Oi You! Outside Now! EASTBOURNE EXTREME 2019 Brings The Derby To The Beach!

It’s that time of year again. This weekend (13th & 14th July) sees the return of the Eastbourne Extreme roller derby tournament. Taking place on Eastbourne seafront from 10am to 6pm each day with free admission for spectators, merch stalls, snacks and a whopping TWENTY ONE games of roller derby, it’s the highlight of the year in local derby. Saturday this year features a four team women’s tournament, a three team men’s/open to all Sevens tournie and a trio of juniors games. Sunday offers up six mixed league games, featuring rookie, intermediate and advanced level skaters from all over the country, as well as more juniors action.
    You can find all this derby loveliness at the Cage, hard sports courts roughly halfway along the promenade between the Pier and Sovereign Harbour marina. The postcode is BN22 7AA with a cheap car park alongside (a few quid for the whole day) as well as some side street spaces. It’s about 25 minutes walk from Eastbourne train station, but there are plenty of places to stop off on the way, such as after party venue the Crown & Anchor and its near neighbour Fuschardi’s ice cream parlour. The number 99 bus drops off very close to the venue (Fisherman’s Club or Desmond Road stops) and can be picked up from the town centre. Or there’s always the Dotto (tourist land train) from the Pier.
    It’s a Bring Your Own Booze (and soft drinks, food, whatever) event and nearby shops include a Coop, Tesco Express and Best-One, all on Seaside Road about four minutes walk inland. There will also likely be some food stalls a little further east along the prom, where you’ll find other Eastbourne Extreme stuff, such as skateboarding and BMXing, going on. An ice cream van will probably turn up at some point too. There are public toilets (plus drinking water tap) handily located right next to the Cage, although the ladies can have Glastonbury sized queues between games. Sunday’s after party is at the Crown & Anchor near the Pier. Now let’s hear from lots of people about lots of games…

EXTREME FIRST TIMER HYPS SAYS…
This will be my first year at Eastbourne Extreme. I’ve always wanted to go in the past, but it was always just that little bit too far or clashed with something else. This year I’ve moved to South Wales to be with my partner, so I’m a bit closer, and what makes this even better is he’s going to be benching the team I’m playing on. Doing this derby couple life right yo!
    The thought of playing outside didn’t even occur to me until the other week and my first thought was ‘oh no I don’t want to trash my beautiful skates’. So derby mail to the rescue! I lent my old skates to one of my old teammates while she awaited her new pair sent down to me via the network. They’re a different set up and much heavier though, so it’ll be fun learning to skate on those again… and outside – oops!
    I really don’t know what to expect from the weekend but I know it’s going to be a long one. Me and my other half have a British Champs game in Birmingham on Saturday before heading down to Eastbourne that night. I’m then benching the rookie women’s game (the first game on Sunday) for Team White and then playing for La Peste Noire in one of the intermediate games. I’m hoping me and Jay don’t have a domestic over an official review. Seriously though, I’m just looking forward to seeing friends, enjoying the sunshine derby and going the beach afterwards with a celebratory beer and MAXIMUM CHILL. Phew!



SATURDAY: WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT

A main focus of Saturday is the women’s (ie WFTDA gender policy) tournament, which features six 30 minute games. In a rare treat it’s actually going to be the same four teams as last year taking part. Obviously not the exact same squads because that’s not how derby works, but it should be interesting to see how their 2019 results compare to last year’s games. Results were fairly mixed in 2018.
    Brighton’s B-team Rockerbillies suffered three defeats, although often by small margins. The remaining competitors each had one win and one loss against their other opponents, with Surrey taking the title on points differential (or however it’s worked out). It was Eastbourne’s Bombshells who imposed that sole defeat – will the hosts take the title themselves this year? Will Surrey retain? What about Terra Hurtz, the B-team of Chelmsford’s Killa Hurtz? Last year’s Extreme was that team’s public debut, so has a full year of development turned them into title winners? Finally, can the Rockerbillies flip last year’s results on their head and bag the trophy themselves? We’ll find out on Saturday. Here are some words from each team…

ALL GAMES ARE ON TRACK 1
10.00 BOURNE BOMBSHELLS VS TERRA HURTZ
10.45 BRIGHTON ROCKERBILLES VS SURREY
12.30 BRIGHTON ROCKERBILLIES VS TERRA HURTZ
13.15 BOURNE BOMBSHELLS VS SURREY
15.00 TERRA HURTZ VS SURREY
15.45 BOURNE BOMBSHELLS VS BRIGHTON ROCKERBILLIES

BULLET BOMBER (BOURNE BOMBSHELLS) SAYS…
We are super excited for Extreme again this year. It is a lot of work to put on, but it’s so worth it when we see so many people enjoying the event. We are pleased to be inviting back all the women’s teams from last year. It will be interesting to see how we fare against them this year. Bombshells recently played Surrey in British Champs and Surrey took the well deserved win, so we will work hard to even up the scores and have fun while we try. We haven’t played Brighton or Terra Hurtz since last year and it will be interesting to see how we do this year.
    Brighton Rockerbillies have a few skaters we haven’t played before and some old friends who we look forward to seeing on track again. I think it could be a close game. Terra Hurtz are always a little more of an unknown to us as we haven’t played them very many times. They have a few names on their roster who we haven’t seen before. That always makes it harder to predict how the game may go, but also makes it extra interesting.
    The Bombshells team hasn’t changed much since last year, but we will have the added excitement of being able to have our age 16+ Team GB juniors join the Bombshells in our last game of the day against Brighton. We can’t wait to skate out with them in Bombshell tops and they are definitely the players to watch! Eastbourne Extreme is the most important event of our year. We love seeing loads of the derby community all at our favourite place to skate.

THE GOLDEN SNATCH (SURREY ROLLER GIRLS) SAYS…
Last year at Eastbourne was a real ‘cherry on top of the cake’ moment for a lot of us at Surrey. Having taken a season out of British Champs to grow and develop as a team, we came to Eastbourne with the aim of having fun and gelling even more as a team. It was tough and HOT! We all rocked our denim shorts as we took on some of our favourite teams in super fun games. To come out as the winners was such a joyful moment for us and it felt like the perfect end to a season of growth.
    This year, as defending champions who are also back in Champs, we’re bringing the fire, the fierceness, but most importantly the fun. (And sun cream. Also important). Our roster has been shaken up a fair amount. We have some amazing rookies who have come up the ranks, and we’ve adopted some cracking pals from Croydon, but we are still unapologetically Surrey and determined to uphold our reputation as a fun and lovely team to play.
    We can’t wait to see our Brighton pals – it’s been so long! We’ve beaten them every time the last few bouts BUT they push us so hard and improve every time so we’re not at all complacent. Terra Hurtz are a super strong team who work incredibly well together and have smart tactics; they’ll be a challenge for sure. And of course the babes of Eastbourne; they beat us by a whisker last year, but we got them back at Champs. Who can say who will win the third round?
    You can expect us to be strong, loud, occasionally scrappy and chaotic but in our own special way. We are all so different on and off the track and that diversity is one of our greatest strengths. It makes us unpredictable, it makes us strong, it makes us family. And yes, fun is a big priority… but we want to lift that trophy again. See you on the track for high fives and hard hits, and see you on the beach afterwards. Bring on EE 2019, we absolutely cannot wait!

SLAMATEE (TERRA HURTZ) SAYS…
Last year was the first tournament for our newly formed Terra Hurtz, and we loved every minute of it! The event was the highlight of our 2018 and we are so happy to have been invited back this year to meet the same opponents. Playing outdoor derby is rewarding as many of our skaters love the opportunity to try something new, and the whole weekend offers something for everyone. We’re looking forward to weird suntan marks, lots of cheering and an excellent selection of supporter attire.
    We are delighted to have some new skaters with us on track this year. Keep your eyes peeled for Cherry Bomb and Gemolition, our dangerous blocking duo, in particular. Our speed demon jammer Liannabal Lector is also one to look out for, but blink and you’ll miss her! We have been training hard this year and are fresh from our win at home last week, so watch out for our power walls and tough-nut offense. We will be catching any rogue jammers, don’t you worry. And remember our chant: HYDRATE, GYRATE.

VARIOUS BRIGHTON ROCKERBILLIES SAY…
SLAP DASH:
This is a really exciting event for us because we’re mixing some of our more experienced players with some of our newest B-teamers. We’re hoping having three games will give everyone some really valuable game experience and we’ll do our best to learn and develop from each game. In terms of tactics I don’t want to give too much away. We had a group viewing of the footage from our last game against Glasgow which was really helpful and gave us some great things to work on together. Look out for a certain offence strategy that we will be debuting.
    G-FORCE: With a mixture of levels in the squad we’ve had to adapt some of our tactics to fit everyone’s style of play. We’ve been working hard on making sure our defence is strong and coordinated as we know the Eastbourne Extreme teams can hit hard. We also have some great offence up our sleeves to ensure our jammers are free to rack up those points. Last year as one of the new Fresh Meat intake I came to watch the Rockerbillies at Extreme. The whole event is so different to any other games I’ve seen or played, not least because it’s outside which is scary in itself. It can be really draining playing in full sunlight and having three games spread over the day, but I think that does bring out the best in our team. Everyone looks out for each other and makes sure we all stay sun creamed and hydrated (whether we like it or not!). Plus what’s better than the traditional team dip in the sea after the day is done? It’s how every roller derby game should end!
    GOLDIBLOCKS: Last year was a whirl of sun cream, hot tarmac, hotter denim, cool shades, ice cream breaks, fantastic announcers, cooling off in the sea – did I forget to mention roller derby in that? It was a great day and we all had loads of fun, despite losing all our games! Our opponents were really experienced and very strong, so despite our best efforts and some amazing jamming, we found ourselves behind in each game. The intense heat also didn’t help matters. As we’re playing the same teams as last year, we’re feeling much better prepared as we know what we’re likely to be up against.
    As with the run up to last year’s Extreme, we’ve had a fair amount of change on the team recently, so for quite a few it will be their first experience of the tournament. We’ve been working hard so we’re feeling ready for the challenge. We know the other teams are likely to be bigger than us, but we know how to use our size and speed to our advantage – and let’s face it, size isn’t everything. Our aim for the games this year is to close the gap in the scores between us and our opponents, to use the new tactics that we’ve been drilling hard, and as ever, to have fun and learn.



SATURDAY: MEN’S/OPEN TO ALL SEVENS TOURNAMENT

Saturday’s men’s/OTA tournament follows the Sevens ruleset and features three teams rather than the four that took part last year. Eastbourne’s own Bomb S’Quad line up against the returning Surrey Jammerwockies. The third side is a special EE19 team composed of players from various different leagues. Let’s hear from them all…

ALL GAMES ARE ON TRACK 1
11.30 BOMB S’QUAD VS EE 19 TEAM
14.15 BOMB S’QUAD VS SURREY JAMMERWOCKIES
16.30 EE19 TEAM VS SURREY JAMMERWOCKIES

BULLET BOMBER (BOMB S’QUAD COACH) SAYS…
Last year’s tournament was great fun as Eastbourne Extreme always is. We are pleased to be able to invite Surrey back again this year. Our teams have always been close and we love playing them. As well as Surrey we will also be playing the EE19 Team, who are made up of some familiar names. We think both games will be quite tough. Our team has some new skaters playing this year alongside some of the founding members and some of our derby friends.
    The Bomb S’Quad have not played any games this year so everyone’s looking forward to getting back on track together. Eastbourne Extreme is the most important event of the year for all of the Eastbourne teams. It is a chance for our friends and family to see us play as it’s our only hometown venue. It’s also a brilliant opportunity to recruit new local skaters as it’s an outdoor event with lots of passers by who are interested in extreme sports. This is so important to help keep building the league year on year.

SURREY ROLLER DERBY SAY…
Both Surrey leagues (ourselves and Surrey Roller Girls) have a tradition of attending Eastbourne Extreme. It’s our most anticipated event of the year being such a melting pot – often literally – of everything roller derby. Despite some big changes to our league, including the fact that Surrey Roller Boys is no more (we’re just Surrey Roller Derby now, mixed and open to all) we weren’t going to pass up the opportunity to roll out a team at Extreme.
    Surrey Roller Derby have a lot of new skaters in the league who are now starting to bout. The team is excited that EE19 will see Screamadelica’s (#42) first game with the league. She’s already been to a few closed door mixed openers, only raising the anticipation among the rest of us as to what she’ll be bringing to the track. What’s becoming another unofficial tradition is having a few guest skaters for the tournament. This year they’re from Kent and Windsor. We are extremely grateful for their last-minute support and are looking forward to getting to know them over the weekend.
    A much loved and respected member of our league and the community recently passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. Brother Lee Shove had an active, leading role in our league as well as being involved with the local junior league, London Skate, and regularly attending all of the roller discos in the area. He will be sorely missed, and many skaters will be holding him in their hearts and minds over the weekend.

THRASH UNREAL (EE19 TEAM) SAYS…
I’ve been playing roller derby for nearly five years now and this weekend is my first time skating at Eastbourne Extreme. I’m a little bit apprehensive, not because I’m worried about the outdoor skating (I’ve got a lot of experience skating outdoors, having done the London Street Skate a few times and spent a fair bit of time in skate parks) but because I’m actually playing seven games over the weekend. That’s between the OTA/men’s tournament, skating for Surrey Rollergirls in the women’s tournament and playing two pickup games on the Sunday.
    This will also be my first time skating with all of the other skaters on the EE19 team – despite playing a lot of pickup games in my time I’ve never skated with any of them, and on top of all that it’s my first Seven game as well! Looking at the other two rosters, I’d say the one to watch from Eastbourne is SpankMeSideways, he’s always a laugh whenever I’ve skated with or against the Bomb S’Quad, and if last year’s anything to go by he’ll do the entire thing with old-school hockey socks on over his skates again. The sweat must be unreal! From the Surrey side watch out for Jam Tart’s ridiculous level of skill on skates and the contortion acts he manages to pull as a jammer.
    I did actually make it along to Eastbourne last year but I was on crutches after breaking my ankle falling off a skateboard, so I’m incredibly hyped to actually be there on skates this year! My best mate’s coming along (AND WILL BE STAYING OFF SKATES, FURY, IF YOU’RE READING THIS), there’s gonna be plenty of chances to catch up with old friends and make some new ones, and I’m planning on a nice cooling dip in the sea on the Saturday afternoon once I’m done skating. I’ll also be doing a bit of announcing too, so listen out for my dulcet tones over the PA. It should be a pretty amazing weekend!

SATURDAY & SUNDAY: JUNIOR TOURNAMENT
The event’s third tournament takes place over both mornings of Extreme on the venue’s second track. This features three junior squads that include a host of players who took part in last summer’s Junior World Cup in Philadelphia. Team Purple are Eastbourne Roller Derby’s own New Bournes. Team White are Devon All Star Hitters plus skaters from Malmö, Cardiff and Manchester. Team Black is composed of Hereford Poison Berries plus skaters from Sheffield and elsewhere.

SATURDAY @ TRACK 2
11.00 BLACK VS WHITE
11.45 BLACK VS PURPLE
12.30 PURPLE VS WHITE

SUNDAY @ TRACK 2
10.30 PURPLE VS BLACK
11.15 PURPLE VS WHITE
12.00 WHITE VS BLACK

RACHELL (TEAM PURPLE) SAYS…
I’m RacHell #16 and I skate for New Bournes Roller Derby. I’ve been skating since May 2017 making this my third Extreme but the first that I will properly be competing in. My first Extreme I had a broken wrist and last year I was preparing for the Junior Roller Derby World Cup so didn’t want to risk an injury. Extreme is one of my favourite times of the year as it brings together so many skaters from so many parts of the UK and puts us all in the strange situation of skating outdoors, something that puts everyone out of their comfort zone. Most importantly though it reminds me of how proud I am to represent Eastbourne Roller Derby as the weekend never fails to impress.
    I’m lucky enough to be skating with both the juniors and the adults this year, meaning I have a number of teammates to feel very safe with on track. From the juniors I would warn skaters to be wary of Jemma English #10 as it’s one of her last chances to represent New Bournes so I’m certain she’ll be giving it her all. I would also keep an eye out for Lan-kill-shire #514 and i meant to do that #84 as they have both passed their level 3 minimum skills only very recently but definitely don’t skate like it! There isn’t any specific skater people should look out for on our women’s roster as when we work as a team we’re all as good as each other. However, we have been working very closely on our offence, so maybe you’ll get a glimpse of some of our offensive tactics on track.
    As for our opponents in the junior tournament, I think we are definitely in for a challenge. On Team White there is Team Europe skater Vilda #04 who is more solid than a brick wall, as well as Giraffic Jam #8, a fellow Team GB jammer that could get past almost any wall. For Team Black the two names that stand out for me as the biggest threat are sisters Marnie Moo’vova #143 and Hi Velocity #342 who also skated last year with me for Team GB. They are both as agile and sturdy as each other, being very versatile and experienced skaters.
    As the only adult game I will be competing in this weekend is against Brighton Rockerbillies I am very happy as they are all friendly faces. I hope that the pressure doesn’t get to me too much as I’m aiming to be one of Eastbourne Roller Derby’s top jammers for EE19. I’m sure the weekend will be very successful as per usual, hopefully bringing in an even larger crowd than last year.

SUNDAY: MIXED LEAGUE GAMES
Sunday is dominated by six mixed league games spanning the skill levels. Here they are in handy chronological order:

10.00 WOMEN’S ROOKIE GAME @ TRACK 1
BLACK WIDOW VS WHERE’S THE BALL

KITTY LESTRANGE (BLACK WIDOW) SAYS…
This is my first-time skating at Eastbourne Extreme, but my fourth time attending. I’ve been skating for four years and have broken both of my legs at different times in that period, one break worse than the other. Since 2018 I’ve been working hard towards re-passing my minimum skills, and last week I finally did it! This is my first ever game and to say that I’m excited is an understatement. I cannot wait to see all of my hard work pay off as I finally play my first game of roller derby at an event that I absolutely love.
    Extreme is an amazing event that me and my boyfriend now always try to attend. It’s a perfect blend of sun, sea and derby. I’m not going to lie; when I first watched people skating and competing outdoors it genuinely terrified me. Watching people land on the concrete then get straight back up to continue playing put a lot of confidence in me – if they could do it, then so could I. I’ve only started skating outdoors this year in preparation for EE. I was sure there was no way that I’d be able to do it, but after more and more practise it became easy. I’m still slightly scared, but it’s more excited/scared now.
    To be honest Team Black Widow hasn’t really talked tactics or anything yet. As we’re playing in the women’s rookie game, for a lot of us this will be our first experience of something like this, so we have no idea what to expect during the game. I’m sure a lot of us are just hoping to survive the whole game haha. I have every faith in my team that we’re going to do everything we can, and give it 110% during the whole event. We’re going to be looking out for the sweep on our own team and watching for the offence and star passes that might slip by us.
    I’m expecting to have the absolute time of my life experiencing a derby game for the first time. I play with my own team a lot and train against high level skaters every Friday with Devil Dogs Roller Derby (Stoke-on-Trent), so this will be a nice change to play against skaters of my own level. As for the weekend I’m looking forward to nothing but sunshine, fish and chips by the sea and experiencing new things. There are eight of us travelling down this weekend to either play in or NSO the games. I’m excited to be spending my weekend, and my first playing experience, with my fellow teammates and friends.

11.30 MEN’S INTERMEDIATE GAME @ TRACK 1
THE ABLOCKADOS VS YOU’VE BEEN TANGOED

LAW HAVE MERCY (THE ABLOCKADOS) SAYS…
I first attended Extreme in 2017 as an NSO, but I took part in the Saturday tournament at last year’s event with my old league, the Surrey Roller Boys, who are playing again this year. I always have a blast at EE. It’s rare to have the opportunity to do some outdoor skating and (although it’s harder work on the legs and can be punishingly hot in the summer) it’s dead good fun having a bit of skatey bash by the beach. There’s always loads of top folk around at Extreme too.
    The aBlockados are composed of skaters from leagues all over at varying levels, some of whom I’ve never skated with before. Bear Skillz from Lincolnshire Rolling Thunder and Boomstick from Dorset Knobs are both very speedy, jukey jammers who can be points machines if the opposing wall don’t watch out. We blockers will be sticking to the basics to begin with and playing it by ear depending how the game pans out.
    You’ve Been Tangoed have got some pretty handy skaters too. My old teammate Jam Tart is a seasoned street skater who jams like Stretch Armstrong (you can hit him but he’ll bounce right back) and Crush of Blood is a literal juggernaut – nobody wants to get hit by him. I expect a physical game, but we’re ready for whatever they have in store for us. It should be a really fun game. I expect the usual from Eastbourne: sun, sea and tons of fun.

13.00 WOMEN’S INTERMEDIATE GAME 1 @ TRACK 1
YELLOW IS IT ME YOU’RE LOOKING FOR VS DABBA DEE DABBA DIE

SWEETNESS AND FIGHT (YELLOW IS IT ME) SAYS…
I have only been to last year’s Eastbourne Extreme, but it was so much fun I wanted to come back this year and many more to come. It’s a really fun-filled event. Although I was terrified of playing outside the first time, in practice it was fine. I don’t have experience skating with or against many of the skaters in the game I’m playing, so I can’t really give any tips on skaters or tactics to look out for I’m afraid. All I can say is I’m expecting lots of hitty fun in the sun with great people from all over the country. This is definitely one of THE places where people at all levels can play and watch roller derby, meet other skaters, and share a love of the sport.

13.15 WOMEN’S INTERMEDIATE GAME 2 @ TRACK 2
BOURNE REDDY VS LA PESTE NOIRE

THE GOLDEN SNATCH (BOURNE REDDY) SAYS…
This is my second year skating at Eastbourne Extreme, although it’s my first time playing in one of the Sunday games. It really is a derby ‘bucket list’ item – everyone should do it! Last year I was super scared about playing outdoors, but ultimately I just had to adjust a few things and it turned out fine. Taping my fingers was a good idea though: hot tip for newbies. In terms of our team (Bourne Reddy), keep an eye out for Lily Malicious and Amazing Graze – they’re Eastbourne players and wicked sharp jammers to boot. I’m glad I’m not blocking them for once!
    As for our opponents La Peste Noire, their squad includes five or six of my Surrey teammates. They’re all brilliant so I’m utterly terrified. Watch out for Moni Bitchell’s hits (they HURT) and the gorgeous footwork and jukes of Top DPS. Plus if you see me running away it’s because I don’t want to block Boo-dica, she’s too strong. Help me. If I survive that game I’m also super pumped to be benching the advanced game for the Pink Panthers, and then jumping directly into the sea with my pals afterwards. Bring on the sun cream, post-bout ciders, and John Hesse’s excellent photography. (He’s the only person I am willingly photographed by in derby, to be honest.)



14.30 MEN’S ADVANCED GAME @ TRACK 1
BLUE STEEL VS MAULIN’ ROUGE

BLIZZARD OF OZ (MAULIN’ ROUGE) SAYS…
I’m Blizzard, a blocker with Kent Men’s Roller Derby. This will be my fourth Eastbourne Extreme and the fourth year I came up with the team name, so even if we don’t win the game I still feel like a winner. In 2016 I was expelled for leaping contact, but we won, so that was ok. In 2017 the format was changed to Sevens and we could form our own teams, so I put together an unstoppable force and we were unstoppable. In 2018 we were back to the standard format, which is much fairer on everyone and makes the games closer, making it more exciting to watch. This year we’re in the standard format again and I’m looking forward to some tough competition.
    Eastbourne Extreme is as much a social get together for all our friends as it is a competition. Even if I couldn’t skate I would still come down to enjoy the sunshine and company. Eastbourne Roller Derby always puts together a top class event, the only one of its kind. I’ve skated outdoors on this kind of surface since the early 80s, so the surface isn’t new for me or most of the older skaters, but I understand that people who have learned to skate indoors and have never been on tarmac could find it a bit daunting – a good amount of off track practice always pays off.
    The men’s advanced teams this year are made up from some top skaters, so we can expect some big hits and extremely fast play. We on Maulin’ Rouge will be looking to keep it nice and clean, stay together and, like, score points and stuff. Watch out for our nippy jammers Alpha Papa and Boomstick; I’ll be doing my best to clear them a path. Opponents Blue Steel will be also trying to score points and they have some very versatile skaters who can block effectively as individuals, so we’ll need to keep them occupied. Watch out for Bang showboating when he gets the star. Citizen Pain is an immovable object, and Mal Pack-a has the strength to push past most walls. What am I expecting? To drink tea, eat cake and skate, in that order.

16.00 WOMEN’S ADVANCED GAME @ TRACK 1
PINK PANTHERS VS BLUE-PERS

SWANN (BLUE-PERS) SAYS…
This is a homecoming to Eastbourne Extreme for me. I was heavily involved with the organisation of the event for the first two years and I skated in the advanced women’s game in the third year, but this will be my first time skating at EE since then. The tournament is super close to my heart. It was the first UK event of its kind, and it’s become a solid part of the UK derby calendar for many. I haven’t skated outside for a while and I fear for the welfare of my toe stops!
    With any mixed team, there tends to be a mish mash of play styles and strategies, so the Blue-Pers will just be looking to have a fun game where we utilise the strengths of our players. I’ve skated with and against a few of the squad before. She Ruthless and I met five years ago in Gran Canaria, and she’s a super strong blocker who I wouldn’t want to jam against! As with our team, I’m sure our Pink Panthers opposition will take a while to figure out tactics. I’m looking forward to skating against Trev as I train with Kent from time to time. It’s always fun to skate against friends, and she’s a great, agile jammer. Mostly I’m expecting sunburn. That’s what I’ve taken away from every Extreme so far, anyway!

FACEBOOK EVENT PAGES
https://www.facebook.com/EastbourneExtremeRD/
https://www.facebook.com/events/224234975146502/

[Photos by John Hesse]

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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!

EEP6

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…!”

EEP7

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/