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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EASTBOURNE EXTREME 2017 Full Weekend Of Outdoor Derby (15th-16th July) Previewed

For many people this weekend (15th-16th July) is the highlight of the derby year. Eastbourne Extreme features two full days of roller derby action outdoors on Eastbourne seafront. Saturday sees five full games in a variety of flavours (women’s, men’s, open to all, juniors) between 10am and 6pm, whilst the same time frame on Sunday features women’s and open to all sevens tournaments (a total of fourteen 21-minute games). Extreme is part of a wider Beach Life Festival featuring stunt cycling, windsurfing, live music, camper vans, yoga and more.

HOW TO GET THERE

The roller derby is taking place at ‘The Cage’ which is the tennis/basketball courts by Fisherman’s Green. That’s roughly halfway between the Pier and Marina on Eastbourne seafront. It’s around 25 minutes walk from the train station and there’s a car park right next to the venue (£4.80 all day) as well as street parking on side streets. Alternatively, the Wave 99 bus stops a minute’s walk from The Cage (Fishermen’s Club or Roselands stop) – it can be picked up outside Nat West in the town centre (two minutes walk from the station) and runs all the way to Hastings. The postcode to punch into your SatNav or map app for the venue is BN22 7AA.

FACILITIES & INFO

Admission to the roller derby is completely FREE yay! The games run from around 10am-6pm and there are after parties after. There are (smelly) public toilets right by the venue. There’s usually a few food stalls a little further towards the Marina (where other Beach Life Festival things are happening) and an opportunistic ice cream van will probably pull up outside the derby at some point. Being roller derby, there is of course CAKE available at the venue, as well as merch stands, a raffle and more. You can bring in your own booze and that. The nearest supermarkets (Coop, Tesco Express and Spar) are around four minutes walk inland on Seaside Road.

The weather forecast says it’s going to be cloudy, but it’s always advisable to bring suntan lotion to Extreme, as several people each year find out to their cost! There is some seating, but you might want to bring something soft to sit on, eg a cushion, jumper or child. The after party on Saturday is at the Fishermen’s Club right by the venue. Tickets (limited to 120) are priced at £8. Sunday’s after party (free entry) is at Eastbourne Roller Derby’s favourite pub, the Crown & Anchor on the seafront near the Pier. Right below you’ll find an image of the full schedule flyer. Below that we have previews of all the action. Hurrah!

SATURDAY 15TH JULY

10.00 – 11.30
EASTBOURNE EXTREME TEAM v BRIGHTON ROCKERBILLIES (Women’s)
PREVIEWED BY HEADCASE

Last year we had enough players to play a couple of games with our fledgling B-team. This was a very proud moment for veteran Bombshells, but transfers, injuries and dropouts in the A-team (meaning players could move up) led to a fast drop in B-team numbers. This gave us an opportunity to run an Extreme Rookie team, which we have successfully done for three years now.

On the Extreme Rookie team Metal Malicious is a complete unknown who we are looking forward to meeting. Hopefully jet lag won’t be a problem as she has flown in from Canada especially for this special event. Watch out for neat footwork from ERD’s own InnsterSlam – she’s been travelling hundreds of miles to play in challenge team games around the country. This is bearing out in her gameplay and has proved to be an invaluable way to gain roller derby experience as a player hungry for more games.

The PhilosoFear is making a reappearance, having stepped down for most of the last year to complete a BSc Degree in Ecology & the Environment (she got a first, so some might argue it was worth it). Bettsy Bruiser from The Apex Predators has bought a line-up that includes double threat Hustle me Elmo.

We love our Brighton neighbours and meet up for scrims and games from time to time. Rockerbillies we will be watching out for in particular include Yorkshire Brew-ser and Obliviator. Yorkshire Brew-ser is one of our own who transferred to Brighton – we know how good she is at getting through solid walls. Obliviator has played at previous Extremes and has great on-track awareness. She will definitely be taking control on the track. I’m so excited… is it Saturday yet?

11.30 – 13.00
EASTBOURNE ROLLER DERBY A-BOMBS v K-HEM (Open To All)
PREVIEWED BY CHASIN STATUS

We expect this to be a tough game!!! There are a few unknown entities on the K-Hem roster, but like the rest of the team, they are NOT to be underestimated. With the Bomb S’Quad having played and collaborated well with many of the opposition as Mayhem Squad, there are a few known troublemakers to watch out for on track.

Mal Pac-A 105 and Tiggrr 17 are on fire as Jammers. Brute 66 as a Blocker is a bit of a Brute (best not get caught sleeping) and Drop and Give Me 20 is an all round Double Threat. The rest are known to be disciplined and play well.

For the A-Bombs the Jammers to watch include Nesta Vipers 789 and NewMatic Drill 77, who are fast and relentless. Smash’er Fierce blocks like a rock and the rest I would have to say are fairly seasoned Extremer’s 😉

Open To All is exactly that and all those brave enough are welcome. Whatever the result both teams will love this game and I’m sure the crowd will too.

13.00 – 14.30
ERD NEW BOURNES v EXTREME JUNIORS CHALLENGE TEAM (Juniors)
PREVIEWED BY DRAG ‘N’ FLY & HEADCASE

New Bournes Junior Roller Derby started back at the beginning of 2014. Initially we only had five skaters but we have grown and currently have 14 skaters most of which are at Level 3. We train once a week as a team, with some of the older skaters attending Eastbourne’s main league training and helping with NSOing to improve their game knowledge.

This year at Extreme the New Bournes are playing against a mixed team with Hereford Poison Berries coach Tristan Shout benching and another Berries coach Barb Corrick as line-up. Watch out for Niyalator who wooed the crowds with her jamming skills at this April’s drawn game at Anarchy, and also DASH skater T-Brakes, an experienced junior who is playing at her third Extreme.

The roster includes many players who are new to us. This is great and shows that the junior game continues to develop (I believe that that most of the junior visitors are Poison Berries players). Notable mention: Jazzaster for the New Bournes is playing her last Extreme as a junior skater and next year will be on the adult roster. Jazz will be our first graduation!

In August we are taking most of the junior Eastbourne team to participate in Europe’s first junior roller derby tournament in Copenhagen (Creatures of The Abyss Tournament or C.A.T). We’re going on a road trip! You can help support us at Extreme by buying one of our limited edition tour T-shirts, badges, key rings or coasters

14.30 – 16.00
MAYHEM SQUAD v MY NAME IS JEFF & FRIENDS (Men’s)
PREVIEWED BY SPANK ME SIDEWAYS

For the Bomb S’Quad heading into another year at Eastbourne Extreme (Beach Life Festival) we always expect a tough game. The bar is raised by every player on the track as they know their worst critic is every other team/player watching them all weekend, as well as the general public.

We have played against Medway Mayhem a few times over the years and joined alongside their players in mixed team games. We all get along really well and since numbers have fallen (with fewer recruits and older team members retiring) we have been able to join forces to keep the roller derby spirit alive. We have won our last four collaborative games and hope to continue this streak.

One player to look out for from My Name Is Jeff in this match is #42 Jeff (aka BrutAl Deluxe) who is a nifty jammer and loves to jump high on the apex. We also have our own amazing jammer, Nesta Vipers, who has footwork that Michael Jackson would be proud of.

Both teams have big solid, strong, experienced players and we cannot expect this to be a walkover. We will enter this game as we always do – calm, fierce but lethal.

16.00 – 17.30
ERD BOURNE BOMBSHELLS v BRIGHTON ROCKERS (Women’s)
PREVIEWED BY MISTER ADAM

Rounding off the day is this meeting of the top two women’s teams in Sussex. If the rankings websites are to be believed this one could be a bit of a landslide. Brighton are placed much higher than Eastbourne in the UK (23rd v 58th), European (72nd v 233rd) and world (383rd v 1109th) tables. Even allowing for the Bombshells’ home advantage, the online prediction computers give the Rockers 95-98% chance of victory here. The visitors are expected to score three to five times as many points as the hosts, with a scoreline in the region of 250-65.

Of course, the predictometers are geared up for standard sports hall games, and don’t allow for the variables that playing outdoors on tarmac add to the mix. Eastbourne have other causes for optimism. Brighton are unlikely to field a full squad of fourteen, since away teams rarely do. Whilst around half of the current Rockers A-team have previously played at Extreme (the B-team having taken part in the last two years), their most experienced skaters admit to having never played derby outdoors before. The Bombshells, meanwhile, know this surface well through several previous Extremes as well as a few recent mini-Extremes.

Having said that, there are other factors in Brighton’s favour. The Bombshells have seen far less open door action than them in the past year, whilst the Rockers are still buzzing from getting their biggest win ever (453-65 v Belfast) a few weeks ago. This game comes just three days after Brighton attained full membership of the world’s biggest roller derby organisation WFTDA (which only has 21 UK members), something else that might put wind in the Rockers’ sails/skates.

As for players to look out for, Brighton have a number of double/triple threats, as adept at skipping through opposition walls as bracing their own. The likes of Shambolic and Emma The Condemner are likely to see a lot of track time in various positions, whilst newer additions to the A-team roster such as Cruelty Spree and Fellen E Assault continue to build on their experience. Having added irrepressible jamming to her long-standing sturdy blocking skills, Hippy Hippy Skate has been described as “our secret weapon” by other Brighton skaters. The secret is surely out now – Hippy is our Rockers One To Watch.

In the Eastbourne ranks, the relentless Amazing Graze, speedy Bullet Bomber and nimble Crash are amongst those likely to catch the eye. We hope the Rockers have avoided getting sunburnt upper arms during the day, since they are likely to sting after going up against our Bombshells One To Watch, the super tough Smash’er Fierce. With a hometown crowd cheering them on, Eastbourne will be looking to raise their game and upset the odds, although it’s statistically difficult to see beyond a solid Brighton win here.

“We’re super excited to play the Rockers in our finale on Saturday, though it’s going to be a tough one. As south coast neighbours we know them pretty well and often watch their games. I think it’s the Rockers’ first outdoor game, so we will give it our all and see what happens. I remember it was a bit daunting when I first played roller derby outside on concrete, but now I love it. There’s a risk of getting a few grazes, but skating in the sun (hopefully) and being able to go for a post game dip in the sea is the best!”
SMASH’ER FIERCE, BOURNE BOMBSHELLS

“We haven’t played Eastbourne in a very long time and most of us haven’t skated Extreme before, so it’s a bit of an unknown. They’re our derby neighbours and we know each other well, so it’s going to be a fun game to play for sure. I’ve skated outdoors a whole bunch of times, but never actually played derby outside – I’ve been wanting to play Extreme for a long time for the chance to try it out. I imagine sharp stops are going to be interesting. I know we get to wear sunglasses, which is fabulous.”
RACEY, BRIGHTON ROCKERS

SUNDAY 16TH JULY

WOMEN’S SEVENS TOURNAMENT
10.00 COME AT ME BRO v SIRENS & CO
11.00 TEAM METAL LEGS v NORTH DEVON ROLLER DERBY
12.00 COME AT ME BRO v NORTH DEVON ROLLER DERBY
13.00 TEAM METAL LEGS v SIRENS & CO
14.00 COME AT ME BRO v TEAM METAL LEGS
15.00 NORTH DEVON ROLLER DERBY v SIRENS & CO
16.00 WOMEN’S FINAL

OPEN TO ALL SEVENS TOURNAMENT
10.30 ZERO BUCKS GIVEN v SCURVY WENCHES
11.30 7 SLAMURAI v BIG HERO 7
12.30 7 SLAMURAI v SCURVY WENCHES
13.30 ZERO BUCKS GIVEN v BIG HERO 7
14.30 7 SLAMURAI v ZERO BUCKS GIVEN
15.30 BIG HERO 7 v SCURVY WENCHES
16.30 OPEN TO ALL FINAL

SEVENS TOURNAMENTS PREVIEWED BY TENACIOUS P

What’s more exciting than Roller Derby I hear you say? Well imagine Roller Derby that has just seven players per squad, no pesky bench coaches or official reviews to slow the game down, and where each game lasts for just 21 minutes in total (with no stoppages or time outs). What you are ‘imagining’ is Roller Derby Sevens #RDSevens – the fastest paced and most exciting version of Roller Derby yet devised.

This year at Extreme we host the first EVER Seaside Sevens tournament and take #RDSevens to a whole new level. Two tournaments (one women’s, one Open To All) running side by side. A total of eight teams – featuring 56 of the best derby players insane enough to take on the challenge – representing the top teams in both the UK and internationally. Yup, its Sevens outdoors in the sun, with heats running from 10am until 4pm when the best two teams from each group will meet in the finals.

Teams to watch: Seaside Sirens & Co (women’s) and 7 SLAMurai (OTA).

SEVENS TOURNAMENTS PREVIEWED BY HEADCASE

Come At Me Bro, a team of mainly Croydon Roller Derby players, could possibly claim the crown Champions Of Extreme if there was one, with Croydon teams having previously won three out of four years at Extreme. This year they are fielding a mostly Croydon Sevens team that includes President Garfield, ex Croydon skater last seen playing for Bristol, and Coop who now plays for LRR. North Devon have been riding high in their Tier 3 British Champs games, which means they’ll also be strong contenders.

The Seaside Sirens & Co team contains some well-known hard hitters, including The Beckoning, who will be facing her old team mate Mother Mercy, who is back with a vengeance with Team Metal Legs. Prediction: Come At Me Bro for the win in this women’s tournie – it’s almost home turf. As for the Open To All tournament, the teams include Extreme veterans from Southern Discomfort, Portsmouth, Big Bucks and Eastbourne. 7 SLAMurai have a couple of national team players in their ranks, which I think will weigh the odds in their favour.

AFTER PARTIES
SATURDAY 18.00-00.00 @ FISHERMEN’S CLUB (tickets £8)
SUNDAY 18.00-00.00 @ CROWN & ANCHOR PUB (free entry)

[Photos by John Hesse]

LINKS
EXTREME FB PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/EastbourneExtremeRD/
EXTREME FB EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/1124805250982415/
SATURDAY PARTY: https://www.facebook.com/events/458734201158554/
SUNDAY PARTY: https://www.facebook.com/events/241032096410580/
BEACH LIFE FESTIVAL: http://www.beachlifefestival.co.uk/

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/

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]

Eastbourne Extreme 2014 In Review

EER1

Steven looks across as the woman from the council checks her balls and tubes, dials and gauges, whilst tapping a sequence of figures into her notepad. The roof of the Arndale Centre is a regular haunt of Steven’s. For the lady from Health & Environment, it’s merely the scene of a brief but daily 9am (10am in summer) chore. One with an important purpose, though, particularly today. For this ‘climate centre’ perched above Boots Opticians is where the town of Eastbourne forges its annual claim to have more hours of sunshine than anywhere else in the UK. Though this doesn’t go down well with other south coast towns – both Bognor and Hastings have made rival claims in recent years – it’s a reassuring factor when it comes to putting on an outdoor roller derby tournament. Skating in the rain is something of a no-no, so derby (a scary enough proposition on dry surfaces) simply ain’t gonna happen under a crying sky.

Which is precisely why each year members of the local Bourne Bombshells league spend much of late June and early July checking conflicting online weather forecasts – trusting whichever is the most favourable at any given time – crossing fingers, sacrificing chickens and chicken-flavoured pieces of Quorn, and dedicating prayers to the Gods of Outdoor Derby and that title-claiming weather station on the roof of Boots. The lady from the council looks happy enough with today’s readings, and Steven makes his way down to The Cage, the concrete corral off the Eastern prom that will host this weekend’s war on wheels. Joining his friends Nodding Bob and Mewan atop an outhouse, Steven looks across at an orange-rimmed oval. Enough of the town’s 1,962 annual hours of sunshine (or at least hours of ‘non-rain’) will land today and tomorrow for the tournament to go ahead as scheduled. Yay!

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First up, it’s the London Rockin’ Rollers B-team Rising Stars (known as the Badasses to their friends) in the red kit. Up against them in sky grey is Croydon Roller Derby, whose A-team have won this tournament in its two previous years. It’s their B-team Vice Squad taking part in 2014, although we notice at least one person from last year’s Extreme squad in there. [Memo to self: Don’t use the phrase ‘A-team ringer’ here or you’ll get an ear-bashing from CRD’s PR crew.] When the participants for this tournament were selected at the start of the year, all four competitors were closely matched in the rankings. These two B-teams have both powered up the table in the intervening months, however, and if the statistics are to be believed this opener will be a dress rehearsal for the final. Scoring is slow to begin with, as players get used to the surface and the ungodliness of the hour, but London soon start putting clear distance between themselves and CRD, taking a 54-13 lead into half time.

LRR might have over four times Croydon’s score, but a 39-point gap is easily bridgeable, even when periods are only 20 rather than 30 minutes. (40 minute stoppage-free games with 5-10 minute half-times are the only way to cram all seven of today’s matches into the event’s allocated time slot.) Miss N Link and Claudia Shove’er take the star for London early in the second half. Von Bitch hollers instructions from the bench as LRR keep their lead going. Charging fightback in the final few jams from Croydon gives them a scare, with Fackelman racking up five point passes as the game draws to a close, but the red army have enough of a lead to weather that storm. London hold out for a 79-71 win. It’s the Bourne Bombshells v Surrey Rollergirls next. With both teams expected to struggle against Croydon and London, this could well be the play-off for third place. It’s not just about taking the win, though. The final table is being decided on points for and against, rather than wins/losses, so sides need to make the margins of their victories as big as possible, whilst keeping the gap small in losing games.

EER3

Early exchanges are nip and tuck. A few points one way, a few the other. Buffy Smothers the strongest of the Surrey jammers, with Evil Badger and Hunter Stompson amongst the black-clad Guildfordians’ biggest blocking threats. A couple of five point passes from Bullet Bomber sees the Bombshells start to pull away. Penalty box jammer switcheroo between Smash’er Fierce and Crazy Cat Lady follows, with Smash’er adding to Eastbourne’s lead. Chunder Woman, Crash and Dreaded Shortcake regularly starring up for the ‘shells. We’re seeing packs starting on the pivot line a lot more than usual today – something to do with the slower pace of skating on an outdoor surface, perhaps? The open air environment is also affecting communication between the penalty box and incoming line-ups, with almost every jam preceded by one team or other screaming at a player to get off or lose their pivot panty seconds before the whistle. A referee’s wheel goes for a solo wander around the track. It’s 63-11 to the Sussex side as we take a brief half-time break.

A large complement of announcers taking turns to call today’s games. People passing by on the prom who stop to watch through the fencing are being beckoned in, siren-like. Or would be if they could find the entrance gate, awkwardly located on the opposite side of the cage to the tide of human traffic. Midday. The sun is over the yardarm. People in the crowd start cracking open the first of many cans of cider and beer. PM stands for pissed meridiem, yeah? Queues forming at the loos. Steven, Bob and Mewan do their business on the beach instead. Tracklines re-oranged for the second half. Smashlyn on the mic, kit checking the ref with the runaway wheel. The bits that meet the ground – wheels and toe-stops – are taking a pounding on this concrete, and more detachments will follow. Game back on now. The likes of Kerosene and Anne Grenade battling with tough purple walls. The Philosofear and Smash’er are keeping them and other Surrey starheads pegged back. Some good shifts in the star from Elle Hound, a recent addition to the Bourne rotation and supplier of today’s water bottles, then it’s down to Shortcake to seal the win with a triple pass power jam. Final score is 101-40 to the hometown heroes.

EER4

There’s no rest for the wicked good and the Bombshells are back on track in the next match. It’s around now that the weather forecasts predicted a few showers, but the Arndale rooftop juju has kept them at bay. Bullet and Chunder take the first two leads against Croydon, but are quickly chased down with minimal scoring. Agent Cooper, who made her open door (and open air) debut in last year’s tournament, gets CRD’s first lead in the third as an Inara Terror-filled grey wall holds Drag N Fly back. Vice Squad starting to put up the points now – Terror donning the star and drawing the game’s first PJ – but they’re not running away with it yet. Chunder, who is joining Croydon after this tournament, is off for a turn two track cut. Philosofear laying down a tough one-wall in front of Cooper, but she breaks through and goes on a scoring spree. CRD pack too tough for the returning Chunder, forcing a star pass, and six laps of the pack from Cooper puts Croydon 50-12 up. OK, now they’re running away with it. Further power jams for both sides, and a spectacular – if somewhat ill-advised on unyielding concrete – apex jump from Fackelman sees the half closed out at 61-23.

Bombshells still in touch, with some pacy jamming from Bullet at the start of the second half, but Croydon start turning the screw as the period progresses. Inara Terror, Blazing Nympherno and Angel DDelight taking successive leads for the South Londoners now, as someone turns up the brightness on the sun. Occasional welcome breezes are few and far between, and it’s starting to get a bit “only dogs and Englishmen” now, even for those of us just watching. On track, the water, from both bottles and sweat glands, flows freely. Sussex jammers tiring as they end up embroiled and boiled in lengthy discussions with Dot Cottonmouth’s shoulders. Attempted star pass between DNF and ‘fear couldn’t have gone more wrong if they’d both ended up with Union Jack boxer shorts on their helmets. The final whistle is something of a relief all round. Vice Squad take the game with triple Eastbourne’s score (135-45) and everyone joins the queue at the ice cream stand. The next contest sees Surrey matching LRR point for point in the early exchanges, before the red army shifts up a gear and the Cockneys take it 124-48. Nodding Bob celebrates by stealing a small child’s chips.

EER5

This isn’t what we were expecting at all. Maybe it’s the heat. Maybe it’s a hangover from the tough battle they just had with Surrey. Either way, LRR begin their game with Eastbourne a little on the back foot. After an epic opening jam that runs the full two minutes and ends 16-15 to the Bombshells, the hosts start edging out into the lead. Chunder takes full advantage of a power jam, dancing through the LRR pack on her toe-stops, and it’s 29-15. The typically rowdy Rockin’ Rollers support urge their team on, but the Bombshells are matching them point for point now in what has begun as one of the cleanest matches in this penalty heavy tournament. The sin bin visits are on the way though, with Bullet taking a star seat twice in one jam, as Mimika Mayhem restores the natural order of things. 55-40 to London. Almost everyone on track wearing shades now, as the beating sun intensifies with the Rockin’ Rollers dazzling play. 67-40 at half time, and Eastbourne will need Skate Protection Factor 30 to avoid being burned further by LRR in the second period.

As Steven and Mewan take turns annoying a small dog, the game resumes. The Bombshells make a brief resurgence, but it lasts about as long as the dog baiting. Claudia Shove’er and Hunter doing the damage for London now, as the home side succumb to a series of penalty calls, track cuts – so easy to make when there’s no wire on the perimeter – and bungled star passes. LRR take it 171-71. The Sussex side managed the same number of points against London that Croydon did, but the differential here is the day’s biggest. Will this century gap see the Bombshells finish fourth rather than third? Unfortunately for Surrey, no it won’t. Badger puts in some big hits for them against Croydon, with Buffy and Kerosene jamming in the points. It’s a battling performance, but the girls in grey are too strong. Psycho Sis in particular is proving a tough obstacle for the SRG starheads, with DDelight, Cooper and Cardinal Sim rolling out a 129-68 victory for Vice Squad – the same 61 point margin of victory the Bombshells managed over Surrey.

EER6

The official table may have been calculated differently, but by our reckoning LRR are top with +184 points, Croydon second on +143, followed by the Bombshells (-129) and SRG (-198). A spread that seems to back up the pre-tournament expectations of a ‘two-division division’. It’s not over, though, as the table topping pair must play off for the title. LRR Rising Stars go into the game as favourites, having already edged past Vice Squad at the start of the day, but we have a feeling CRD could surprise them here. We place a one pint bet on a Croydon victory with the person we’re sitting next to. Both sides are well supported here, with the front row dominated by equal clusters of chanting, sign waving Rockin’ Rollers and CRD A-teamers. Nikki Blocker Glory kicks things off with a five pass power jam. Fackelman follows up with a power jam of her own. Barely three minutes gone and Croydon have a 39-0 lead. The person sitting next to us looks very angry and is muttering something about being “hustled”. There’s certainly some hustling happening on track. Also some bustling. Both packs working hard to keep the jammers at bay. Sis, Terror and Cottonmouth amongst the defensive standouts for Croydon; Fonda Kaos, DisorderLee and Demolition Darcy for London.

LRR are getting over their slow start. Their packs have more of a handle on Croydon’s starclads now, and their own jammers – notably Hunter, Link, Mimika and Claudia – have started getting their hips past. A scoreless final jam sees half-time tallied at 72-28. The person next to us is still scowling. Meanwhile, Steven looks unimpressed as Mewan and Bob turn an empty crisp packet into a tug-of-war rope. Whatever rocket Von Bitch puts up the troops with her mid-game team talk, it seems to do the trick, as the LRR Rising Stars come out battling for the second period. OK, Croydon’s Cooper is outscoring Hunter, who she is usually paired with, and putting up regular multi-pass jams, but elsewhere the Badass jammers are largely besting their Vice Squad counterparts… Link, in particular, helps pull them back into contention… Dirty DC deals well with a mid-jam toe-stop malfunction… Nympherno takes Croydon into triple figures, before a track cut call on Cooper sees Hunter take a two pass PJ… With three minutes left on the clock it’s 104-87 to CRD and there’s still time for our neighbour to win that pint after all, grrr… “Come on Croydon!”… Terror and DC are battling for lead, but a double track cut call on the latter sees Vice Squad mop up fourteen points in the final jam. It’s a 118-87 win for Croydon, a 568ml of Guinness win for us, and Nodding Bob takes victory in the tug-of-war.

EER7

As if winning the Extreme tournament for the third year in a row isn’t enough, Croydon also pick up all three of the player awards, with Psycho Sis taking best blocker, Agent Cooper best jammer, and Nikki Blocker Glory as MVP. There’s little time for anyone to bask in the results, though, as most of the skaters, officials and spectators hightail it to a roller disco in a Napoleonic fort. Not to skate – they’ve had quite enough of that – nor to ask why we call them ‘Napoleonic forts’ when they’re actually anti-Napoleon forts. Instead, it’s to watch a stream of the day’s other main derby action, as New York’s Gotham Girls meet London Brawling on track and take them to school. Steven pops by for a look, but ends up getting shooed off by angry derbyers for getting in the way of the (pretty sketchy to begin with) screen. There’s an after after party party until the wee small hours, but a lot of people will be getting a fairly early night. We have a whole second day of derby action to come tomorrow, starting with a mixed women’s rookie game at 9.30. Nine thirty in the morning? Is playing derby at such an hour even legal?

Steven, Mewan, Bob and friends helpfully provide an alarm call for many of those in the Eastbourne area, and the Sunday action gets started more or less on time. Today was thought to be at greater risk from the weather than yesterday – an indoor venue has been sourced “just in case” – but the ground has mostly de-damped from an earlier shizzle of drizzle, and events are only slight delayed. The Hula-gans take on the Tiki Terrors in this rookie opener, as a bleary hungover crowd try to find out whose idea it was to give the day’s first teams such garish kit colours. Eye-scorching orange and head-thumping purple? Yeah, thanks for that. With Bombshells bench and line-upping both teams, there are also Eastbourne rookies taking part, along with folk from more than a dozen other leagues. Although most of today’s skaters are based in the South East, a handful are from further afield. The junior derby exhibition which follows the rookie game also has long travelled competitors. Helmed by Eastbourne’s New Bournes junior league, the demo includes a few skaters from Cardiff’s Tiger Bay Cubs. The Welsh side put on the UK’s first ever junior derby event 18 months ago, and now get to take part in the first ever outdoor junior derby event, although today’s strictly enforced ‘no contact’ rule will result in these more experienced players picking up a lot of penalty calls.

EER8

The kit colours are getting more restrained as the day progresses, and whilst the intermediate women’s game features more purple – it’s Eastbourne, of course there’s purple – a soothing teal (whatever the hell that is) takes the place of nuclear orange. It’s no secret that the scheduling of last night’s New York v London game, and its accompanying Leeds-based boot camp, has caused a fair few withdrawals from today’s mixed teams. With advanced skaters plugging co-ed gaps, intermediates stepping up to advanced and general doubling up, there’s a marginal quality shift over what the original rosters offered, but of course everyone’s still giving it their all. That’s certainly true of the men’s game, where local Bomb S’Quadders are teamed up with skaters from Portsmouth, London, South Wales and beyond. Although there are some experienced derbyers involved, many of these players are in teams that have yet to begin playing regular games, and this – combined with the challenges of the outdoor environment – means the action is scrappy at times. It’s a fitting public showcase for the unfairer sex’s version of the sport nonetheless. Bob and Mewan look on with bemused detachment. Steven, meanwhile, has an upset tummy and will spend much of the afternoon decorating nearby cars.

Bombshells defectors Swann and Chunder Woman line up against each other in the advanced women’s game. Croydon’s A-teamers, audience members for yesterday’s tournament, are liberally scattered amongst many of today’s squads. The crowd itself bears an even broader range of league tops than yesterday, such is the effect of having more than twenty teams provide players. Tannoy music remains of a resolutely riot grrrl disposition and the Jellied Wheels (in white) are behind at half-time, but battling hard as the second half gets underway. Seaside Siren Killer Bite is amongst the red topped Rampaging Badgers’ biggest jamming threats, along with CRD’s Polly Filla and Cooper – the presence of another 808 in today’s games sees the latter donning TW4T as her number. Kent’s Boot’Em Khamun plays a starring role for the Jellies, racking up a string of passes as Swann recycles Pompey Badger Halcyon Daze. One of the Jellies fouls out. Chunder collides with teammate Cooper. Someone in red jumps through the white pack. The dog from yesterday returns with a friend and starts shouting at Steven, Bob and Mewan. The announcer mistakes this for canine cheering. Swann dons the star for the Jellies, but the clock is running down and the Badgers take the win by the sharp end of 50 points.

EER9

Many expect this final game of the weekend, the co-ed match, to be its highlight. The presence of a large number of refs in the teams’ male contingent is going to see some tricks tried and loopholes explored. That much is obvious even from the opening jam, where both teams recycle simultaneously and their jammers end up having to retrace almost an entire track’s length before returning to play. Standout jammers for the black-clad Team Footloose are The Mechanic, zigzagging all over the track like there are alligators after him, and Noise Tank, who somewhat confuses the announcers by wearing the absent Omar Gherd’s top. With Finch of Fury and CRD bench coach Herbielicious also donning the star for Footloose, the team in black – who wore Kevin Bacon face masks for their skate out – are using a fairly male dominated rotation here. Their opponents Danger Zone, bedecked in grey, are primarily putting tough and experienced female skaters in the star; Boot’Em, Dropkick Molly, Peggy Peril, Mosquito and more. It’s an approach that sees more showboating from the Footloose starheads (backwards skating and so forth), but doesn’t always go according to plan; such as when Tank hangs back from a scoring pass to throw everything at rival jammer Mosquito, only for the latter to shake it off as if she was brushing off, well, a mosquito. She passes, grinning, and Tank has to call.

A hefty points haul from Khamun near the end of the half has brought DZ back into touch. It’s 58-45 to Footloose as the second period gets underway. Herbie relishing going up against some of his own CRD troops, but he’ll have bruises to show for it, with the likes of Smashasaurus Bex and Mosquito throwing hits at him from all angles. The latter is often blocking here alongside teammates – eg Mat Lovin, one of several South Wales Silures on display, and Disasteroid – and rival jammers who are twice her height, but it doesn’t show. A power jam from Peggy Peril, with Belgian opponent Decat sin binned, sees DZ clawing it back. A lead change soon follows. 70-68 to the guys and gals in grey. Noise Tank responds with a huge scoring jam, gliding in and around the opposing pack time and again, whilst Peril struggles against the Footloose wall. “Is Noise Gherd wearing an invisibility cloak?” the announcers wonder. It’s now 102-70 to the bods in black, and that margin is growing with every jam. Blitzkrieg throwing huge hits on Disasteroid, forcing the DZer to pass the star to Boot’Em. Force Ten Gail racing around for Footloose next. Suffolk Punch and Mother Mercy staying solid in the black packs. Danger Zone run out of time. Footloose win by some amount of points (we lost count, to be honest).

EER10

It’s off to the Crown and Anchor, the Bombshells favoured seafront pub, for part one of today’s after party. With all the skating out of the way, now’s the time everyone can really let their hair down. People split off and annex various parts of the building. For some it’s the main bar. For others the function room, where the World Cup Final of some strange sport involving a ball is on the big screen. Many of the Bombshells and Croydon attendees shun both options, opting instead to sit in the gutter outside. Steven and Mewan are equally classy. They try to steal the skaters’ food when they’re not looking, but it’s all in vain. Steven heads back to the roof of Boots. The climate station will continue to gather sunshine in globes, rain in tubes, pressure in gauges, and whatever else it is that weather stations do. For the Eastbourne skaters, meanwhile, tomorrow marks the start of 365 more days of fretting about what the weather is going to be like on a certain weekend next July. We can answer that now. The Paris roller derby league has the slogan “Paris… brings the passion!” The Extreme tournament should adopt “Derby… brings the sunshine!” Because it does. No matter what council Health & Environment officials or the Michael Fishes of the world might think.

[Photos by John Hesse]

COMING UP
The Bombshells are back in action this Saturday (16th August) in Hemel Hempstead. Their Heartland Series game against the Norfolk Brawds – who they currently place higher than on points differential – starts at 1.30pm and a full preview will appear on theBBCD.com very soon. Croydon are holding rookie and referee tryouts this Sunday (17th) from 3pm-5pm. Contact recruitment@croydonrollerderby.co.uk for more details. Surrey Rollergirls have a double header in Guildford on August 30th, with their women’s team taking on Windsor B and the sibling men’s team playing Portsmouth. London Rockin’ Rollers take on the highly rated German league Ruhrpott in East London on September 13th. The next open door derby event here in Sussex, meanwhile, is on September 20th in Haywards Heath, where the Brighton Rockers take on Bristol Roller Derby, the only lower ranked league to have ever beaten them. (Brighton haven’t officially confirmed this match-up, incidentally, but it’s on the Bristol side’s own website.) In the meantime, enjoy the rest of those 1,962 hours of sunshine, yeah.

LINKS
BOURNE BOMBSHELLS: http://bournebombshells.wix.com/bombshells
CROYDON ROLLER DERBY: http://croydonrollerderby.co.uk/
LONDON ROCKIN’ ROLLERS: http://londonrockinrollers.co.uk/
SURREY ROLLERGIRLS: http://www.surreyrollergirls.com/
SAT 16TH AUG IN HEMEL: https://www.facebook.com/events/1428289724127454/
SAT 20TH SEPT IN HHEATH: https://www.facebook.com/events/260828327459718/

Eastbourne Extreme Roller Derby Tournament Preview

EEP1

This weekend sees the mighty Bourne Bombshells hosting the much anticipated third annual Eastbourne Extreme outdoor roller derby tournament. Saturday 12th features a four-team, seven-game tournament (matches consisting of two 20-minute halves). Sunday features five full length mixed games of varied genders and levels, plus a junior derby showcase. The event is bigger than ever this year. For the first time, there will be a second track, for team warm-ups – named ‘Track 66’ in tribute to the derby number of much loved, recently lost Nottingham Roller Girl Louisey Rider – and several internationally capped players will be appearing on the Sunday. In a moment we’ll hear from the tournament organiser, along with members of Saturday’s four competing leagues, but we’ll kick things off with details of the venue and the weekend’s timetable…

THE VENUE: ROYAL PARADE
The roller derby will be taking place in a caged off (basketball courts style) area by Eastbourne seafront, a little under a mile North East of the Pier, or roughly 23.7 minutes walk from the train station – zoom in on Google maps and look out for the ‘SK8school’ indicator. Various other extreme sports will be taking place on the seafront, in the sky and out to sea across the weekend. There are a few bars and cafes dotted around the front, although these (and the ladies’ loos nearest the derby) tend to get quite busy. The nearest alternative for pubs, takeaways and convenience stores is around five minutes inland on Seaside Road. All the after party venues are quite close to the derby, being a few minutes walk back into town. There’s also a really nice park, with a large pond, just across the road, should you be of the picnicking persuasion.

SATURDAY 12TH JULY – TOURNAMENT DAY
10:30 LRR RISING STARS v CROYDON VICE SQUAD
11:30 BOURNE BOMBSHELLS v SURREY ROLLERGIRLS
12:30 CROYDON VICE SQUAD v BOURNE BOMBSHELLS
13:30 SURREY ROLLERGIRLS v LRR RISING STARS
14:30 BOURNE BOMBSHELLS v LRR RISING STARS
15:30 CROYDON VICE SQUAD v SURREY ROLLERGIRLS
16:30 TOURNAMENT FINAL
17:30 AWARDS CEREMONY
18:30 AFTER PARTY @ REDOUBT ROLLER DISCO inc
19:00 STREAM: LONDON BRAWLING v GOTHAM GIRLS
LATE AFTER AFTER PARTY PARTY @ BUSKERS

SUNDAY 13TH JULY – MIXED TEAMS DAY
09:30 ROOKIE WOMEN’S GAME
11:00 NEW BOURNES JUNIOR DERBY EXHIBITION
12:00 INTERMEDIATE WOMEN’S GAME
13:30 MEN’S GAME
15:00 ADVANCED WOMEN’S GAME
16:30 CO-ED GAME
18:00 AWARDS CEREMONY
18:30 AFTER PARTY @ CROWN AND ANCHOR PUB
LATE AFTER AFTER PARTY PARTY @ BUSKERS

EEP2

SASSY McAWESOME – TOURNAMENT ORGANISER

The roller derby element of Eastbourne Extreme changes format each year, from a single dayer in 2012 to two one-day tournaments in 2013, to a tournament plus a day of exhibition games this year. What excites you most about the 2014 schedule, and what do you expect to be the highlights?
Each year we aim to get more roller derby to more people, so this year we had to think big. We really loved the tournament format last year. All the games were super close, so the plan for Saturday was a no brainer. But we now have three roller derby teams in Eastbourne; the well established Bourne Bombshells women’s team, the Bomb S’Quad men’s team and the New Bournes junior team, so we wanted to showcase all the varieties of derby. Suddenly we found ourselves with six games, featuring four different types of roller derby, on the Sunday!
    My highlights will be Croydon Roller Derby Vice Squad vs London Rockin’ Rollers Rising Stars (aka Badasses), which sees two highly ranked B-teams who haven’t come face to face before. Also the Sunday co-ed game, which finishes the exhibition day with the most advanced skaters. We imagine the general public will find this a controversial match-up, as there are no other games where boys and girls hit each other!

Is there a lot of organisation that goes into putting on Extreme? When did the planning for it begin, and who has been involved? Has the scheduling of a certain other game and boot camp [LRG v Gotham in Leeds] on the same weekend caused any problems?
It’s a Bombshells team effort, but I have headed up a small Extreme Organisation Chiefs committee with Beachy Headcase and Phoenix. We started the planning in January so we’re super prepared now! We’re lucky to have a talented and diverse team who are able and willing to offer their skills and talent to different aspects of the weekend. We read some controversial opinions about LRG putting on such a big event at the same time as Extreme, but let’s be honest – if Gotham say “we can play you in England this summer if you can find a venue”, you’ll find a venue and make it happen!
    Having one of the most highly anticipated WFTDA games on English soil is great for the UK roller derby scene, and we can’t wait to watch the stream of the game. We’re really lucky to have a large and loyal Extreme following. We were well into our planning when the LRG v Gotham game was announced, and whilst we lost a few advanced skaters, the vast majority remained dedicated to the tournament. Leeds is quite far away if you’re as Southern as we are, so we expect that helped us retain numbers. That and our vegan Oreo cake. 🙂

What are you expecting from Saturday’s tournament? Who are most looking forward to seeing of the visiting sides (Surrey, Croydon B and Rockin’ Rollers B) and how do you think the Bombshells will do?
We’re old friends with Surrey and Croydon B, so it’s always fun to play people you know, then catch up with them over a beer after. We had a steep learning curve after our last Croydon game where I think we averaged about 435 penalties (give or take), so we’re keen to come back fighting when we meet them. LRR B is definitely the unknown quantity of the day. They’re highest placed in the rankings, but as we all know, the rankings rarely accurately portray the difference between teams. As the organiser, I want every game to be a four point game, right down to the last whistle. As the Bombshells’ bench coach however, I want us to win by 200 points every time!

EEP3

Moving on to Sunday’s exhibition games, there’s a varied pool of skaters involved of all kinds of abilities, genders and ages. Any particular games that you’re looking forward to? Any players you think the crowd should particularly keep an eye out for?
The rookie women’s game is the first event in the whole of Extreme on Sunday, so we’re expecting to draw quite a non-derby crowd! Rookies are always relentlessly enthusiastic, so that guarantees it will be a great game. The juniors are scrimmaging in public for the first time, and the only thing cuter will be if someone invents roller derby for baby bunnies. The co-ed game is full of international superstars, so that’s the game to watch for the complex strategies. I’m really excited to see The Mechanic of SWS and Team Wales, as I’ve heard “he’s not a tank. He’s THE tank!” We also have a handful of players from France and Belgium, our first international participants, and it will be great to see their style of derby. And on a personal note, I’m excited to bench the advanced women’s game, which will not only be my last bench coaching game, but will unite Swann, Chunder Woman and myself for the last time!

For those coming down to Eastbourne from elsewhere, what other parts of the Extreme weekend, the seafront and the town itself can you recommend?
Extreme is a massive extreme sports fest, with all sorts of awesome sea, land and air action going on. If you can tear yourself away from the roller derby, we recommend checking out our friends at Eastbourne Skating Club, who have a couple of the top five slalom skaters exhibiting. But if you want to get away from the wheeled sports, the kite surfers are where the tricks and stunts will really wow you! But most importantly, you’re on the Sunshine Coast. Get some chips or an ice cream, wander down the pier, paddle in the sea, and avoid having your chips or ice cream stolen by the mutant-sized seagulls!

Finally, what can we expect from the after parties – there seem to be loads – and other social aspects of the weekend. Is the early start on Sunday going to curtail some people’s partying?
I’d like to think that the Bombshells involved in setting up on Sunday morning will curtail their partying, but I expect it’ll be me shouting “just one more” at 2am, so I don’t have high hopes… After the massive success of the Redoubt roller disco last year, we’ll be partying on and off skates in the fort again on Saturday, but this time we’ll be starting the night with an open air live showing of the LRG v Gotham game. We’ll be ending up in our favourite watering hole, Buskers, which promises copious drinks and a slightly sticky floor.
    Sunday will be the big night though. Three Bombshells (myself, All Seeing Ivy and Chunder Woman) will be saying their goodbyes after Sunday’s games, and the tournament will be ending, which means the officials and athletes can stop being official and athletic. Lots of folk are staying in Eastbourne for a long weekend, so we expect to eat too much good food at the Crown and Anchor, then return to Buskers to bring in the sunrise. It’s going to be epic!

EEP4

THE PHILOSOFEAR – BOURNE BOMBSHELLS

This will be the Bombshells’ second Extreme as competitors, having hosted but not competed in 2012 and lost the Saturday final last year by a single point. There are also a number of Bombshells (and Bomb S’Quaders and New Bournes) taking part as skaters and bench crew in Sunday’s mixed games. What are your hopes for the weekend?
Saturday’s tournament is going to be tougher for us than last year’s. We are the lowest ranked team of the four, so we are going to have to fight really hard. Having just lost our strongest player Swann (aka Toxic Block Syndrome) to Brighton, we’ve had to rework our line-ups. We’ve also made sure that all of our rookies are playing in at least two games on the Saturday. On the Sunday most of the Bombshells aren’t playing, so we can concentrate on running the day’s proceedings – with all the mixed teams it will take more organisation than a normal tournament does. We’re very much looking forward to the men’s game, so that we can cheer on the Bomb S’Quaders.

How does outdoor derby differ from indoor derby? How have you been preparing for the event – have you had many outdoor training sessions? Do you think experience of the venue/conditions will give you an advantage?
Outdoor derby doesn’t differ very much from indoor derby – the only real differences are the change of wheels, the lack of a rope boundary for the track, and the weather! Last year we found that a lot of the teams played a bit safer at the start of the tournament as they were getting used to playing outside (so we may have had an advantage), but by the end of the day everyone was playing like they would indoors, and so any advantage we had was lost.
    Our outdoor track is very smooth, but despite that there is a risk of losing a bit of skin if you slide along the track, so we advise players to dress sensibly; leggings, rather than hotpants, are wise if players wish to keep all the skin on their thighs. We’ve been practising outdoors to get ready for the tournament, but only for a few weeks. Still, even that gives us some confidence that the other teams won’t necessarily have at the start of the day. Our main concern about outdoor derby is the weather. But don’t worry, it WILL be sunny! One year it was quite windy, so that can have an impact too.

What do you know of your opponents, the Croydon Vice Squad, Surrey Rollergirls and LRR Rising Stars? Have you played many of them before, and how did that go? Any particular players or tactics you’ll be keeping any eye out for?
Surrey are ranked two places above us on flattrackstats.com, and last year we beat them at Extreme by a single point, so we’re expecting that to be a very close game. When I’m jamming – which hopefully won’t be too often! – I’ll be watching out for Evil Badger. She’s worked hard over the last year, and is a great blocker and big hitter. In terms of jammers, I’ll be watching out for Buffy Smothers. She’s very agile and nippy.
    We played against Croydon Vice Squad last August, and they beat us by quite a lot. Since then we’ve improved a great deal, so hopefully we’ll have a much closer game this time around. I remember their offence being very strong, so we’ll have to counter that – Inara Terra and Angel DDelight are both strong players to watch out for. LRR Rising Stars/Badasses are going to be a very tough team to play. We haven’t met them on track before so we’re not quite sure what to expect, but we think it’ll be our toughest game of the day.

Finally, any Bombshells players or tactics people attending Extreme should keep an eye out for? And any message for the Bombshells fans in the crowd?
Eastbourne Extreme is the last Bombshells game for a few of the team. Chunder Woman is transferring to another league, and our line-up manager All Seeing Ivy and bench coach Sassy McAwesome are leaving us. So Bombshells fans in the crowd will need to try to ignore all the crying as there’ll be a lot of tears, especially on the Sunday night. A newer Bombshell to watch out for is Seoul Destroyer. Her jamming is amazing, and I think that by our August Heartland Series game she’ll be a regular on the jammer rotation.

EEP5

FACKELMAN – CROYDON ROLLER DERBY

CRD won the previous two Eastbourne Extreme tournaments. Are you hoping to make it three in a row? It’s your Vice Squad B-team, rather than Riot Squad, taking part this year – do many of them have experience of previous Extremes?
Croydon will be well represented all weekend as we have Vice Squad competing on Saturday and many of our A-team girls will be skating on Sunday. Eastbourne Extreme is a favourite of CRD and we look forward to it all year. The event is always exciting and challenging. Some of our B-team skaters competed in Extreme last year with Riot Squad and are gearing up for this weekend. Agent Cooper bouted with Croydon Roller Derby for the first time at Eastbourne Extreme last year, so when you see her this weekend you can wish her a happy one year boutaversary – talk about baptism by fire!

What is it that CRD like about Extreme weekend that keeps you coming back? How have Vice Squad prepared for this year’s tournament?
I think it’s safe to say that Croydon Roller Derby doesn’t shy away from hard work and Extreme is a great opportunity for us to be pushed to our limits. The sun and heat in previous years have made the long day even more exhausting and these are the conditions where we learn what we’re really made of as a league. This determination has paid off for us in years prior and we believe that Vice Squad has what it takes to stand up to the challenge.
    Vice have been training hard and recently had an epic game against Belfast’s B-team, where we had a chance to try some of our new tactics and see where we need work. Most recently our A- and B-teams have been working together to develop, as both teams have big games on the horizon! We’re very lucky to have the Riot Squad’s experience to draw from in our training and I think it will show this weekend.

What do you know of your opponents, the Bombshells, Surrey and LRR Rising Stars? Have you played them before, and how did it go?
Vice Squad’s first ever game was against the Bombshells last August. We have a lot of love for those ladies and a whole lot of respect. They’re going to be tough competition and we expect that both teams will have developed a lot in the past year. We haven’t yet had the chance to play Surrey or LRR previously, but we know that we will not be let off easy, and we’re looking forward to playing some really tough teams on Saturday.

Finally, any CRD players or tactics people attending Extreme should keep an eye out for? Any message for the Croydon fans in the crowd?
One of the many amazing characteristics of Vice Squad is that we do not have any particular skaters that you need to look out for on the track. You’ll find some incredible teamwork and standouts will vary from jam to jam. It would be a mistake to focus too much on any one skater because her teammates will exploit the opportunity to surprise you!
    There is so much excitement and derby love in the CRD camp this week and we thank our fans and gracious hosts for the opportunity to play our shapely derby bums off this weekend!

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DEMOLITION DARCY – LONDON ROCKIN’ ROLLERS

This will be the London Rockin’ Rollers’ first appearance at Eastbourne Extreme. What do you know about the tournament?
We know it’s Extreme! A few of us have been to the tournament to watch before. It’s a great way to showcase the sport of roller derby to an audience who might not know anything about it, and we can’t wait to be a part of it.

Do the Rockin’ Rollers get much opportunity to skate outdoors? Have the Rising Stars done any special preparation for Extreme?
You might have seen us in London’s Pride parade at the end of June where we scrimmaged on Oxford Circus and down Bond Street, in running water! In fact, if you listen closely you might hear some squeaking, as some of our skates are still a bit rusty…

What do you know of your opponents, the Bombshells, Croydon Vice Squad and Surrey Rollergirls?
We played Croydon’s Riot Squad [A-team] over a year ago when our current B-team was in its first bouting season. Let’s just say it was a learning experience! There might be some familiar faces in the Vice Squad, but essentially we’re looking forward to playing three completely new opponents this weekend.

Finally, do you have any tactics people attending Extreme should keep an eye out for? And any message for the Rockin’ Rollers fans in the crowd at Eastbourne?
Yes. In honour of it being an outdoor tournament, all of our tactics are temporarily named after types of fruit you might find in a Pimms. And for our fans in the crowd, you know the chant: “LRR LRR LRR…!”

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EVIL BADGER – SURREY ROLLERGIRLS

This will be SRG’s second appearance at Eastbourne Extreme. How did you find it last year, and what are your hopes for 2014?
Last year’s tournament was certainly an experience! Nothing like three derby matches in the sweltering heat to challenge you as skaters. We had melted wheels, skater numbers ‘tanned’ on to people’s arms and gravel graze, but above all we had great fun. This year we’re hoping to win (of course we’d say that), but more than that, to gain experience facing up against teams we’ve not played before – and have fun in the sun!

What is it that you like about Extreme weekend? Do you get much opportunity to skate outdoors elsewhere? How does it differ from playing derby indoors, and how have you prepared for this year’s tournament?
Extreme is a brilliant free event, and spreads the derby PR far and wide! We have much respect for the Bourne Bombshells for putting it on for the third year in a row (and for inviting us back for a second). In terms of outdoor skating, Crazy Cat Lady is the outdoor queen. She’s always rounding us up to go for an outdoor skate and we’re lucky to have some pretty great areas around us to go practice. Brooklands have an old go-kart track (complete with road markings and signs) which is perfect for skating, with lovely smooth tarmac and ramps if you’re feeling brave.
    Derby outdoors is definitely different, being aware that if you do fall you’re not going to get the ‘slide’ that you usually do indoors, and thus have a far greater risk of gravel rash. It also involves changing your skating style up a bit; plough stops tend to be a lot tougher, so derby stops and hockey honey shuffle win out on the day. The heat and sun definitely adds an element of difficulty as well. Last year most of us bouted in sunglasses!

What do you know of your opponents, the Bombshells, Croydon Vice Squad and Rockin’ Rollers Rising Stars?
Of our opponents this year, we’ve only met the Bombshells on the track before. That was at last year’s Extreme, and it was a pretty nail-biting match with the Bombshells taking it by one point in the final jam. We’ve never met Croydon or LRR on track before, though we’re familiar with Croydon’s skaters – Lady Painelope was one of the original Surrey Rollergirls. We’re not taking any of the teams lightly, as I feel all will prove a challenge, but we’ll give it our best and enjoy ourselves doing so.

Finally, any Surrey players or tactics people attending Extreme should keep an eye out for? And any message for the SRG fans in the crowd?
I think Surrey have formed into a well-rounded group of skaters, all with different strengths that work together well. We’re challenging everyone to jam at the moment, so you may see a relatively fluid jammer line-up at Extreme throughout the three bouts. We’ve also had a bit of a line-up change since last year’s Extreme, with a lot of newer skaters coming out of our Fresh Meat programme last autumn. Watch out for Ada Shovelace, Bake ‘n’ Destroy, Impaler Swift and Luna Tonic especially. For fans of Surrey, cheer loud and we’ll bring the tea and scones… and I promise not to eat them all!

[Photos by John Hesse]

LINKS
FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/EastbourneExtremeRollerDerby
GOOGLE MAP: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@50.7776598,0.3052472,17z
EASTBOURNE EXTREME: http://www.visiteastbourne.com/extreme/
BOURNE BOMBSHELLS: http://bournebombshells.wix.com/bombshells
CROYDON ROLLER DERBY: http://croydonrollerderby.co.uk/
LONDON ROCKIN’ ROLLERS: http://londonrockinrollers.co.uk/
SURREY ROLLERGIRLS: http://www.surreyrollergirls.com/

Bombshells v Hell’s Belles: Heartland Series SE Day 3

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We were promised a storm. News reports all week have reiterated the severe weather warning in place for the whole country today, speculating with frothy pens as to what kind of Biblical deluge we can expect. “Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies,” warned the Express. “Rivers and seas boiling, forty years of darkness, earthquakes, volcanoes…” suggested the Mirror, while the Daily Mail goes for the surprisingly subdued (for the Mail): “The dead rising from the grave, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!” In the end – here in Haywards Heath at least – it was a little bit rainy for a couple of hours this morning, but is now scorchingly hot and sunny. So much so that most of the doorways to the Dolphin leisure centre’s sports hall are wide open, framing the breeze-hungry Bombshells standing within them as silhouettes against the ferocious daylight beyond. It’s what the closing scene of Close Encounters would have looked like if the aliens played derby.

Whilst the promised hurricane force winds haven’t materialised, there is a blowout in progress. That’s the phrase used to describe high differential sporting contests, which in derby terms means a game where one team racks up in hundreds what the other does in tens. The Milton Keynes Concrete Cows, needing only a win to go top of the Heartland Series South East division, have 82 points after just four jams. Their Bedfordshire Rollergirls opponents – the division’s underest of underdogs, rankings wise – have yet to score. MK’s core jammer rotation of Terrorizinya, Magic Beanz, Huni Basher and Rollin’ Sin are proving too strong. They’re juking and swooping through and around the walls of purple, as BRG’s own jammers make repeated visits to the penalty box. Cherry Bomb is wearing the Bedford star several jams in a row now, having bought a season ticket for the sin bin, with MK starheads calling when she stands to keep her in play. She’s BRG’s top jamming threat on paper, but finding things hard going here, with a solid Betty Knox one-wall amongst the defensive tactics drawing out “Purple Double Zero” ref calls.

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With Bettie Trubble needing treatment, the already numerically disadvantaged BRG squad are at further risk of tiring faster than the Cows’ full fourteen. That’s even without the extra work they’re having to do to try and hold back the likes of Sin (finding gaps in the walls no-one else can see) and Terror, who shakes off the Beds blockers’ hits almost nonchalantly. MK are starting to mix things up jammer-wise, with the likes of Cat Clash and Hurt Nouveau getting chances in the red star – OK, gold star on red – as the game progresses. Bedford captain Booty Vicious puts in some super tough last line defending to keep the latter held back, whilst Cherry outscores the former to chalk up BRG’s first winning jam of the game, albeit a single pointer. Brothers finds herself up against a barely budging red pack next, as Terror racks up several five point passes. Terrorizinya follows this up in her next starclad outing with arguably the wiliest move of the game… Sent off a few seconds after Beds jammer Kookiekat, she blindsides her rival to overtake in the ref lane and sit down first, ensuring the earlier return to track.

An injury to Kookie later in the jam sees everyone take a knee – the lively BRG jammer is happily back on her feet after a couple of minutes of EMT activity. As if playing a team ranked 200 places above on flattrackstats wasn’t enough of a challenge for Bedford, there’s the added sting of having to face the woman who invented this whole crazy Heartland Series thing in the first place. The Valkyrie (for it is she) takes the MK star for the period’s final jam, but a forearms penalty sees her sent to the naughty seats, and Jed E Knights – assisted by some aggressive blocking from Screw Luce – takes advantage to nudge BRG above double figures. Half time score: 238-16. It will require a comeback of epic proportions for Beds to get anything from this game, though. This looks unlikely, particularly given the Cows packs’ burgeoning reputation as ‘purple people’ eaters; they chomped down hard on the similarly hued Bombshells last time out.

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Indeed, it’s more of the same in the second half. Magic Beanz jumping all over the track as the purple pack struggle to snare her. Cherry Bomb bouncing off Bolshevik’s shoulders – a regular hindrance for the BRG jammers – as she battles to break through. Yoho and Screw Luce donning the star for Beds and doing well, but the likes of Sula Riot, Blaise of Glory and Claudia Faceoff are as concrete as their team’s name in defence. Beds jammers recycled so often they’re running out of fibre. Brothers up in the star for BRG now though, delivering a hit on Betty Knox that the crowd cheers, only to have it returned to sender (with extra postage) on the next pass. T-Sharp and Booty battling hard as packs collide, but the red army march on. The only question remaining is whether the Cows can breach the 500 point mark, and they answer that one in the final jam. It ends 503-22, with MKRD moving above Big Bucks to top a divisional table now propped up by the brave and battling but besieged Bedfordshirians. The Cows take it in their stride – from bench manager OxymAndyAs to line-up Snoogins to captain Valkyrie, they *are* the Heartland Series, and they’re daring Big Bucks to say any different…

The Bombshells were represented in the first game not just by refs and NSOs, but also announcers. The Sassy & Swann Show we’re calling it, as the Eastbourne bench coach and captain made their debut as an announcing duo. They did a good job calling what (given the scoreline) must have been a tough game to keep the crowd engaged with, but of course we’re not about to tell them that, as it would only encourage them. “Not totally awful” is about the highest praise their mic work will get from anyone they know today (Heartland’s Twitter feed is much more complimentary). The Bombshells skate out, on the other hand, receives high praise from all quarters, despite being officially ‘The Worst Skate Out Ever’. Players draped in pieces of cardboard bearing handwritten admissions of shame – or in one notable case, a No Parking sign – parade around the track as fans hold up “You Suck (at skate outs)” placards. For the Sussex league, this is the start of a period of transition, with several high profile players and coaches leaving over the next couple of months, and rookies such as Jumpin’ Jack Smash, Seoul Destroyer and Von Stackit joining the gameday squad. The skate out ends in a shower of angle grinding burlesque from Lily Malicious, but will sparks fly in the game itself?

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The official prediction for this game on flattrackstats gives opponents Hell’s Belles from Hertfordshire Roller Derby a 67% chance of taking the win. The site treats all Heartland Series games as neutral, however, and though the Bombshells are new to this floor, with their previous open door venue in Hastings now banning skating, it’s probably fairer to view this as a home game. This adjusts the prediction to 56% Belles’ way, which suggests it will be close, but it’s still somewhat unexpected to see the Bombshells 21-0 up after four jams and seemingly well in control. Bullet Bomber, Swann, Crash and Dreaded Shortcake have taken successive leads for the Sussex side, with the tough blocking of Smash’Er Fierce, PhilosoFear and others keeping the Belles jammers pegged back. An out of bounds call on Bullet gives Scarlett Heartless a PJ start. Whilst Swann and Fear try to peg her back until a speeding Bullet’s return to track, Scarlett puts some points on the board for the Herts side. A lengthy stint off track for starclad Dolly Spartan – who passes the point of no return by inches and has to circle again before entering the penalty box – allows Crash to edge things up for the Bombshells. The Sussex league are giving very few points away at present.

An official time out gives experienced announcer Snoogins the chance to dispense a couple of birthday shoutouts to members of the Milton Keynes side she line-up manages. The Cows are celebrating both the earlier victory and the birthdays up in the bleachers, largely via the medium of booze. Another shoutout goes to the recently hitched DodgeHer – the Belles captain, who donned a wedding veil for the skate out, dons the star for Herts shortly after play resumes. She helps close the gap, alongside the other red jammers (both today’s games are purple v red, though photos colour corrected for the venue’s yellowy light may disagree) Scarlett and Spartan. Belles sticking with a rotation of three, whilst Bourne have double that, with Drag ‘N’ Fly and Chunder Woman joining the opening quartet. Power jam for Heartless, recycled well by Bullet and Hell Block H, but there’s more belief about this Belles side now. Track cut call on DNF, passive offence from the Belles pack, the impressive Vera Offtrack clacking her wheels on the floor to impersonate the jammer attack, all very close now. Chunder off next jam, forearms… Crash off too… Two minutes left, lead for Spartan, lead change for Spartan, 74-75. Bullet starred up, Chunder trying to clear a path, sent flying, spinning track cut Bullet, power jam DodgeHer. Half time: Bombshells trail 83-96.

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A large chunk of the crowd here today are cheering for the Hell’s Belles, and for Scarlett Heartless in particular. Many seem to be the players from the earlier game. The Bombshells are in some ways outsiders in this South East Division – most of the other teams know each other from past tournaments, and from the shared scrims, spectator trips and league transfers that come of geographical proximity. The South Coast is a world away from the South Midlands, and here, with a previously untraversed floor beneath and mixed crowd around, Eastbourne are to some extent strangers at their own party. They are, however, starting this second period even stronger than they began the first. A power jam and star pass from Swann in the second sees the Bombshells regain the initiative in style, with the scoreline now 120-96. Hell’s Belles fighting back though. Tough blocking from the likes of Les Be Avenue, Candy Cane-her and Leggett N Hide. Lots of jammer penalties and PJ starts on both sides. Belles close the gap to six points. Bombshells extend it again.

Power jam start for Smash’Er now. She sees the Herts jammer rejoining the track, and sends her to ground as soon as she crosses the tape. Bam! Gives it the full Popeye to the crowd. Rocky Bashova, Crash and Hell Block holding back the red jammer for Bullet to score next jam. Team time out for the rattled (clanging?) Belles. Successive leads for Bourne now, but little movement in the way of points. Back block called on Chunder, who looks very cross with either herself or the ref who made the call – best not to ask which, but it gives Herts the chance to close the gap: 148-140. Close as. There’s a slight, and unexpected, delay in proceedings now. It seems someone living by the leisure centre has complained about an illegal rave taking place nearby. The source of that complaint has been traced to this hall, and the not-very-loud-at-all tannoy. Roller derby must be what passes for lawlessness here in Haywards Heath at 6pm on a Saturday. (Personally, we suspect a specious complaint from someone who wanted to attend one of the weekly roller discos that had to make way for today’s event. Ho hum.)

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We quickly down all our drugs, hide all the sound systems, and the on track action resumes. The local residents have identified Dolly Spartan as the ringleader of the rave, and she’s been removed from the game. Either that or she fouled out on penalties. Bullet picks up lead either side of the break and the Sussex side now have a more comfortable 30 point lead, with about eight minutes – roughly two and a half bangin’ 180bpm choons, officers – remaining. Edging it up further now, picking up a point or two more than Herts in every jam. Swann and PhilosoFear holding back Heartless as Smash’Er extends the lead to over forty points. Swann stars up for what will be the final jam of the game, and also the final one in purple and leopard print for the Bombshells captain. Having tired of changing her derby name every few months – from Jayne Zawmasika to Toxic Block Syndrome to Swann – she’s now resorted to changing her derby league instead. She’ll be donning the cyan and black of the Brighton Rockers after today, her hair having already donned the former, and she goes out in style for the ‘shells with a swooping, high-scorin’, multiple-passin’, and – let’s be honest – show-boatin’ final Swann-song to close the game out at 214-159.

Jammer, Blocker and MVP awards for the first game go to MK’s Terrorizinya, Betty Knox and Rollin’ Sin, with Cherry Bomb, Yoho and Booty Vicious picking up the respective gongs for Beds. For Hell’s Belles, the certificates go to Dolly Spartan, Candy Cane-her and Leggett N Hide, with the Bombshells recipients being Drag N Fly, Hell Block H and Swann. Various Bourne players queue up to give the latter her leaving presents. In Swann’s own words: “They all wait until I finish crying from the previous gift/card before appearing with the next one. It goes on quite a while.” We miss all of the above, of course, as we are keen to maintain our flawless record of being the first to arrive at the after party for every derby event we attend (30 in a row now, just sayin’). When we called into the Burrell Arms earlier today, a gas problem meant Guinness and ales were off, and we’re keen to see (and praying) that’s been rectified. It has indeed, but the solution may well have involved re-routing gas from the ovens, since the venue is now doing no food. At. All.

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As hordes of ravenous rollergirls arrive at the pub, we anticipate a riot, but fortunately people are being allowed to bring in food from the adjacent pizza shop and chippy. Crisis averted. Out in the garden, the evening soon descends into Connect Four tournaments and arm wrestling challenges, with the latter, as ever, being simply an excuse for Smash’Er Fierce to hurt people off (as well as on) track. We understand that several of the Bourne and Belles side end up getting the midnight train to Eastbourne itself – a fair ways from here – and persuade a publican there to let them have a lock-in until the sun comes up. So much for it being a town full of grannies! Where next for the Bombshells sports-wise then? To Eastbourne Extreme, of course, the UK’s only free outdoor derby tournament, which takes place on the weekend of the 12th/13th July. Contrary to Sassy McAwesome’s assertions on the announcer mic, New York’s Gotham Girls aren’t taking part, but the A-team of Surrey, plus B-teams of Croydon and LRR will be facing off against the home side on the Saturday. Meanwhile, an intriguing Sunday programme sees several star-studded exhibition games in all the flavours – men’s, women’s, junior, co-ed, rookie to advanced.

That Saturday (12th) also sees the next Heartland Series South East gameday up in Norwich, with the Norfolk Brawds taking on Milton Keynes, whilst Beds face Big Bucks. MK currently sit atop the table, with the final SE day’s Cows v Bucks game increasingly looking like it will be a decider for play-offs seeding. Norfolk have strong ambitions to catch at least one of those sides, though. The Belles will be looking to build upon their strong showing against favourites Big Bucks and finish as high up the ‘mid section’ as they can. Beds, meanwhile, will be keen to nab their first win and improve their current points differential. With six of the division’s fifteen games completed, only one result has gone the way of the lower ranked team – that was Eastbourne’s victory over Herts today. This puts the Bombshells in a good position going into the rest of their campaign, albeit with what will in several areas be a less experienced squad. Today the Bourne debutants fared well in a bruising encounter. Tomorrow (or rather, August 16th) the Bombshells do Heartland Series battle again, against Norfolk in the home of just vanquished Herts. For now though, we party – remembering always the golden rule; don’t ever challenge Smash’Er to an arm wrestle…

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[Photos by John Hesse]

ANOTHER REPORT (BY MK’S BENCH MANAGER)
http://www.heartlandseries.co.uk/heartland-south-east-game-day-3-bourne-secure-first-victory-cows-win-big/

LINKS
EASTBOURNE EXTREME: https://www.facebook.com/EastbourneExtremeRollerDerby
HEARTLAND SERIES: http://www.heartlandseries.co.uk/
BOMBSHELLS: http://bournebombshells.co.uk/
HELL’S BELLES: http://www.hertsrd.co.uk/
MK COWS: http://www.miltonkeynesrollerderby.com/
BEDFORDSHIRE: http://www.bedfordshirerollergirls.com/
BIG BUCKS: http://www.bigbuckshighrollers.co.uk/
NORFOLK BRAWDS: http://www.norfolkbrawds.com/