, I think we suffer as a team for not having a venue in Eastbourne. If we could have games in Eastbourne it would be easier to build a local fan base and to recruit new members. We advertise our games locally but people often aren’t willing to travel to Haywards Heath to watch games when they’re not necessarily roller derby fans yet. If we could host games in Eastbourne we’d get more people popping along to see what it’s all about and hopefully enjoying it! Even though the Dolphin is a top derby venue, I think having a smaller local venue would be beneficial to us. We could still use The Dolphin for big events occasionally, but we could hold more regular open door games in Eastbourne. Unfortunately, there’s nowhere that fits the bill.

What do you know about your opponents Wiltshire? A new opponent? Do any Bombshells know of them? Any players or tactics that you will be looking out for from the away side?
We don’t really know much about Wiltshire to be honest. I’ve only encountered a few of their players before – Gemma has played against the Bombshells before when she played for Basingstoke, and I know from playing against her that she’s a strong, pushy jammer. The only other players I’ve encountered before are Shell, Ginger Fear and Snake Bite. I have heard that they are a team with strong jammers, but I don’t know anything about their blocking tactics so I don’t know what to expect! When we first starting talking to Wiltshire about playing them they were ranked quite near us. But since then they’ve moved up the rankings a fair bit, so it could be quite a challenging game for us.

Who and what should we look out for from the Bombshells ranks? Any new or returning players, etc? Care to predict the result?
In the Bombshells we’ve had a great recruitment drive recently, seeing many new female skaters join the ERD ranks. We currently have a few in our Fresh Meat who are consistently doing great each week; it won’t be long until they are ready to pop their cherries! As for A-team skaters, we’ve had Tiki Timebomb, T-Wrecks, Insterslam and Driller join the group, whilst welcoming back Elle Hound. Unfortunately, due to breaking her wrist at Extreme, Beast has semi-retired, mainly from the competitive side as she still attends training to have a little skate and impart her derby-wisdom. As for the game this Saturday, watch out for our new jammers Driller and Insterslam plus team members finding their jammer feet CalEmity and Lily Malicious. They are quick on their feet through the pack, blink and you’ll miss it! As for the blockers, they’re a solid bunch ready to put the drop on any jammer or offense. I wouldn’t care to predict the result, but I think it will be an awesome game to watch!

Do the Bombshells have any other (open or closed door) games coming up in 2016? What are your plans for next year and beyond?
In November the Bombshells have a closed door bout against Surrey’s B-team. That’s a double header, with the game between our respective co-ed sides. We’re looking forward to those games – Surrey are a good bunch and always fun to play against. Then in December we are holding a Christmas scrim for women, men and co-ed, which should be a lot of Christmassy fun! There’s plenty in the pipelines for 2017. Most importantly, we’re looking forward to our Fresh Meat passing their Minimum Skills and becoming game ready in the New Year… we may even have enough skaters for a B-team!

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WILTSHIRE ROLLER DERBY

For any Eastbourne fans reading this who might not know about Wiltshire Roller Derby, can you give us a quick summary of your history to date?
We were founded in 2012 and train in Swindon. We consist of a women’s travel team and a men’s team, and we’re also trying out a newly started co-ed team. We have competed in annual tournaments such as the Heartland Series and both years of British Champs. We are slowly growing and are keen to get our men’s team competing as soon as possible. After a tough bouting year last year, we trained hard and (as a result) have achieved a number of wins this year. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that we get promoted back to Tier 4 in Champs 2017 after only one loss in the tournament this year.

Do you know much about your opponents the Bourne Bombshells? Any particular Eastbourne players or tactics that you’ll be looking out for?
We are pretty much going in blind. Being so far away we don’t really know much about the team we are playing, but that adds to the fun and excitement. We’re excited to meet a new team!

Any particular players or tactics from Wiltshire that the crowd should look out for at the game?
We have a few who like to hit hard and also take hard hits. With a lot of changes happening in the team lately we don’t have our usual full travel team, so you might see some of our usual blockers having a go at jamming occasionally. If Bookworm’s Revenge gets that star, watch out for those apex jumps 🙂

What are you expecting from the game? Care to predict the result?
We have learnt never to be complacent or predict scores. If Flattrackstats is anything to go by it looks like it’ll be a close one. No matter what the result we always aim to be friendly and have the best time on track. We always try and crack smiles from our opponents on the start lines…

Finally, what do WRD have planned for the rest of the year?
We have our final game and home bout of the year in Swindon on Sunday 13th November. We are having a mixed men’s opener in a simple Black vs White, and then we take on Hereford Roller Girls B-team. Word on the street is that we may also have human Hungry Hippos as our half time entertainment… it’s worth coming over just for that, right?!

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PONT BLANK – BOMB S’QUAD

Hi, it’s been quite a while since you last derbyed (is that a word?) locally hasn’t it? What have Bomb S’Quad been getting up to since Eastbourne Extreme?
Yes, that’s right, we’ve been fairly quiet since Extreme having played only one closed door game in the meantime, which was a tough match against Oxford Mens Roller Derby. The team has gone through a few changes in the latter part of the year. SuiCider and Spank Me Sideways have both welcomed new additions to their families and are dedicating more time to their family lives, but still giving as much time to derby as they can. We suffered two more major losses; the first of which was Mercernary to a serious knee injury during the build up to Extreme, which left a big hole in the team. And since Extreme, Aladdin Sane has decided to take a break due to his partner Beast’s wrist injury. The team has really missed his arse on track! But we have had two recent Fresh Meat graduates – Nesta Vipers and Quick Deaf – joining our line ups. So although we’ve lost a few players, we are rebuilding and looking forward to things to come for the team in 2017.

What are your experiences as a team or individually on the floor of the Dolphin?
The Dolphin is a great venue, but the Bomb S’Quad have only played here as a team once before, which was the open door against Suffolk last year. It’s got plenty of space for spectators, and the extra hall on the side for getting kitted up, but it’s a real shame that it’s so far away from Eastbourne, which perhaps dissuades the more casual spectator when it comes to our open door games. The floor is a really good derby floor, not too sticky, and not too slippery, and it should suit everyone, making for a really exciting game.

What do you know about your opponents Suffolk?
We met Suffolk on track in August last year here at the Dolphin. They’ve come on leaps and bounds since then, having topped their tier in British Champs. They’ve got some heavy hitters in the likes of Guy Pie and Tubesock Shakur, plus some awesome jammers who we will be doing our best to hold down out there on the track.

Who and what should we look out for from the Bomb S’Quad ranks? Any new or returning players, etc? We understand you have some guest skaters – who/what should we look out for from them? Care to predict the result?
As mentioned previously, we’ve had a couple of recent Fresh Meat graduates. Nesta Vipers will definitely be one to watch out there, as he’s turning out to be quite the double threat. We’ve also been fortunate to have landed five awesome guests for this game; Amanta Harmyer, Pulp Friction and Studas Priest of the Surrey Jammerwockies, plus Weald Warriors’ Chandler Bang and BrutAl Deluxe, will be lining up with us. And as always, Tenacious P’s jamming will be worth watching, as well as Spank Me Sideways’ awesome blocking. I wouldn’t like to predict the result, but I’m hoping it’s as close, if not closer, as last year’s game.

Do Bomb S’Quad have any other (open or closed door) games coming up in 2016? What are your plans for next year and beyond?
We’ve got a few things in the pipeline as we prepare for next year. As seems to be the case with a lot of the local men’s teams at the moment, we’re struggling with consistent numbers. There have been talks of collaborations with other teams, but it’s very much up in the air at the moment and we hope to have some more details soon. Watch this space.

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SUFFOLK PUNCH – SUFFOLK MENS RD BENCH COACH

For anyone reading this who might not be aware of Suffolk Roller Derby, can you give us a quick summary of your history to date?
Suffolk RD started towards the end of 2012, so we’ve been around for three or four years now. We’re a co-ed league who train three times a week in Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich. Our women’s team joined the British Championships in 2015, and the men’s team joined this year. The men placed top of our regional division against Bristol, Nottingham Outlaws and Brawls of Steel, and at the playoffs in September took the win over the Brothers Grimm to achieve promotion to Tier 2 next year!

Suffolk Men took on Eastbourne’s Bomb S’Quad last year? What do you recall of that game? Any particular Bomb S’Quad players or tactics that you’ll be looking out for in this rematch?
Last year our men’s team took on the Bomb S’Quad and won, so we’ll be hoping for the same again. We never underestimate our opponents. We know Bomb S’Quad have been busy with the Southern Sevens tournament, so it will be great to see how the different experiences of each team face up to each other in this match.

Any particular Suffolk players or tactics that the crowd should look out for at the game?
We have lots of new up and coming skaters, as well as our experienced individuals, so there will be a great mix of talent on show.

What are you expecting from the game? Care to predict the result?
I’m not going to predict a scoreline, but obviously we are looking for the win – and to have an awesome fun game!

Finally, what do the SRD chaps have planned for the rest of the year?
This will be the last game for our men’s team this year, after a busy Champs season. However a few of them will be taking part in our co-ed game vs Team Essex next Sunday (6th Nov) in Ipswich, when our women’s B-team will also be making their first public appearance.

[Photos by John Hesse, except Wiltshire RD by Graeme Willetts]

LINKS
FB EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/474645542741842/
ERD ON FB: https://www.facebook.com/EBRollerDerby/

Let’s Take This OUTSIDE! Eastbourne Extreme 2016 ROLLER DERBY Preview!

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It’s that time of year again. This weekend (Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th July) large swathes of the UK roller derby community – and many from elsewhere in Europe – will descend on Eastbourne seafront for a two day festival of outdoor derby action. The format for this event changes every year. For 2016, the Saturday features all four of Eastbourne Roller Derby’s teams taking on challengers. Then on Sunday there are five mixed games, featuring skaters from dozens of different leagues in men’s, women’s and co-ed games of varying skill levels. This preview contains a guide to Saturday and Sunday’s events (in chronological order) including some thoughts from folks who are taking part…

HOW TO GET THERE
The action takes place from 10am to around 6pm each day at the Fishermans Green Tennis Courts. That’s a mile along the coast (heading North East) from Eastbourne Pier – use the postcode BN22 7LH in maps apps. There’s car parking adjacent, it’s 25 minutes walk from Eastbourne train station and several local buses stop nearby. Admission is totally free. As well as the roller derby, Extreme has roller hockey, skateboard/scooter ramps and lots of other extreme sports to check out. There are public toilets right by the derby area (expect long queues for the ladies at times) and a few food outlets along the seafront, plus a large landscaped park with lake across the way. The nearest shop for booze and munchies is Spar on the corner of Beach Road and Seaside (about five mins walk). There are also after parties both evenings – a roller disco on the Saturday and pub takeover on the Sunday. Yay!

THE HISTORY OF DERBY AT EXTREME
The Philosofear (ERD):
“Roller derby first appeared at Eastbourne Extreme in 2011. There was an indoor scrimmage and a few jams outside as a demonstration (which I attempted to ref badly!). In 2012 the Bombshells ran a one-day tournament at Extreme. We didn’t take part as we weren’t bout-ready since most of the team hadn’t yet passed minimum skills. In 2013 we were ready to participate and so we had a tournament on the Saturday for newer teams like ourselves, plus one on the Sunday for more established leagues. From there it has grown every year. Now that we are Eastbourne Roller Derby, we like to use Extreme as an opportunity for all of our different teams to play, which means it’s the biggest event in the ERD calendar. But the mixed team games also give skaters from all over the country (and a few from the continent) an opportunity to skate at Extreme.”

WELCOME TO ERDBY
Regular readers might have noticed we’ve changed our identity. This website was formerly called the BBCD (Bourne Bombshells Cheer Division). When we first formed as an unofficial group for fans of roller derby in Eastbourne, the Bombshells were the town’s only derby team. In the past couple of years that has all changed. With the addition of the men’s team Bomb S’Quad, the co-ed A-Bombs and New Bournes juniors – all operating under the banner of Eastbourne Roller Derby – we thought we should change our name to fully reflect our support for all of these teams. So as of this week we are now ERDBY, which as well as being an anagram of ‘derby’ (clever, huh? – or maybe not) also stands for Eastbourne Roller Derby Big Yay! As well as this website, you can find us intermittently posting at facebook.com/erdbigyay and twitter.com/_erdby. Get in touch via erdby@yahoo.com if you like. But enough about us, let’s get stuck into the cavalcade of roller derby that this weekend holds…

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SATURDAY 16TH JULY SCHEDULE

10.00-12.00 MEN’S ROLLER DERBY SEVENS (THREE GAMES)
10.00 ERD BOMB S’QUAD V SCERD WEALD WARRIORS
10.50 ERD BOMB S’QUAD V MEDWAY MAYHEM
11.40 MEDWAY MAYHEM V SCERD WEALD WARRIORS

The day kicks off at a frighteningly early hour (hey, anything before 2pm at a weekend is early for us) with a three team men’s tournament. Derby Sevens is a special format of 21-minute long games with squads consisting of seven players rather than the usual fourteen. This format has proved very popular with men’s teams in the UK as many don’t yet have enough players for a full size squad. Eastbourne’s Bomb S’Quad are taking part, along with two teams from Kent. We caught up with all three sides to find out what to expect…

ERD BOMB S’QUAD
Tenacious P:
“The Bomb S’Quad were established in early 2015 and the past year has seen us have numerous closed door and open door games, most recently in the Roller Derby Sevens Southern Men’s Cup. Our first open door as a team was at Extreme last year where (with a few guest skaters) we took the win over Surrey. We’ve played some of Medway at Team England Sevens back in May and watched them in their games as part of the Southern Cup. They are a hard team to play; they have some great jammers and are as tough as nails. Weald Warriors were also a part of the Southern Cup and are another strong team. We like the Sevens format as it’s quick, tough and challenges you to the limits as you hardly ever come off. As a Jammer (which I am) you tend to do one on, one off – hit a few two minute jams and you soon feel it! I think we have the edge but you never know as both Kent teams have improved so much over the past six months.
    Playing outdoors is a real challenge. The hits hurt more, the sunburn is a killer and endurance is pushed to its limits. We usually have a small advantage as playing outdoors for us starts in June, or even May, but this year the weather has been so bad that we’ve only been outdoors twice. Look out for Pont Blank, our new captain, who is back from his travels with a renewed vigour. Also Animal, one of our newer skaters (and family member of Chasin’ Status), who is one of our most skilled skaters. Extreme is our showcase event. As we’re without a local home venue, this is the time of the year we get to show the people of Eastbourne what we can do!”

SCERD WEALD WARRIORS
BrutAl Deluxe:
“Based primarily in Rochester, Weald Warriors stemmed from Rochester Royal Rollers to become the men’s competitive arm of Southern Co Ed Roller Derby. The Warriors were introduced to the world this year at the inaugural Sevens Men’s Southern Cup. What can we say about Medway Mayhem? Light and shade. Yin and Yang. WW and MM. We have battled Mayhem before and this good-natured local derby derby is guaranteed to entertain. We cannot wait to show the boys next door how we do this on the street. Weald Warriors are yet to go to war with Bomb S’Quad – we look forward to showing these old men of the sea what this young team can do. As a new team building up its player base, the Sevens format has been essential in allowing us to compete with more established teams in a fast, fun and free-flowing format. This will be our first time competing at Eastbourne Extreme, and we’re looking forward to getting to grips with outdoor skating. Get ready for shades, sunshine, and funny pad tan! We will bring the war to Eastbourne Extreme as we look to secure our first win. Watch out for Chandler Bang and his deceptively laid back jamming style, and the double threat vision in pink that is PRO-LAPS.”

MEDWAY MAYHEM
Brute:
“Mayhem was Kent’s first men’s roller derby team when we formed in July 2015. We have played our local rivals Weald Warriors twice in the Sevens format and we currently hold a 2-0 win record. We haven’t faced the Bomb S’Quad but we can’t wait to test ourselves against them! Mayhem hosted both heats of the recent Men’s Sevens Southern Cup tournament. We ended up finishing joint fifth with Bomb S’Quad in that tournament. Eastbourne Extreme has been a calendar event for us. We’ve known of it for a couple of years and we’re honoured to be invited. A few of us play on challenge teams with Tenacious P of Bomb S’Quad and we know how good he is. Also watch out for Crash Mat from the Warriors. Mayhem players to look out for? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see…”

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12.30-14.00 WOMEN’S GAME
ERD BOURNE BOMBSHELLS V BRIGHTON ROCKERBILLIES

[PLEASE NOTE: THERE IS A MORE DETAILED PREVIEW OF THIS PARTICULAR GAME AT THE WEBSITE OF OUR CHUMS BRATS – CLICK HERE FOR THAT] Amazingly the two longest running Sussex derby leagues have yet to meet in an open door game. The Bombshells and Rockerbillies both took part in last year’s Eastbourne Extreme tournament, but didn’t end up playing each other. The two leagues have met a few times behind closed doors, so it will be interesting to see how they match up in front of an audience…

ERD BOURNE BOMBSHELLS
The Philosofear:
“Playing outdoors is something we’re used to as we train outside in good weather for a few months before Extreme. I’d also say we know the Brighton Rockers league pretty well (especially as I’m an ex-Brighton player). A lot of us attend their bouts regularly and quite a few of them have been to our scrimmages. Their B-team Rockerbillies have a few newer players on their roster, who we are not that familiar with, but also a lot of skaters who are well-known to us. I’d say that Lab Wrath and Van Hayley are Brighton skaters to watch out for. I’ve seen both of them play a few times and they’re strong. We’ve also heard that the Rockerbillies have a transfer skater from Helsinki who is a good jammer. For the Bombshells, Beast and Smash’er Fierce are both great blockers who are very hard to get past. Bullet Bomber is a brilliant all-rounder. And Crash’s jamming has been on fire lately. As for our tactics – I’m not telling!”

BRIGHTON ROCKERBILLIES
Van Hayley:
“Last year’s Eastbourne Extreme was crazy! Three games in one day, all in the blazing sunshine. It was really tough and very intense, but it was a great experience. There were a few casualties but we all learnt a lot, and there was lots to see when we weren’t playing. The tarmac is super grippy so it really favours fast, jukey jammers. It also chews through wheels and toe stops pretty quickly! Being outside in the sun by the sea sure beats being inside a leisure centre any day, even if we did all get a bit burnt last year. We love the Bombshells! We’ve played a lot of scrims and closed door games with them and it’s always great. They always give us a run for our money. They’re a really tough team but they’re so much fun to skate with – we’re really lucky to have them so close by! They’re also great to hang out with. We didn’t get to play them at Eastbourne Extreme last time because of the way the tournament format worked out, so we can’t wait for this year. Watch your backs Bombshells!”

14.30-16.00 JUNIOR ROLLER DERBY
ERD NEW BOURNES V EXTREME JUNIORS CHALLENGE TEAM

Eastbourne Roller Derby also has a junior league, the New Bournes. They will be taking on a team of skaters from various other junior derby leagues on Saturday afternoon. The New Bournes coaches have this to say…

ERD NEW BOURNES
Beachy Headcase & Drag N Fly:
“New Bournes have been going for 2.5 years and we now have around sixteen active members aged between 5-17. About half of our skaters are level 3 skaters, which mean they play full contact roller derby the same as adults. The other half are still working their way through minimum skills and play level 2 roller derby, which is more positional with less hitting. The nearest active junior league that we know about is based in Calais! Hopefully we are playing them soon. But we also have friends in Devon (DASH) and Hereford (The Poison Berries). Both those teams are represented during our mixed game at Extreme. There are other teams up and running but the distances are vast! More teams are popping up all the time though. We took a few players to a mixed game in May hosted by Hereford, and another mixed game in Neath last December. We jump at opportunities and are willing to travel! The challenge team we face on Saturday includes skaters who have travelled from Devon, Hereford, Sheffield and even Charleroi in Belgium.
    Derby outdoors is really good fun. It can be a bit slower and it’s rougher when you hit the ground because it’s tarmac not wood/vinyl, but the sea air is lovely and beats playing sports halls. Outdoors eats rubber and chews up pads but we still love it. Obviously we would love to win this weekend, but it’s just exciting for the junior league to finally be able to play in their purple team kit. We have played a few mixed games with the opposing team, but I can truly say that they are all awesome, and junior roller derby is really great to watch. Beyond this weekend, the New Bournes are planning to play our first game against a full team in the autumn, and hopefully we are going to participate in Europe’s first junior roller derby tournament in Copenhagen next Easter!”

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16.30-18.00 CO-ED GAME
ERD A-BOMBS V FULL METAL ROLLER DERBY

Saturday’s action finishes with a co-ed game, featuring Eastbourne’s A-Bombs (a mixture of Bourne Bombshells and Bomb S’Quadders) against Full Metal RD from Stevenage. What can people expect from this game?

ERD A-BOMBS
Tenacious P:
“The A-Bombs are Eastbourne Roller Derby’s newest team. A co-ed (male/female) league, we had our first game at Extreme 2015 where we took a hard fought loss to the much more experienced Portsmouth Scurvy Wenches. A year on and we’ve seen the hard work in practice begin to pay dividends with a win against My Mom (and Friends) and placing third at England Men’s Host Roller Derby Sevens back in June. We’ve not played Full Metal Roller Derby as a co-ed team but the Bombshells played them last year in British Champs and we played a few of them as part of the My Mom game earlier this year. Full Metal Roller Derby have heart and fight, never giving up. That makes them a tough team to play.
    Co-ed is very different to other types of derby. It takes the skill and precision of women’s derby and the power and strength of men’s derby and throws it in together. For me personally, I think it’s a much more fun game to play, where skill is tested against power, speed against force. It has the excitement of the men’s game and the precision of the women’s, with the best players from each league on the track. I think we have a small advantage but the weather has seen only limited opportunity to practice outdoors. The bigger advantage is that we have trained co-ed for over a year now. That’s massive. We know each other and test each other every session. Bullet Bomber is always a skater to look out for, but also keep an eye on Aladdin Sane and Beast who have taken their blocking to a new level this year.”

FULL METAL ROLLER DERBY
FMRD:
“Full Metal is a co-ed league based in Hertfordshire. We’ve been bouting as a co-ed team since the start of this year, but our women’s team has been playing since 2015. A few of us have played against the A-Bombs in a challenge team game. We know that they are a strong team with solid walls and good communication. Co-ed derby is harder hitting than women’s derby, but more tactical than men’s derby. It’s a perfect balance between the two, usually played at super quick speeds. Eastbourne Extreme is legendary in the derby world and we’re really honoured to have been invited to play. The biggest difference is the surface we play on. Skating outdoors on gravel is a whole different world to skating on a smooth wooden sports hall floor. Any bump could send you flying if you’re not prepared! But it’s something we’ve been training for and we’re excited for it. We’ve been working on how to beat the A-Bombs’ favourite cube wall recently, so we feel like it’ll be really evenly matched game and great fun to watch. Close points are inevitable!”

19.00-LATE AFTER PARTY @ MY SKATEWORLD
Saturday’s after party is a full on roller disco at My SkateWorld. This venue is located on an industrial estate a mile or so inland from where the day’s derby takes place – the postcode is BN23 6LY. There will be skating, a DJ, live music and £1 shots of Sourz. Admission is £5 for adults (including a voucher for a free drink) and £2 for youngsters. These can be bought online from ERD or on the door (subject to availability).

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SUNDAY 17TH JULY SCHEDULE

10.00-17.30 MIXED TEAM GAMES (FIVE GAMES)
10.00 ROOKIE WOMEN’S GAME
11.30 CO-ED INTER/ADVANCED GAME
13.00 MEN’S MIXED LEVEL GAME
14.30 WOMEN’S MIXED LEVEL GAME
16.00 CO-ED ADVANCED GAME

Sunday features a rapid succession of full games featuring skaters from various different leagues. Previewing each game individually seemed a bit tricky, so instead we asked a couple of ERD stalwarts to give us an overview of the whole day.

Will Sunday’s games feature many ERD players?
Tenacious P: We are returning to a format we used back in 2014 for the Sunday with mixed teams representing skaters from all over the UK (and a few from Europe). This means you get some of the best league skaters in the country working together on track with each other.
The Philosofear: We have 140 skaters playing in Sunday’s mixed games and 25 of those are from ERD. So it’s roughly 18% ERD and 82% from elsewhere.

What are some of the other leagues who have players taking part?
Croydon are well represented as are newer leagues like Medway and SCERD, but in truth we have people from all over – Portsmouth, London, Oxford, Norfolk… the list goes on.
There are a few leagues with a lot of participants. Southern Co-Ed Roller Derby are very well represented. We’ve also got a lot of skaters from Croydon taking part. CRD have been a huge part of Extreme since the beginning and Extreme wouldn’t be the same without them. Several other teams have quite a few players taking part; Seaside Sirens, Brighton Rockers, Medway Mayhem, Killa Hurtz and Portsmouth. Portsmouth are another team who have a history of involvement in Extreme and they’re one of our favourite leagues.

There are a mixture of men’s, women’s and co-ed games at various skill levels taking place. How are the games likely to differ in terms of pace/physicality/etc?

This year we have our usual rookie game, which is always fun to watch and features a number of players skating in their first ever game. The Intermediate and advanced co-ed games were both massively oversubscribed. We also have mixed level men’s and women’s games. This mix of games and levels makes for interesting viewing with both the women’s and co-ed advanced game being of a very high level. Expect those two to be fast paced whilst the men’s and the inter co-ed will be a bit more physical.
The co-ed advanced game will be the highlight of the Sunday. There are quite a few high level players and it’ll be great to watch. Expect lots of apex jumping, huge hits and fancy footwork! But my favourite game will be the rookie women’s game (which I’m benching). For a lot of the rookies this will be their first time skating outdoors and for some it’s also their cherry popper game. I love the support that rookies often get from friends and family (eg homemade signs and banners) which means a great crowd cheering during the game. And more experienced players often shout advice from the crowd, which makes it all rather loud and fun!

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Are there any particular players taking part on Sunday that the crowd should look out for?
We have Noise Tank and Gin Atomic skating again this year. Both are always excellent fun to watch, and of course look our for the Portsmouth players in the co-ed advanced game who work so well together.
In the advanced co-ed game there quite a few well-known players who are always fun to watch; Noise Tank, Kaizen, Mother Mercy and Hench are all crowd-pleasers. In the inter-advanced women’s game, Tori Bee and Gin Atomic are two of the top players. Both are very strong double threats. In the inter-advanced co-ed game, Tenacious P’s jamming is always amusing – he looks like he’s having so much fun. And I’m hoping to see some big hits from Clark…SMASH and Smash’er Fierce. In the rookie women’s game, expect some strong jamming from new Bombshells InnsterSlam and T-Wrecks. And in terms of blocking, Heisen Bird, Bettsy Bruis’er and Puschifer are ones to watch. In the men’s game, look out for ElderLee’s blocking. Chandler Bang’s jamming is also great to watch – he’s got some fancy footwork.

Is there anything else (other than roller derby) at Extreme that you recommend?
Battle Extreme will be good to check out. This is a slalom skating competition that’s been held at Extreme for many years now. It’s being held right next to the roller derby. It’s run by My SkateWorld who are also hosting our Saturday night after party.

What should spectators expect from the weekend in general?
With two massive days of skating, loads of side events (raffles etc), 50+ officials and two after parties, Extreme 2006 should be the best one yet. There’s also our first dedicated after party on Saturday night this year with skating, music, a DJ and more!
Spectators can expect lots of sun, cake and dogs! (As well as the roller derby of course). As the venue is right on the seafront, bring swimming/beach gear. Plus, if any spectators own skates, bring them! Eastbourne seafront has a skate lane and it’s always fun to grab an ice cream (I’d recommend Fusciardi’s Ice Cream Parlour, which is a short skate away from the Extreme venue – head towards the pier) and go for a gentle skate along the seafront. We have two after parties. On Saturday we have a party and roller disco, with bar, food, DJ and live music at My SkateWorld (which is where Eastbourne Roller Derby have our mid-week training). Then on the Sunday we’ll be heading to the best pub in Eastbourne, our fabulous team sponsor The Crown and Anchor. Their food is amazing!

11.30-12.30 MINI BLOCKING BOOT CAMP WITH GIN ATOMIC & NOISE TANK
Gin Atomic:
“There are twenty spaces available for this one hour mini boot camp aimed at rookie and intermediate skaters. Sign up at the admin desk on the day – first come first served! We’ll be covering three different blocking techniques, including backwards and lateral. Skating outdoors is a good way to practice using your edges, and these three different techniques will help blockers with being more adaptable to the various different types of floor you encounter when playing.”

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18.00-LATE AFTER PARTY @ THE CROWN & ANCHOR
The whole weekend comes to an end with an after party at The Crown & Anchor. This pub is a regular haunt for Eastbourne Roller Derby events. It’s located on the seafront just before (derby side) of the Pier – around 15 minutes walk. Pop along to toast the end of another great weekend of outdoor roller derby.

ALL WEEKEND – LIVE STREAMING ON FACEBOOK

If for any reason you can’t make it down to Eastbourne for this weekend’s action, you’ll be able to watch all of the games via a live online stream. See the links below for more info.

[Photos by John Hesse]

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
FB LIVE STREAM: https://facebook.com/EastbourneextremeRD/
FB EVENT PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/events/480442415476756/
ERD ON FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/EBRollerDerby
ERD ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/ebrollerderby

THE VENUES
FISHERMANS GREEN TENNIS COURTS: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Fisherman’s+Green+Tennis+Courts/@50.7777313,0.3062278,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x6545daa5ced75dc7?sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjc_rOM3PPNAhVEAsAKHQzTANMQ_BIIbjAK
MY SKATEWORLD: http://www.myskateworld.co.uk/
CROWN & ANCHOR: http://crownandanchoreastbourne.co.uk/

British Champs T4 South East Day Four preview

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This weekend (Saturday 15th August) sees British Championships Roller Derby action in Haywards Heath, as Eastbourne Roller Derby’s Bourne Bombshells host two games in Tier 4 South East, together with a ‘bonus’ men’s game. We’ll be hearing from the Bombshells and their three Champs guests (Suffolk, Norfolk and Herts’ Full Metal) in a moment, but first here’s a quick summary of the Tier 4 South East season to date…

GAME DAY ONE: 9TH MAY @ STEVENAGE
Our story begins, like most stories do, in Stevenage one May afternoon. With pre-season favourites the Norfolk Brawds sitting out this first game day, it’s a chance for the other four sides to show us what they’re made of. One thing the day demonstrates is the disparity that exists even between teams in the same division. It’s interesting to ponder exactly how many Tiers the British Champs would need to ensure all the teams in each were of a fairly similar level. Ten? Fifteen? Certainly more than four, as the hosting Full Metal Roller derby’s 15-396 loss to Suffolk attests. The Herts Breakers put in a spirited performance, but the Suffolk packs prove too sturdy and the visiting jammers, such as Maltese Mayhem and Indi-Hannah Jones, too difficult to contain. With Suffolk the lowest ranked of the four teams Full Metal share a division with, this looks like being a tough season for the Stevenage side.
    Things get off to a bruising start for the Bombshells too. The predictor at Flattrackstats expects opponents Killa Hurtz to pick up seven points here for every four points the ‘shells get. In fact, Killa Hurtz pick up more than seven points for every *one* that Eastbourne manage. Ouch! We had suspected that the Essex side were ranked far lower than they should be; although new to bouting, they have several in their ranks who recently transferred from Southend’s well established Seaside Sirens, and surely have an eye on climbing the Champs pyramid. Bombshells breakout star Amazing Graze fares best out of the Sussex jammers, but a super tough Killas defence – including the likes of The Beckoning and legendary announcer Mother Mercy – keeps the Eastbourne side to a few points here and there. Essex starheads such as Snarley Quinn and Bonty Python outwit the best efforts of The PhilosoFear and co in the purple packs, and the Killa Hurtz run out runaway winners. The Bombshells keep them to below a 300 differential (just) at 43-342.

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GAME DAY TWO: 6TH JUNE @ NORWICH
Whilst Stevenage wins our praise for best located derby venue (being literally across the road from the station), the University of East Anglia sports hall, although a bus ride from civilisation (well, Norwich), wins it for pretty much everything else. The Norfolk Brawds’ home features probably the largest vendor village we’ve seen at derby. A good sixteen stalls here and room for sixteen more. Hundreds of fans on the bleachers with room for hundreds more. A separate bar/café room with seating, burgers (inc veggie) and three quid pints on stillage of the Brawds’ own golden ale. If that’s not enough, at what other derby venue can you visit an art gallery in the interval between games? The Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts is a five minute yomp across campus. The BBCD’s Chief Art Critic reports: “There’s a nice curly blue thing, a big oil painting of London Bridge station by someone who has clearly never been there, the world’s tiniest Picasso sketch (8cm x 8cm) and some caveman type stuff. Outside are a few Henry Moore sculptures and an installation presumably called ‘six stoned students sitting in an empty paddling pool’. Thinking about it, the latter might be part of the neighbouring accommodation block rather than the gallery.”
    The day’s first game sees the two teams panned in Stevenage face off against each other. The result of this one is further proof of our ‘few close games in Champs’ adage. Indeed, it takes until the sixth jam for Full Metal to put their first points on the board, with the Bombshells 47-4 up. The amount of jammer penalties the Herts side are picking up isn’t helping, with one of their starheads accruing three in a single outing. Amazing Graze picks up 27 points in a jam, and she and Crash in particular are twisting the vice on Full Metal. A power jam sees Nitrous Bloxide pick up thirteen, but that’s as good as things get for FMRD, with a confused end to the period (with Herts lining up on track while the previous jam is still underway!) and a half time score of 161-28 to Eastbourne.
    As the second period gets underway, some great blocking from the ‘shells (here rocking a shiny new white kit) prevents Trixie Blitz from taking advantage of a PJ. Some great offence from defence from Crash, clearing a path for Graze, next as Eastbourne increase their lead. Full Metal are much less penalty heavy at present and start eking out points hither and thither. Double threat Hale Storm is proving a strong blocker for the Herts side, pegging Graze back well before taking a turn in the star herself. This leads to a little more confusion as she successfully calls off a jam she isn’t lead in. Personally we’d send the refs to the box in such a case, but as per the rules it’s Storm that’s penalised. The final whistle blows with the scores at 362-48. As the Bombshells congratulate the Breakers on surviving another tough Champs game, and local meatheads in the audience shout “hurry up” as they’re impatient for the next game, the announcer says that a member of Norfolk men’s team the East Anglo Smacksons is about to be waxed. There’s no mention of exactly how much of him is being waxed, but we play it safe by heading off to look at some art instead…

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The day’s second game sees the hosting Norfolk Brawds up against Killa Hurtz. Early indications are this could be the game that decides who will top the final divisional table, and it doesn’t disappoint. It’s clear from early on that this is going to be a fairly low scoring game. Both teams’ packs are super fierce, with the likes of Mother Mercy and Melef!cent throwing big hits for Killas, whilst Short Circuit, Political Vagenda and others do likewise for Norfolk. Things start out resolutely even, with both sides gaining lead status four times in the first ten jams of the game, but the visitors have a very strong final third of the period and take an 89-49 lead into the break. They increase that gap early in the second half (54-107 at the widest point) before a resurgence sees the Brawds begin to chip away at the lead. Killa Hurtz calling a team timeout.
    The Essex side are only 121-105 ahead now and Norfolk have the momentum with 7’49” left on the clock. Philthy Delphia claws it back to 114-126 as the crowd go wild. Khilleesi four and call. Star pass to Cruel Runnings, who looks at the scoreboard as she passes. There’s been a lead change! 135-130 to the Brawds. Crowd going wilder. Failed star pass from Zippy to Runnings. Snarley Quinn ties the game at 135 apiece, but is sent off as she tries to call. This final jam runs the full two minutes. The refs confer. The crowd wait for the scoreboard to update. 144-138. Norfolk win the game (and quite possibly, come October, the division) but heck it’s been a close one. We order multiple pints of Bonny’s Gold to calm our nerves. Yeah, most Champs game are foregone conclusions, but when they’re close… damn they’re close!

GAME DAY THREE: 11TH JULY @ IPSWICH
It’s business as usual on Day Three. Full Metal suffer their biggest pounding to date at the wheels of Killa Hurtz, with the Essex side rolling out 613-30 victors. Meanwhile the hosts Suffolk go down 63-243 to their Norfolk neighbours. The Bombshells sit out this day, which is just as well since they’re all super-busy preparing for the following weekend’s Eastbourne Extreme tournament. Killa Hurtz currently sit on top of the table, but have played one game more than Norfolk who will go four points clear if they beat Full Metal (fairly likely, we’d say) on Day Four. Meanwhile, the Bombshells will go third if they beat Suffolk. So when is Day Four then? It’s only TOMORROW!

GAME DAY FOUR: 15TH AUGUST @ HAYWARDS HEATH
Yep, the British Champs Tier 4 South East kicks back into action tomorrow (15th August) at the Dolphin Leisure Centre in Haywards Heath. Doors are at midday, with the first game at 1pm. Tickets are £7 on the door. The venue is six minutes walk from Haywards Heath train station (turn left and follow the signs stuck to lampposts) which is around 45 minutes from London Victoria, with several trains an hour. There’s parking at the leisure centre and a large Sainsbury’s halfway between the station and the venue for any last minute supplies. The venue has vending machines in the foyer, as well as a café bar doing sarnies, salads, hot and cold drinks. Booze-wise, if they’ve remembered to stock up, there should be bottles of Magners, Peroni, London Pride, vinegary wine and maybe more. No formal after party has been announced, but the nearest pub is opposite the train station (the Burrell Arms). It’s an odd mix of rustic decor, football fans and flustered looking staff, but is friendly enough and has a large garden out back. Beware of the tables out front. They’re a haven for wasps – one nicked our pint here last weekend!

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GAME DAY FOUR: STATS AND PREDICTIONS

1PM: NORFOLK BRAWDS VS FULL METAL ROLLER DERBY
Anyone thinking the divisional system (teams places in Tiers according to rankings) used in British Champs might have resulted in a lot of close games has surely been disavowed of that notion by now. At every level the national tournament has seen only a handful of nail-biters and far more 200+ victory margins. Such is the nature of this sport that a team just a couple of ranking places above another is often 100 points stronger when it comes to a game. So things aren’t looking good here for Full Metal. With one team sitting out each game day of this five team division, this is Full Metal’s fourth and final game of the Champs season, and perhaps couldn’t come soon enough for them. The Stevenage side rank 365th in Europe (caveat: there are 365 teams in the table) with 348.7 rankings points. Norfolk place 101st on 539.9 points. Whilst that gap doesn’t look huge in terms of ranking points, the online predictor gives Norfolk (whether home, away or neutral) “more than 99%” chance of the win here, a figure we’ve never previously seen from the predictor. Norfolk are expected to score seven points for each one Full Metal get. This would equate to something like a 518-74 final score. The Brawds have three of the division’s Top Ten scoring jammers (Philthy Delphia 7th on 118, Khilleesi 9th on 86, Zippy 10th on 85). Full Metal’s top scorers are Revengineer (25th, 20) and Cleo Catch Ya (26th, 19).

3PM: BOURNE BOMBSHELLS V SUFFOLK ROLLER DERBY
Having said that there are very few close games in Champs, this could well be one to savour if it proves as evenly matched as the computers at Flattrackstats expect. Both sides are on one win and one loss in Champs so far, so the winner here will take third place in the table going into the final round of games on Oct 17th in Chelmsford. The Bombshells currently place 249th in Europe (470.7 points) with Suffolk 271st on 462.9. That’s pretty close on rankings points, and the predictor gives the Eastbourne side 67% chance of the win when the Bombshells are at home. If predicted as a neutral venue (the ‘shells have skated at the Dolphin before, but not often) that drops to 60%. Predicted score differential is 41:34 for the Bombshells (37:34 if neutral) which equates to something like a 205-170 Eastbourne win. Both sides are well represented in the performance tables. Suffolk’s highest scoring jammers are Miss Behave (5th with 128 points) and Maltese Mayhem (6th, 121). For Eastbourne, Amazing Graze (8th, 116) and Bullet Bomber (11th, 77) are the ones to watch. In terms of blockers, based on points scored by their own jammer when they were in the pack, Suffolk’s Driving Destructor places 7th and Absinthe Minded 10th in the division, with Eastbourne’s Smash’er Fierce (8th) and The PhilosoFear (9th) sandwiched inbetween.

5PM: BOMB S’QUAD V SUFFOLK RD (MEN’S, NON-CHAMPS)

With both the Eastbourne and Suffolk leagues including a men’s team in their set-up, the decision to add a bonus ‘third game’ to the day’s proceedings makes a lot of sense. Both of these teams are fairly new and both are unranked. This means no statistics or predictions are available, so we’ll have to make some up. Bomb S’Quad have 2.5pi squared chance of a 4-4-2 compared to Suffolk’s 73% swing vote in the lane two marginals. Tenacious P (8th in Geography) and Evil Quad-nevil (0b11110110101) are the ones to watch. If this game was a colour it would be viridian.

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THE PHILOSOFEAR – BOURNE BOMBSHELLS

Hi there. Your British Champs season so far has seen a huge loss and a huge win. Are these the results you were expecting?
We were expecting a very tough game against Killa Hurtz. They are a great team and I would expect them to move up to Tier 3 next year. I don’t think we expected quite that big a loss though. Their offence was especially good, and it made it really hard for us to keep our walls together. After that game, we really needed the win against Full Metal. It was great to see so many of our jammers and blockers on the Top Ten tables after that game.

After two games with huge points gaps, the game on the 15th looks like being a lot closer. Eastbourne and Suffolk look quite closely matched. What do you know of the SRD team?

A couple of months ago, the Flattrackstats score predictor was giving this is a 50/50 chance of each team winning this game. Now the predictor gives the Bombshells the edge, but only just. The players I’ll be watching out for are Suffolk Punch, Malicious Wishes and Yvonna Bone. Suffolk Punch is a great blocker and jammer, plus she has great track awareness and knowledge of the game. Malicious Wishes and Yvonna Bone are both strong jammers, and our walls will need to be tight to hold them back.

Any Bombshells players or tactics the crowd should look out for on the day? Would you like to predict the result?
Smash’er Fierce is always a good Bombshells player to watch, as she’s a big hitter and can send jammers flying. Some of our newer jammers like Amazing Graze and Von Stackit have been working hard and have become very important in our jammer rotation. I think the result will be very close! Which will make it a good game for fans to watch.

The day’s other Champs game sees the Norfolk Brawds take on Full Metal. How are you expecting that one to go?

I would expect Norfolk to take the win, although since starting Champs, the Full Metal Herts Breakers have learned a lot and are becoming stronger with every game. They’ve got some really good jammers – Hale Storm was the one who gave us the most trouble. Norfolk have so many great players to watch, but I would especially look out for Khilleesi jamming and Short Circuit blocking.

As well as the women’s match-up, the Eastbourne and Suffolk men’s teams will be meeting on track too. What should people expect from that game? Any players to look out for?
Both men’s teams are quite new, but have some very strong players. Pont Blank is definitely one to watch on Bomb S’Quad. He hasn’t been playing for long, but he has become very good, very quickly, and will be a strong double threat. Aladdin Sane’s blocking is also excellent. I don’t know many of the Suffolk men except for Tubesock Shakur and Evil Quad-nevil, so I’ll be keeping my eye on them! We would definitely like to get the Bomb S’Quad playing at as many future Eastbourne events as possible. It’s great to have the whole league involved in our open door games.

Finally, you’re hosting the action tomorrow. What can people expect from the venue and from the after party? And what else can you recommend to see or do in the local area?
The Dolphin is a great venue, with loads of parking and it’s close to the station. There’s a café and a bar. In terms of vendors we’ve got Hoodlum Fang and Kitty Bang Bang coming. We’ll also have the usual epic Bombshells cake stall! We haven’t planned much in terms of an after party – it’s likely that we’ll just all walk up to a Haywards Heath pub. There are some lovely places to see in the mid-Sussex area. So if people are travelling down and have some time before the games, I would recommend Wakehurst Place near Ardingly (beautiful gardens) and Nymans (gardens and ruins) which is north of Haywards Heath near Handcross. Of course, Brighton is also nearby and has lots to do, such as the Sea Life Centre, Brighton Eye and Pier, The Lanes and North Laine for shops and cafés, etc.

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SUFFOLK PUNCH – SUFFOLK ROLLER DERBY

Hi there. You’re on one win and one loss after your first two British Champs games. Is the season going the way you expected?
Hi! We are really enjoying our season so far. It’s great to have so many scheduled games and be an active part of the local derby community. We really didn’t know what to expect from our first game against Full Metal, as they were an untested team. We were obviously very pleased with our result, however, so this would probably be our highlight. We were disappointed with our last game against the Norfolk Brawds. I think the pressure of hosting got to us and we really missed a few of our key skaters. However we have channelled our frustration, upped our intensity at training, and we are planning to come back strong!

The rankings suggest yourselves and the Bombshells are fairly evenly matched. Do you know much about the Eastbourne women?
We’ve watched the Bombshells play a couple of times now, and one of our new skaters was in a rookie game at Eastbourne Extreme. The PhilosoFear has a lot of experience and tactical awareness, with Bullet Bomber and Hell Block H both very solid skaters. We have learnt a lot from our last game, and will be focusing on playing our own game as a team, rather than being distracted by individual skaters.

Who should people look out for from the Suffolk women’s team? What kind of a result are you expecting?
We are at full strength for this game with the return of our Yvonna Bone, making her debut in the British Championships series. We are hungry for the win in what should be an exciting game.

The day’s other Champs game sees the Brawds take on Full Metal. What are you expecting from that game?
The Brawds are an experienced team, and are on course to finish at the top of our division with their two wins so far. However Full Metal have been improving every game and have been out and about locally getting more game experience and some guest coaching. We still think the Brawds will take the game, but look forward to seeing the awesome Full Metal fighting spirit making it a bit more difficult.

As well as the women’s match-up, the Eastbourne and Suffolk men’s teams will be meeting on track too. Any players to look out for there? How does men’s derby differ from women’s?
Our men had their first game as a team in July against Team Top Gun, which included some of the Bomb S’Quad. It was a seriously exciting and hard hitting match with a few lead changes, and hopefully we will see more of the same! Men’s derby is generally a bit more brutal with brawn sometimes being used more than brains, but leads to an exhilarating spectacle. We will be watching out for Pont Blank and Tenacious P, who both proved their skills in July. We are also looking forward to seeing a few of the other skaters such as Electric Lee Charged, who has been reffing all the women’s games and finally gets a chance to skate himself! We have a few changes to our roster since the last game. We’re not going to give away any of our secrets, but this will definitely be a game to stick around and watch!

Finally, do you have any message for the Suffolk fans in the crowd at Haywards Heath?
Suffolk fans will have both our games to look forward to. The men and women have all been training both together and against each other, and we are looking to show Eastbourne Roller Derby what we are made of!

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PHILTHY DELPHIA – NORFOLK BRAWDS

Hi there. The Brawds have two wins from two games in British Champs so far. Is the season going as you expected?

We knew Killa Hurtz would be a tough bout, so we spent the off season training for them. We were lucky to have that one first and at home. It was such a close win, right at the end, and was definitely a highlight for us. This season is shaping up to be even better than expected.

You’ll be facing Full Metal Roller Derby tomorrow. Any particular players or tactics of theirs you’ll be looking out for?
We have seen both their Champs bouts so far, as well as having them out to Norfolk for some co-ed scrims. It’s obviously been a tough season for them, but we know they’ve been training up with Killa Hurtz and Suffolk, so we have seen and expect to continue to see some huge improvements in their game in a short period of time.

Similarly, are there any players or tactics from the Brawds that the crowd should look out for? Care to predict the scoreline?
You always want us to give away our secrets! We have some very specific tactics going into this game that we hope will work well for us. There are also going to be some new faces on the track, so keep an eye out for our up and coming stars. We would never deign to predict the outcome as the beauty of derby is anything can happen. We are just hoping to play a tight, clean game.

The day’s other Champs game sees the Bourne Bombshells take on Suffolk. How are you expecting that one to go?
I think this may be one of the closest bouts of the season (excluding ours against Killa Hurtz) so we are very excited for it. We have been long time supporters of Suffolk and know they have some great jammers and a strong defensive strategy. We’ve played Eastbourne before and they are one of our favourite teams as they always have fun. This will be a close one to call.

Finally, do you have any message for the Brawds fans in the crowd tomorrow?

Just a big thank you for supporting us this far. And we hope you’ll continue to support us straight through to finals! x

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CLEO CATCH YA – FULL METAL ROLLER DERBY

Hi there. Your first three games in British Champs have ended in quite heavy losses. Is that what you were expecting?
Hello again! Yeah it’s been a tough but educational few months for sure. We’ve lost a few players due to injuries or moving away and almost all of us were new skaters, so we knew from the off we’d probably not win our bouts. We’ve treated it as a baptism of fire and it’s been a HUGE learning experience. It’s been amazing really. Highlights have to be the fact that our girls just keep getting back up, keep trying their hardest and keep growing each game.

Do you know much about tomorrow’s opponents, the Norfolk Brawds?

We love the Brawds and have joined them a couple of times now for their co-ed scrims with the Smacksons. They’re such a friendly and very talented group of skaters. A lot of quick and agile players on their team. Strong walls, speedy jammers… we’re expecting a fast paced game.

Anything we should look out for from yourselves tomorrow? Are Flattrackstats right to predict a huge Norfolk win?
We are always surprising ourselves. Every game our skaters grow and develop as a team. Everyone on the team has spent Champs ‘becoming’ who they are as a skater; it’s really brought out the best and fiercest qualities in all of us. I think we can all be certain those online predictors are correct – it will be a very big Norfolk win – but it will also be a great and entertaining game I’m sure. The Herts Breakers will play their hardest and give it their all as usual for our last game of the Champs season. And as soon as possible after the final jam is called, we shall be celebrating the fact we all survived the Champs experience with a nice cold pint at the nearest pub! 🙂

The day’s other Champs game sees the Bourne Bombshells take on Suffolk. What are you expecting there?

We’ve become firm friends with Suffolk since our first game against them. We’ve gotten to see first hand what a generous, friendly and hardworking team they are. And how very tough their walls are to break! We’ve also played the Bombshells so we know that they are a really strong team too, with great players and very speedy jammers! I wouldn’t know where to start trying to guess the outcome of this one. It’ll be a fantastic game for sure.

Finally, do you have any message for the Full Metal fans in the crowd at Haywards Heath?
Thank you! We have some friends and family that have followed us through Champs and their support each game has been amazing. To them and to everyone in the crowd that has cheered for us, encouraged us during tough games, and celebrated our great moments with us – thank you so very much. The whole Champs experience has been out of this world. We’ve been knocked this way and that till we didn’t know which way was up, we’ve gotten to really throw ourselves into this sport, we’ve pushed ourselves and achieved more than we all could have thought possible. And most importantly, we’ve made some fantastic new friendships. Roller derby people are the best!

LINKS
FB EVENT PAGE:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1440314526295621/
TABLE & RESULTS: http://www.britishchamps.com/tables-and-fixtures-local-south-east/
SKATER CHARTS: http://www.britishchamps.com/performance-women-t4-south-east/
LIVE TWITTER FEED: https://twitter.com/britchampslive

[Photos by John Hesse]

Eastbourne Extreme 2015 Preview

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This Summer is a busy time for roller derby in Sussex with no fewer than three British Championships events at the Dolphin in Haywards Heath in a five week period. For many people the highlight of the Sussex derby year takes place not there, but outdoors on the tarmac just off Eastbourne seafront. This weekend (Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th July) sees the return of the annual event Eastbourne Extreme, which features two full days of roller derby once again.

Saturday sees a six team tournament featuring two A-teams, Surrey and the hosting Bourne Bombshells, plus the London Rockin’ Rollers B-team, Croydon B (a Croydon side has won the tournie every year so far), Wycombe’s Big Bucks B and Extreme debutants, Brighton Rockers B. Sunday features a variety of games, including women’s, men’s, co-ed and junior matches, with the highlight being a clash of the Bristol and Croydon A-teams. There are also mini boot camps, Chicks In Bowls sessions (quad skating on skate ramps), Fresh Meat sessions, after parties and more.

The event is open to spectators and is totally free of charge, with action from roughly 9.30am to 6.30pm both days. The venue is around 20 minutes walk from Eastbourne train station. The easiest route is to hit the seafront, turn left and walk for about a kilometre (post code BN22 7AA). There are seats, vendors, a nearby coffee hut and toilets, the occasional appearance of an ice cream van and more. The main Eastbourne Extreme drag is nearby and features various food and drink outlets. The nearest pubs, off licences etc are a few minutes away on Seaside Road.

Before we hear from some of those taking part, here’s an overview of the history of the event and what to expect this year…

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ROLLER DERBY AT EASTBOURNE EXTREME: A HISTORY
BY THE PHILOSOFEAR (EASTBOURNE ROLLER DERBY)

Eastbourne Extreme started out as a skating event and was run by our sponsor Tim Wheals from Eastbourne Sk8School. It later developed into an extreme sports event. In 2011 there was roller derby at Eastbourne Extreme for the first time, but there was only about half an hour of a game outside at The Cage before heavy rain stopped play. In 2012 the Bourne Bombshells decided to have a full day of roller derby at Extreme, but at the time the team was very new and no one had passed Minimum Skills. So the Bombshells didn’t play and just ran the event instead. The Seaside Sirens, Oxford Roller Derby, Croydon Roller Derby, Bristol Harbour Harlots, Big Bucks High Rollers and The Beasts of Bodmin all took part. The final between Big Bucks and Croydon was nail biting, with Croydon taking the win by just a few points.

By summer 2013 the Bombshells had enough skaters to compete in the tournament. The Saturday was for newer teams, with the Bombshells playing against Surrey, Basingstoke Bullets and Mean Valley B-team. The final was between Mean Valley and the Bombshells, and Mean Valley won. The Sunday was for more established teams; Croydon, Portsmouth, Kent and Big Bucks played, with Croydon taking the win for the second year in a row.

In 2014 the format was changed slightly. The Saturday remained as a tournament, with The Bombshells taking on Surrey, Croydon B-team and London Rockin’ Rollers B-team. Croydon won again! The Sunday became a day of mixed games – rookie women, juniors, intermediate women, advanced women, men and co-ed. This was very popular and the co-ed game was amazing to watch. However, the organisation of all this was immense, with Polka Dotty, who was doing the organising, spending ridiculous amounts of time organising teams and T-shirts.

For 2015, we’ve kept Saturday as tournament day. The Sunday still has a variety of different games, but rather than mixed team games our new co-ed team (the A-Bombs) will be playing, as will our men’s team Bomb S’Quad and many other sides.

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SATURDAY 18TH: THE TOURNAMENT (TRACK 1)

GROUP A
9.30 Surrey Rollergirls v LRR Rising Stars
11.30 Bourne Bombshells v Surrey Rollergirls
13.30 Bourne Bombshells v LRR Rising Stars

THE PHILOSOFEAR, BOURNE BOMBSHELLS: “The Bombshells are the lowest ranked of the six teams, but we’re very much looking forward to taking on our opponents in the group and whoever we meet in the playoffs. This year we decided to make it a B-team level tournament, as reflected by our rankings. It’s an opportunity for some higher ranked local teams to test out their B-teams in real gameplay. Of the leagues taking part in Saturday’s tournament, Brighton are the only ones who haven’t played at Extreme before – it seems that once a team plays at Extreme, they want to come back and do it again! As the new Brighton B-team haven’t played a ranked game yet, they are something of an unknown. [The old Brighton B-team, the Bruisers, are on Flattrackstats, but the new B-team, the Rockerbillies don’t contain any members of the old team.] Therefore, we are very unsure as to how they will place against the other teams. Having trained with the Brighton A-team, they are sure to have some strong players and great tactics. In terms of rankings, LRR’s B-team are the highest ranked, followed by Croydon’s B-team. Last year, these two teams made it to the final, with Croydon winning – they are starting out in separate groups this year, so could meet in the final once again. Surrey have played at Extreme for the last two years, but recently they have been moving up the rankings very quickly and doing well in their British Champs games, so it’ll be interesting to see how much they’ve progressed over the past year.”

CRAZY CAT LADY, SURREY ROLLERGIRLS: “Extreme is the highlight of my derby year. I get the chance to play the most amazing sport outside (hopefully) in the sun, with some of the best skaters and my favourite opposition. The Philosofear in particular is my outdoor nemesis, and I’ve always had the most fun skating against the Bombshells. LRR Rising Stars are an unknown quantity to me, which is exciting in itself. This is also the first year my son Short Round is competing too, in the junior expo game on Sunday morning, which makes this year even more exciting.”

DISORDERLEE, LONDON ROCKIN’ ROLLERS RISING STARS: “While there are a few stalwarts of last year’s team, half the team is new and we are looking forward to seeing how we fare this year as we know that both Bourne and Surrey’s teams have changed significantly too. Also, this time around we get to sit and watch a bit more of whoever we might be up against later, so we are liking the new structure.”

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GROUP B

10.30 Brighton Rockerbillies v Croydon Vice Squad
12.30 Croydon Vice Squad v Big Bucks Rough Diamonds
14.30 Brighton Rockerbillies v Big Bucks Rough Diamonds


CHLOE COLOSSUS, BRIGHTON ROCKERBILLIES:
“We foolhardily decided to play our first ever B-team game against Croydon Vice Squad not long after we formed, and we got our butts kicked. So I’m aware of just how good (and terrifying) they are. We have pretty good links with the Bombshells; we’ve trained and scrimmed against/with them in the past. I don’t know much about the other teams in the tournament, but I look forward to getting to know them on the track. We’re a fledgling B-team with a broad range of skill levels and experience and only a few games under our belt, so anything could happen. Can we beat Croydon? Nope, but I might have a different answer for you in a year’s time!”

GOLD N MALICIOUS, BIG BUCKS HIGH ROLLERS: “With our A-team firmly focused on the British Championships, Eastbourne Extreme is the perfect opportunity for Big Bucks High Rollers B-team, the Rough Diamonds, to get stuck into some tournament roller derby. BBHR played Extreme for the first time in 2012, just a few weeks after celebrating our first year as a team. With torrential downpours the night before, we were sure the tournament would be cancelled, but the sun came out, the track dried up and we all got sunburnt! We came a close second behind Croydon and are looking forward to facing their B-team, the Vice Squad this year. We will be facing some tough opposition but we have been training hard (and obsessing over the weather of course!) and can’t wait to battle it out with our fellow B-teamers! WE CAN WE WILL! BBHR!”

AGENT COOPER, CROYDON ROLLER DERBY: “Eastbourne Extreme is a bit of a rite of passage for Croydon skaters now. Some of our new blood have never played an outdoor game before, so we’ve been ruthlessly practicing on concrete in preparation. We know the teams are really gunning for Croydon, because of our record in the tournament, and we are going to bring it.”

PLAYOFFS
15.30 3rd Place Group A v 3rd Place Group B
16.30 2nd Place Group A v 2nd Place Group B
17.30 1st Place Group A v 1st Place Group B (FINAL)
18.20 Tournament Awards

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SATURDAY 18TH: ULTRA RARE FRESH MEAT (TRACK 2)

Sessions at 9.30, 12.30 & 14.30

BEACHY HEADCASE, EASTBOURNE EXTREME: “The Fresh Meat sessions are a chance for non-Minimum Skills passed skaters to have a go on an outdoor derby track. What will the sessions involve? Basically it’s derby without the hitting. Weaving through cones, skating forwards, skating backwards, can you skate a lap in 13 seconds, and so on.”

SATURDAY & SUNDAY: CHICKS IN BOWLS (SKATE RAMPS)

12.00 & 15.00 Saturday / 11.30 & 14.50 Sunday

BEACHY HEADCASE, EASTBOURNE EXTREME: “This year we have exciting slots lined up on the ramps exclusively for the use of Chicks in Bowls crews. There are four 15 minute slots over the two days. I am reliably informed that the ramps are accessible all the time for general skating.”

FLAMMERS, CHICKS IN BOWLS:
“Skate parks are feeling the shock wave of roller derby skaters looking for a new challenge, fun, additional skate training, or in some cases just a pure love of skating parks. What you will see at the Eastbourne Extreme event are a bunch of CIB UK crew skaters showing you their favourite moves, skills and love of ramp skating. The tricks are adapted from skateboarding, inline skating and the pioneers of quad skating who are still shredding skate parks today. It’s not a new thing – men and women have been skating parks on quads for years – but what is new is the roller derby community shifting towards ramps. This is bringing a whole new style, level of ability and passion for the skate park. The Chicks in Bowls chapters are like an extended family. We all encourage and support one another, either in the park or via social media. There are over 100 chapters world wide; get involved, find a skate crew and have some fun. There is no right or wrong. Go have fun and create your own moves and tricks.”

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SUNDAY 19TH: A FULL DAY OF DERBY ACTION (TRACK 1)

9.30 SOUTHAMPTON CITY ROLLERS V EASTBOURNE EXTREME ROOKIES

BEACHY HEADCASE, EASTBOURNE EXTREME: “The first game on the Sunday sees Southampton City Rollers in their first open game I believe. They will play a mixed team we have put together of new skaters from various leagues across the South, including Bourne Bombshells, Brighton Rockers Roller Derby, Basingstoke Bullets and Rochester Royal Rollers, amongst others.”

WHITE LIGHTNING, SOUTHAMPTON CITY ROLLERS: “Southampton City Rollers are pumped to be a part of Eastbourne Extreme this year. Not only is it our first outdoor event, it’s our first public game! Unfortunately in the past few months a number of our players have suffered non-derby related injuries so we’ve had to rope in skaters from other teams to pad our numbers out, but we’re excited for the opportunity to skate both with and against fellow rookie skaters. Our main aim for this game is to have fun and learn lots along the way. We all love roller derby, we love our team, and we love the atmosphere at all derby events! Bring it on!”

11.00 JUNIORS EXHIBITION (INC EASTBOURNE’S NEW BOURNES)

BEACHY HEADCASE, NEW BOURNES COACH: “We’re really excited for the kids game this year. So far 18 kids have signed up. We have been practising scrimmaging twice a week since March, as well as footwork and blocking skills. For the last four weeks we’ve been skating at the seafront once a week to get the hang of outside conditions. We’ve also practised a lot of entering and exiting the penalty box! I think all the kids will enjoy the experience of skating with a full ref crew. Junior derby is still relatively new to the UK, but our league has a regular hardcore of players who are learning and having fun. We plan to continue to grow our team and Extreme is a bit of a foundation for this. The New Bournes head coach deserves a special mention; Drag N Fly has coached virtually every session since the New Year, ensuring the kids are game ready. All the kids are stoked for Sunday and can’t wait for the experience.”

JEMOLISH, NEW BOURNES SKATER: ” New Bournes have been training outside in preparation for Extreme. We are really excited to play our game because we haven’t played properly since last year due to lack of other local junior leagues. Also we have improved so much as a team. We are very excited to have skaters from other teams joining us at Extreme.”

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12.00 MEN’S: BOMB S’QUAD V SURREY JAMMERWOCKIES

BEACHY HEADCASE, EASTBOURNE EXTREME: “Eastbourne Roller Derby men’s team Bomb S’Quad are playing their first open roller derby game against a ‘mostly’ Surrey Rollerboys team (some skaters will be from other leagues). This is their first year bouting and the men have prepared for Extreme by playing a number of closed door games since the start of this year. I can’t wait to see how they fare on their first open outing. Watch out for Tenacious P’s trademark trot and players like Nut Basher and Chasin’ Status taking out their opposition in style.”

TENACIOUS P, BOMB S’QUAD: “So what’s better than playing roller derby for the first time at Eastbourne Extreme? Playing TWICE in the same day! I’ve been to the last two Eastbourne Extremes. The first one was as a spectator with little or no knowledge about derby. But it was fun enough to give me a desire to play and it wasn’t long before I’d gone from non-skater to Fresh Meat. The second Extreme I was still “in training” so I had to sit on the sidelines and watch my derby brothers in their mixed game (inbetween making cups of tea and selling cakes of course). It was a thrilling game and just made me want to play even more. This year I’m jamming in both the open door bouting debut of the Bomb S’Quad *and* for the newly created A-Bomb’s co-ed league. So to say that I’m more than a little proud and excited to be representing Eastbourne Roller Derby twice in one day is a touch of an understatement. Extreme is unlike any other roller derby tournament in the UK. Not only is it outdoors (somewhat of a rarity) but also it’s mostly being viewed by people with little or no knowledge of the sport. So we have to make sure we bring our A-game and make it as thrilling to watch for both derby and non-derby people. So no pressure then! As for our opposition, the mighty Surrey beat us in our first ever closed door bout, so we have a friendly score to settle there.”

SAMUEL L SMACKS’EM, SURREY ROLLERBOYS: “Eastbourne Extreme has become a bit of a ritual for myself and the other Jammerwockies. For the past two years, I’ve tagged along with the Surrey Rollergirls but this is the first year I’ve been playing and also happens to be my first outdoor game. Mega exciting! We’ve all been buzzing about it since we found out we were playing and a large part of that is down to our friendship with the Bomb S’Quad. They’ve been close friends of ours since SRB began and this is the second time we’ve had the pleasure of meeting them on track. Last time was so much fun that we couldn’t say no to another round! We took home the first win but both teams have been training hard since so we’re expecting a very exciting game and a weekend of great derby.”

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13.30 TEAM DRAGON RD v TEAM NO FUSS

BEACHY HEADCASE, EASTBOURNE EXTREME: “All of Saturday’s games are notable. Team Dragon RD are coming down with their nurturing, and some say bloodthirsty, Mother of Dragons to take on the mighty Team No Fuss. Both these challenge teams are building quite a name for themselves, becoming the go-to method of getting in your roller derby fix for top players across the South of England. I can’t give away names yet, but I do know that both teams are pulling out the stops. They’ve been rattling their sabres at each other since Team No Fuss beat the Dragons at their inaugural game last November. The Dragons are coming into Extreme following a run of victories; they’ve bolstered their stable and are coming together as a team – I can’t wait to see what happens.”

MAMA, TEAM DRAGON BENCH COACH:
“Team Dragon was formed last year, just before the last Eastbourne Extreme. After meeting Polka Dotty at the event we talked about arranging a bout between us. So she formed a side, Team No Fuss, and last November we played a mini three team tournament with them and Team Crazy Legs. No Fuss narrowly beat us in the final (192-145) and this is the first revenge game since! Dragons have a real mix of skaters in the team. Some have been skating under a year, with several recreational skaters plus a few more experienced skaters, so I have no idea what the result will be! We’ll spin the wheel and give it our best shot.”

CHUNDER WOMAN, TEAM NO FUSS: “We’ve put together a really strong roster for Sunday, with a lot of experienced skaters. You’ll recognise some of us from previous Eastbourne Extreme tournaments. Some of the ones to watch will be Little Miss Mischevil, who put in a very strong performance in last year’s co-ed bout; Gin Atomic, who has taken part in Extreme every year since the beginning; and of course we’re reuniting the former dream team of The Philosofear and myself. Buffy Smothers’ bare belly is another Extreme tradition that we’ll be happy to see return this year. The Dragons are fielding an impressive roster, and we’re particularly looking out for Rusty Stiletto and I Eat, who gave us a lot of trouble last time. They’ve added some excellent skaters to their line-up since then, so we’re expecting a hard fought game. I’d say we have the advantage in terms of our experience of outdoor skating, but it’s anyone’s game!”

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15.00 CO-ED: A-BOMBS V PORTSMOUTH SCURVY WENCHES

BEACHY HEADCASE, EASTBOURNE EXTREME: “We are rolling out the Eastbourne co-ed team for the first time. A-Bomb-iNations will be playing the Scurvy Wenches from Portsmouth. The Scurvy Wenches are going to provide some tough opposition in the form of ex-Southern Discomfort player Noise Tank, Portsmouth Roller Wenches team captain Dropkick Molly and founding member of the Wenches (and ex-LRG player) The Duchess of Crutches. Co-ed games are hard-hitting and great fun to watch.”

PONT BLANK, A-BOMBS: “As a relative newcomer to the Bomb S’Quad and now Eastbourne Roller Derby, I haven’t really known any difference when it comes to playing co-ed, as training has been co-ed for some time now. I gather, however, that this wasn’t always the case, and it has taken some time to get people on-side with it. Personally I think it’s great, as it’s a chance for us all to be involved as a league together, and in particular has allowed us newer members of the Bomb S’Quad to draw on the experience of the Bombshells, who have been around a lot longer. So when it was announced that we would be looking to make up a co-ed team drawing on members from the two teams, I jumped at the opportunity to get involved. Co-ed roller derby is definitely on the up and more and more Leagues are starting to combine their respective teams in order to form very strong co-ed rosters. We’re obviously aware of the challenge that awaits us in the form of Portsmouth Scurvy Wenches, as both the Roller Wenches and Scurvy Dogs are formidable opponents in their own rights. With skaters like Noise Tank, Danderson, Kaizen, RIP McMurphy and the Duchess of Crutches at their disposal, they’re going to be able to field a very impressive team. But that’s not to say that our team won’t be impressive as well.”

ROLLSCHACH, PORTSMOUTH SCURVY WENCHES:
“This is the first outdoor game the Scurvy Wenches have taken part in as a team, although some of our members played at Eastbourne Extreme last year; and being from a seaside town, our players often get experience skating outdoors. A smart and adaptive team, we are more than up to any challenge! Portsmouth have worked with Eastbourne players in previous mixed bouts, but never against one another as a full roster. We take part in co-ed training as often as possible which has solidified us as a very strong team. Co-ed derby is a perfect hybrid of two very different games. Original [women’s] roller derby is a very tactical sport with grace and agility, whereas men’s roller derby is based more upon big hits, although men’s derby is learning from the ladies’ game and making the plays a lot more intelligent. Co-ed derby is still in its infancy, but it’s quickly growing into its own sport. Watch this space derby fans!”

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16.30: CROYDON ROLLER DERBY V BRISTOL ROLLER DERBY

BEACHY HEADCASE, EASTBOURNE EXTREME: “The highlight of the day is definitely the game between Croydon Riot Squad and Bristol Roller Derby. Both teams have history at Extreme. Croydon has won the tournament every year since it started, and some of the Bristol skaters played at the first year of the tournament in 2012 as the Harbour Harlots. This year we thought we’d add in an advanced game to round off the day. Croydon Riot Squad stand 19th in the UKRDA rankings, with Bristol’s A-team two places ahead in 17th. In the European rankings, however, Croydon have the upper hand in 22nd compared to 31st place Bristol. The prediction computer at Flattrackstats picks a different winner depending on which ranking you use! Add in the outdoors element and this really could go either way. I can’t wait to see how things play out on the track.”

BLACK THORN, BRISTOL ROLLER DERBY:
“Bristol have played at Eastbourne Extreme once before, back in 2012. Five of us who took part are still playing for Bristol, and have been sharing horror stories of sun and gravel burn. We haven’t played roller derby outdoors since, but Chicks in Bowls Bristol has a huge BRD contingent and we’ve been getting of plenty of outdoor practice on the ramps. We played and beat Croydon indoors in 2012 (207-138) but I am sure both teams have seen massive changes since then. Not least that we’ve stolen President Garfield from Croydon (she’s ours now!). They’re ranked quite a bit higher than us in the European table and we’ve climbed significantly since we started our British Champs campaign, but we’re hoping that this works in our favour as we’ve had some tough games against tough opponents this year. We’re hoping for a fun and physical game, away from the more pressured Champs environment. A couple of the usual suspects on our roster have had the audacity to go on holiday, so look out for a deeper jammer rotation than is typical for us, as well as two players new to the A-team in the form of Rip Tease and Hard N Sharpe.”

AGENT COOPER, CROYDON ROLLER DERBY:
“As far as Bristol are concerned, we have heard that they are seriously not to be messed with. Our plan is to give them one of the best games Eastbourne has ever seen.”

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SUNDAY 19TH: FREE MINI BOOT CAMPS (TRACK 2)

11.00 FOOTWORK WITH GIN ATOMIC & NOISE TANK

GIN ATOMIC: “Myself of the Brighton Rockers (ex-Croydon Roller Derby) and Noise Tank (Portsmouth Scurvy Dogs, ex-Southern Discomfort) are running a short footwork boot camp for intermediate skaters. It’ll consist of various drills to work on improving manoeuvrability. People won’t need to bring anything specific for the boot camp, but I would say to anyone playing outdoors to bring spare toe stops and don’t wear shorts. And of course bring your sun cream!”

12.00 BLOCKING WITH THE DUCHESS OF CRUTCHES

DUCHESS OF CRUTCHES: “I’m a coach and the A-team captain at Portsmouth Roller Wenches and I will be putting on a mini blocking boot camp focused around partner blocking and traversing the track. I was happy to be asked to help out and put something on at Eastbourne Extreme. I have a great love for blocking and look forward to sharing some of my joy, along with skills and drills that I hope skaters will find useful and take away with them.”

…AND THE AFTER PARTY (CROWN & ANCHOR)

BEACHY HEADCASE, EASTBOURNE EXTREME: “On the Saturday most of us Eastbourne Roller Derby types need to get an early night, but parties will be going on all along the seafront; live bands, beach BBQs and a roller disco at MySkateWorld, to name a few. On Sunday evening you can find us at the newly refurbished Crown & Anchor, our favourite pub, which is on the seafront a little way East of the pier (about ten minutes walk from the derby). The roller derby crew have been given exclusive use of the upstairs bar. Expect human pyramids.”

EASTBOURNE EXTREME ON FACEBOOK

https://www.facebook.com/EastbourneExtremeRollerDerby/
https://www.facebook.com/events/812866462140436/

[Photos by John Hesse]

British Champs Tier 4 South East Day Two Preview

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The first day of British Champs Tier 4 South East took place at the start of May in Stevenage. Those two games ended in what are known as “blowouts” with one of the sides in each amassing hundreds of points more than their opponents. Killa Hurtz triumphed 342-43 over the Bombshells, while hosts Full Metal went down by an even bigger margin (396-15) at the hands of Suffolk Roller Derby. Naturally enough Suffolk (who sit out Day 2) top the division on points scored over Killa Hurtz, with the Bombshells and Full Metal occupying the bottom spots.

Mid-table by dint of being the team that sat out day one are the Norfolk Brawds, who are hosting the second divisional game day this Saturday (6th June). The event is taking place at the University of East Anglia’s Sportspark on the Western edge of Norwich. Doors are at noon, with tickets available online at £7.50 each (including booking fee) from the link at the bottom of this piece. The afterparty takes place midway between the University and City Centre at the Eagle on Newmarket Road (the A11) in the Golden Triangle area, which is supposedly even more of a Green Party heartland than Brighton’s Hanover (more than two thirds of the vote in some wards).

TRAVEL INFO

With the greatest of respect to some of the other towns represented in Champs, Norwich is one destination we would particularly recommend making a weekend of if you can. Not only is it one of the best real ale towns in the UK (around Dereham Road in particular), with a castle, cathedral and twice as many board game shops as the whole of Sussex – yeah we’re geeks – there’s also the messing about on boats to be had. Er, though you could end up trapped, like our boating mates who should be in the South of France now. Seems the lock that joins the Broads to the North Sea has been broken (non-navigable) for months. Cannes, Loddon, quelle difference?

Car types from Sussex should point their vehicles North East for around 3.5 hours – there’s parking at the venue, plus overflow parking nearby if that gets full. The train takes around the same time and costs as little as £21 each way. Thankfully the rail strike either side of the weekend (you just know it’d mess up the trains in between too) has been called off. Hotel wise, our usual recommendations – the Maid’s Head or Stracey – get a bit spendy this close to the day. The plethora of Premier Inn and Travelodge type places dotted around the centre are probably the best bet now. Enough travel stuffs, on to the statistics…

PREDICTIONS

Flattrackstats calls the Bombshells v Herts Breakers game quite strongly in favour of Eastbourne. The Sussex league currently rank 306th in Europe on 450.0 points with the Full Metal women 357th on 373.0. While that doesn’t look a huge positional gap, splitting the difference between home and away predictions (since there’s no neutral option) calls this as 94% likely to be an Eastbourne win, with an anticipated 42:19 differential working out as something like a 252-114 Bombshells victory margin.

The website calls the other game as much closer. Killa Hurtz currently place 105th in Europe on 539.6 points. Although the Brawds have home advantage, they rank lower at 141st on 518.3. The magic maths machine that lives inside the FTS website reckons this works out as 60% likelihood of the visitors from Chelmsford taking the win. A predicted differential of 10:9 is not only very easy for us to translate into a possible scoreline – 180-162, say – but also demonstrates how close this one is expected to be. Eek! Let’s see what the teams themselves have to make of all this…

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COUNTESS VON STACKIT – BOURNE BOMBSHELLS

What did you learn from your first Champs game against Killa Hurtz? We guess it wasn’t quite what you were expecting?
I’d say that’s a mild understatement! Killa Hurtz had really solid walls and gave out some hard hits. We knew it would be tough but even some of our strongest players struggled. They managed to wear us down early on and break apart our walls. From a jamming perspective it was exhausting – by the time we’d got to the last blocker we were easily hit off. On a positive note, we did learn a few things that we will be putting into practice for our forthcoming games. In particular, responding to offence and working on our own offence. We need to work on keeping our walls tight and reforming faster. As a team we have really been working on our overall fitness and, although it was a crushing defeat, our stamina has improved. Getting more points in the second half shows we can dig deep when it matters!

Your next opponents, Full Metal RD’s Herts Breakers, also had a heavy loss on that first game day. What do you know about them?
We know Full Metal are new to bouting, so I’m sure they’ll want to do their best and make their mark. They will have learnt a lot from their game against Suffolk and I’m sure if there were any first game nerves to be had, they will have dissipated and they’ll be hungry for the next one. Herts will be used to hard hits and pushing against solid players as, like us, they are used to training co-ed.

Any Eastbourne players or tactics people should look out for in the game? Are Flattrackstats right to predict a big Bombshells win?
Amazing Graze has been doing some great jamming (I’m refraining from saying Amaaazing!). She’s been working hard at training and has been taking part in mixed scrims; most recently as part of Roll Britannia against the Brighton Rockerbillies, where she was awarded MVP. Jumpin’ Jack Smash has also gone from strength to strength and is knocking out some devastating hits. Naturally, we’ll be aiming to win because there is no other way, but we would never like to predict what can happen. We need to play our game, put in to practice the offence we’ve worked on, but not forget the basics. We’ll need to be focused as a team if we want to improve that points differential.

Finally, the day’s other game sees hosts Norfolk Brawds take on Killa Hurtz. How do you expect that one to go, and are there any standout players on those teams to look out for?
We came up against the Brawds in last year’s Heartland Series and their jammers aren’t afraid to go in hard. Philthy Delphia is a strong jammer who will test the Killa Hurtz walls. I’d expect a Killa Hurtz win, but for the Brawds to get a decent score against them. It’ll be an exciting one to watch. It may be Killa Hurtz’ toughest game of this Champs season. Mother Mercy, Clark Smash and Melef!cent are all going to give the Brawds jammers a hard time. The Beckoning just will not move out of the way!

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CLEO CATCHYA – FULL METAL ROLLER DERBY

Was the result of your first British Champs game what you were hoping for? Is there anything you learned from that game that you’ll be taking forward to the rest of your Champs season?
We were just hoping for double figures in all honesty. We knew we weren’t going to win, but we wanted to have some fun and host a successful first bout, and we are so proud of ourselves for that. Also eleven of us popped our bouting cherries that game and it was awesome to do it all together as a team. We have a bout’s experience under our belts now and a bit of a fire in our bellies. Gotta start somewhere.

Your next opponents, Eastbourne Roller Derby’s Bourne Bombshells, also had a heavy loss on that first game day. What do you know about the Sussex side?
We’ve seen that the Bombshells have heart, strength and determination, and we’re looking forward to our game with them. I’ve a feeling they’ll have a fire in them too.

Any Herts Breakers players or tactics people should look out for in the game? Flattrackstats gives 90-95% chance of an Eastbourne win. What are you expecting?
Results wise we are just hoping to improve on our points. We got 15 last time, this time we’ll go for 30 and so on. Winning really isn’t what it’s about for us; we’re just starting as a bouting team so the whole experience is amazing. As for players to look out for, all of us I guess. We’re learning and growing as a team with each bout and scrim. It’s exciting to watch us all develop as skaters together.

Finally, the day’s other game sees hosts Norfolk Brawds take on Killa Hurtz. How do you expect that one to go?
We are both excited and terrified to watch this game! Both teams are fantastic. I’ve personally seen more of the Killa Hurtz, so I know for certain the strength and skill they possess. I wouldn’t like to hazard a guess at the outcome, but it’s going to be a blinding bout that’s for sure. As for standout players, Mother Mercy from Killas has a pretty fearsome rep; she’s an awesome player and definitely one to watch out for (and avoid) on track.

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PHILTHY DELPHIA – THE NORFOLK BRAWDS

You’re the only side in Tier 4 South East that sat out Game Day 1. What do you know of the other four teams in the division?
We actually had a “Brawds Day Out” to the first game day to check things out, but also to support all the teams. We’ve been watching Suffolk since they started and it was great to see how strong they’ve gotten. The first contact we really had with Killa Hurtz was at our Eastern Sur5al event last year and they sent a few girls again this year – so we were excited to see them skate as a team. Eastbourne were in our division of the Heartland Series last year but this was our first time (like many) seeing Full Metal on the track. Definitely a lot of new faces, but quite a few familiar ones too!

You’ll be taking on Killa Hurtz in your first game. Any particular players or tactics of theirs you’ll be looking out for?
Killa Hurtz definitely have some strong, experienced players on their side so we know it’s going to be a tough game, but they are also a lovely group of ladies so we’re sure it’s going to be a fun one too.

Any Brawds players or tactics people should look out for in the game? Flattrackstats narrowly gives Killa Hurtz the edge in this match-up. What are you expecting?
Well, we can’t give away too many of our secrets! We’re going to be relying on our experience skating together as a team. Most of our All Stars have been skating together for years.

The day’s other game sees Eastbourne take on Full Metal’s Herts Breakers. How do you expect that game to go?
This should actually be a really interesting match-up. We’ve played Bourne so we know they have a lot of fight in them and bout experience. Full Metal are a bit of a dark horse. Neither had a great first game day, but this could turn out to be a close, exciting bout.

Finally, the Brawds are hosting the action on Saturday 6th. What can you tell us about your venue? What can people expect from the afterparty?
We are *so* lucky to have one of the largest and most successful sports centres in the UK, the Sportspark at the University of East Anglia, as our home open venue. Technically we can seat more than 500 people in our bleacher seating and we usually have 300-400 spectators at our home events. The Sportspark offers free parking, a full bar which sells our own ale Bonny’s Gold (brewed by Golden Triangle Brewery), two different cafes, a large vendor area, free face painting, and an awesome raffle. We are also fundraising for our own venue and will be taking donations to ‘wax a Smackson (our affiliated men’s team)’ during half time. The afterparty will consist of a massive BBQ and drinks in the big beer garden at The Eagle Pub and possibly dancing at the Waterfront after!

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CLARK… SMASH! – KILLA HURTZ ROLLER GIRLS

Killa Hurtz have rocketed up the European rankings, rising from 270th to 105th in less than a year of bouting, and took a big win over Eastbourne in your first Champs game. As the division’s highest ranked team who do you think will be your biggest challengers?
We came into Champs not knowing what to expect, and with the ethos of taking every game as it comes and not taking anything for granted. We had no idea what to expect from Eastbourne. It was a good game and they did not make it an easy win for us. We would love to win the division. I would say in the short term our biggest challengers would be the Brawds. However, in October we face Suffolk. We have played them twice in the past year and it’s one apiece… Both of us are training new skaters at the moment, so it is highly likely by the time October rolls around both teams will be fielding players neither team has met before, which always makes for a challenge!

You’re up against the Norfolk Brawds on Saturday. Any particular Brawds you’ll be looking out for?
We are indeed. Norfolk have obviously been in Heartland Series before Champs and we’ve seen some of their games. With Damage having left, it will be interesting who will be in her spot on the roster. We shall be keeping an eye on Philthy and Short Circuit… We’ve also heard rumblings about Penny Slain as someone to watch out for.

Any Killa Hurtz players or tactics that people in the crowd should look out for?
We wouldn’t want to give away any of our secrets! Our lips are sealed. I think this is going to be a really good game to watch whatever the result.

Finally, the day’s other game sees Eastbourne take on Full Metal RD. Any particular players the crowd should look out for there?
Eastbourne are definitely the favourites. The Philosofear caused our jammers a lot of problems when we played them. Definitely the skater to contain!

[Photos by John Hesse and Pete Florey/MDP Images]

LINKS
BUY TICKETS: http://www.ueaticketbookings.co.uk/events/the-norfolk-brawds-roller-derby-presents–british-champs—uea-sportspark–6-6-15-.aspx
FB EVENT PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/events/1527400340869495/
BRITISH CHAMPS: http://www.britishchamps.com/
BRAWDS: http://www.norfolkbrawds.com/
KILLAS: http://killahurtzrollergirls.co.uk/
SHELLS: http://bournebombshells.wix.com/bombshells
BREAKERS: http://fullmetalrollerderby.com/