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]

BOMBSHELL NEWS: BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIPS ROLLER DERBY IN SUSSEX THIS SATURDAY!

British Championships Roller Derby returns to Sussex tomorrow (Saturday 2nd March) as Eastbourne Roller Derby’s Bourne Bombshells host Gameday 1 of Tier 3 South. The action takes place at the Dolphin leisure centre in Haywards Heath with doors at 1pm and admission a bargainous £5 on the door. The first game at 2pm sees Northampton’s Vendetta Vixens take on Guildford’s Surrey Roller Girls, followed by hosts Eastbourne up against Milton Keynes Concrete Cows at 4.15pm.

Car users should point their Sat Navs at RH16 1LY. Train folks should be aware that replacement buses are running from Lewes, Brighton and (for those coming from London) Three Bridges, so allow an extra half hour or so travelling time. The buses drop off outside Haywards Heath station, which is just seven minutes walk from the venue.

The leisure centre has vending machines and a licensed café in its foyer. The nearest ATMs are at the big Sainsbury’s halfway between the station and venue, and the pub opposite the train station (the Burrell Arms) is decent enough for any spectators wanting a pre-event drink. There will also be stalls and entertainment in the sports hall. Find out about those, as well as what to expect from the games, below…

PREDICTIONS AND THAT

[SPOILER ALERT: Skip to after the next photograph if you’re one of those people who don’t like to know predictions ahead of a game.] Tier 3 South of British Champs 2019 contains three teams from north of London and two from south of the capital. Milton Keynes are the best connected with their divisional opponents, being located at the midpoint of a 40 mile vertical line linking High Wycombe (home to Big Bucks High Rollers) with Northampton’s Vendetta Vixens. The southern duo, based in Guildford and Eastbourne, are 50 miles apart but know each other quite well, particular from outdoor games at Eastbourne Extreme.

Rankings wise, Big Bucks (69th in Europe) are by far the strongest of the five teams, so this gameday – which they sit out – gives the other four sides a chance to put some points on the board. In Saturday’s first game, averaging out home and away predictions for a neutral venue, Vendetta Vixens (226th in Europe) are given 65% chance of victory over Surrey (263rd). Predicted differential of 7:6 suggests something like a 175-150 Vixens win. Surrey edged the previous meeting of these two teams 164-140, but that was four years ago (both teams’ first game of the first ever British Champs in 2015) which is ages in roller derby.

In the second game, even with home advantage hosts Eastbourne (243rd in Europe) are predicted to come up a little short against the higher placed Milton Keynes (168th). MK are given 75% chance of victory here, with an expected differential of 25:18. That works out as something like a 175-126 MK win, pretty similar to the 177-119 result when these teams met in last year’s Champs. That’s what the prediction computer at Flattrackstats reckons anyway. What do the teams expect? See below…

EASTBOURNE ROLLER DERBY

Can you tell us a bit about your team’s history to date?
The Bourne Bombshells have been a team for over seven years. Six of our current roster (Bullet Bomber, Drag-N-Fly, Hell Block H, Lily Malicious, Smash’er Fierce and The PhilosoFear) played with the team back at the start. Last season we had our first junior Jazzaster age out of our New Bournes juniors to join the Bombshells. This season we have another junior, Jemma English, joining us the day after her 18th birthday in May.

What about your thoughts on British Champs?

We always really enjoy Champs. We returned last year after a season off. We had some really fun games which were all very hard fought. We finished middle of the table, which the team were really happy with. It’s exciting we have a few different teams in our Champs group this year. We have played them all at some point in the past apart from Vendetta Vixens. They will be our last game of the season and will be interesting as we have very little knowledge of their players and gameplay.

What are you expecting from Saturday’s game against Milton Keynes Concrete Cows?
We have played Milton Keynes a few times now. Every game has been a tough one as they have some very experienced players. They’re a really lovely team and we are looking forward to battling it out against them again. It will not be an easy game for us but it will be fun.

Any particular Eastbourne players the crowd should look out for?
Over the last year Lily Malicious has been jamming more for the team and is definitely one to watch, but I’m not going to tell you more about her jamming otherwise I may give away her secrets. InnsterSlam, our pocket rocket, is a double threat with excellent speed and agility when jamming and excellent track awareness pivoting. She is one to watch out for – that is if you can see her! The Bombshells are a team of players who have been together over a long period of time and it’s hard to select one standout blocker as they all work together so well to create solid walls. I’m sure the jammers on the opposing team will remember Smash’er Fierce and Jazzaster’s hits, though.

Any thoughts on the other teams in your Champs group?

It’s always interesting to see the other teams play against each other to see what new tactics they have, since teams and gameplay change so much from year to year. It will be nice to face Big Bucks again after a few years of not playing them, and we have never played against Surrey in a Champs game, so that’s going to be an interesting one too.

What else can we expect from tomorrow’s event?
We have a cake stall with delicious home-baked goods. The very awesome Roller Dirty Soaps will have a stall so make sure you take a look. There will be merch stalls from the teams. During the half-time of the first game we have the fabulous Sussex Supreme Baton Twirlers doing a performance. Then during the half-time of the second game we’ll have our raffle draw with merch and cash up for grabs.

Any words for the Eastbourne fans in the crowd?

Don’t forget to set aside the weekend of 13th & 14th July for Eastbourne Extreme. Planning is in full swing and the summer can’t come quick enough!

MILTON KEYNES ROLLER DERBY

Can you tell us a little about your history?
MKRD was founded in May 2010. In 2011/2012 we created The End of the World Series tournament for five local leagues in which we were undefeated. The EOWS led to The Heartland Series in 2013 and MKRD remained heavily involved in the organisation. This tournament then developed into the British Championships tournament that we know today.

What are your thoughts on Champs as a league?
We’ve loved playing British Champs and continue to do so. Seeing the growth and organisation of roller derby in the UK is amazing, and getting to play both new and familiar teams is really fun. We had a really enjoyable Champs season last year especially and hope to continue to have more fun in 2019. We’ve been working hard on our plays and tactics so will be looking to put those into practice.

Do you know much about the other teams in your division?
We’ve played Eastbourne a few times now and they’re a really fun team to play against and wonderful hosts, so we’re looking forward to Saturday. They have some really nippy jammers and powerful blockers so we’ll be looking to shut them down. Our division is looking really interesting this year. We know the Vixens quite well and they’ll be a force to be reckoned with! We haven’t played Big Bucks in ages and it’ll be interesting to see them on track again. Eastbourne are going from strength to strength and Surrey are a rather unknown quantity to us so we’re looking forward to the season ahead.

Any words for the MKRD fans in Saturday’s crowd?
Oh lawd, she comin’!

SURREY ROLLER GIRLS

Can you tell us a little about your league?

Based in Guildford, Surrey Roller Girls were founded in December 2011. We are a friendly bunch who love cake and cuddles, as well as bashing each other about on track.

What are you expecting from Champs this year?

SRG have taken a year away from British Champs in 2018 to develop and grow as a team and what a year we have had! Not only have we enjoyed welcoming many new skaters, we have also had the pleasure of playing many friendly games with our Southern counterparts.

And from Saturday in particular?
We have been training hard in the lead up to British Champs and are ready to show the other teams what it means to be a Surrey Roller Girl. Excitement is brewing for our game against the Vendetta Vixens on Saturday, who I’m sure will be a formidable opponent.

What can we expect from SRG on the day?
Surrey will arrive on gameday with glittered faces, short shorts and a fierce spirit. We will battle hard and (whatever the outcome) we will hug it out at the end and hunker down to watch Eastbourne v Milton Keynes, which I’m sure will be an epic pairing. For any Surrey fans cheering us on in the crowd, cheer loud and clear: WHO ARE WE? SRG!

VENDETTA VIXENS

Can you tell us a little about your history?
The Vixens began in early 2011 and competed in the End of the World Series coming a respectful last place. Over the years we have lost more games than we have won, but what we lack in points we have made up for in team spirit and perseverance. We’ve been fortunate enough to be part of the tournaments preceding Champs and very much enjoy meeting and playing new teams. We learn so much and generally have a wonderful time during the tournament season.

What are you hoping for from Champs this year?
Last year saw a turning point for the team and we won more games than we lost. We hope that the hard work and determination that we have put into training has started to show on track and we continue to progress this year. 2019 also means playing our neighbours the Concrete Cows and facing new opponents in Eastbourne and Big Bucks.

Any particular expectations for Saturday’s games?

In the other game we will be hoping for a win for the Concrete Cows as our neighbouring team and friends, but wish all the teams taking part a happy, safe and successful gameday. Last time we played Surrey in 2015 it was a really close game – we’re obviously hoping to take the win this year. In terms of Vixens to watch our for on track? Watch out for us all! Everyone brings something different and unique, and it wouldn’t work without every single person on the team and those who constantly support us.



BIG BUCKS HIGH ROLLERS

Can you tell us a little about your league?
Big Bucks High Rollers were formed in July 2011 and we smashed onto the scene with some fantastic results early on. Since then we have continued to grow and evolve as a league.

What are your thoughts ahead of the 2019 Champs season?
BBHR decided to focus on rebuilding our team last year. Now we’re back in Champs and feeling stronger than ever! We have a great line-up, including a mix of veteran and newer skaters, and are really excited for them to experience their first Champs game.

What are the (dis)advantages or not playing Gameday 1?
Sitting out the first gameday makes us itch to be on track, although it allows us a cheeky peak at our competition before we get started. We are up against some tough teams, which is a challenge we have been training hard for and we can’t wait to meet everyone on track. We can, we will – BBHR!

[Photos by John Hesse, Eastbourne Roller Derby, Vendetta Vixens & Big Bucks High Rollers]

LINKS
FB EVENT PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/events/238370273750413/
BRITISH CHAMPS: https://www.britishchamps.com/

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]

FB PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/EastbourneExtremeRD/
FB EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/700320030175090/

RETURN OF THE CHAMPS: THIS SUNDAY IN SUSSEX!

British Championships Roller Derby returns to Haywards Heath after a two year gap this Sunday 11th March, hurrah! Eastbourne Roller Derby’s awesomes Bourne Bombshells are hosting the event and will be taking on Plymouth City Roller Derby, whilst the day also features a game between the Milton Keynes Concrete Cows and Bridgend Roller Derby. This is the first Game Day in Tier 4 South of the 2018 British Championships tournament. This division features a total of five teams (including Oxford Wheels of Gory who don’t play on Sunday) who will each play the other four across five Game Days between now and July. The top two teams in each division are promoted to Tier 3 for next year’s competition. It’s the biggest national roller derby tournament in the world, apparently!

Sunday’s action takes place at the Dolphin Leisure Centre in Haywards Heath with a fairly early start. Doors for spectators are at 11.30am with the first game Milton Keynes v Bridgend taking place from 12.30-2.00pm, followed by Eastbourne v Plymouth from 3.00-4.30pm. Adult tickets are £6 online in advance (see the link at the bottom of this piece) or £7 on the door, but under 18s and (’cause it’s Mother’s Day) mums get in for free with a ticket holder – awww! The venue is seven minutes walk West from Haywards Heath train station and there’s a big Sainsbury’s (open 10am-4pm on Sundays) on the way. Car users should point their SatNav at RH16 1LY. Set off a bit early if coming from Eastbourne/Hastings way, as there are a few train issues (ie replacement bus to Polegate) plus rolling road closures along the A27 due to the transportation of a 300 foot electricity pylon. Yes really!

PREDICTIONS

[*SPOILER ALERT: SKIP THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW HOW THE FLATTRACKSTATS COMPUTER EXPECTS THE GAMES TO GO*] With at least one team not UKRDA ranked, we’re going to use the European rankings for both matches here. Bridgend place 200th on 492.6 rankings points, whilst Milton Keynes are 254th on 471.6. The online prediction machine gives the Welsh side 66% chance of victory here, with a predicted differential of 37:30 mathsing out as something like a 185-150 Bridgend win. In the day’s second game, Plymouth place 174th (508.7) whilst hosts Eastbourne are 193rd (495.3), with a predicted differential of 8:7 suggesting something like a 200-175 victory for Plymouth. As far as the Euro rankings and FTS are concerned, both games are being called as pretty darned close – at least in roller derby terms!

TEAM TALK
We round off with some thoughts from all four teams taking part on Sunday…

“We’re looking forward to playing against Eastbourne, who are an unknown quantity and therefore a new and exciting challenge! This year PCRD arrive with an updated compilation of skaters consisting of hardened veterans – including founder and Roller Derby City owner Slams – alongside fresh talent in both blockers and jammers, all bench coached by Team Ireland men’s jammer Abnorman! As for what PCRD’s tactics will be for this year’s round of Champs matches… well, oh… is that the time? See you on Sunday!”
HOT TOPIC – PLYMOUTH CITY ROLLER DERBY CAPTAIN

EASTBOURNE ROLLER DERBY: BULLET BOMBER

The Bombshells took part in the first year of British Champs (2015) then withdrew for two years. What has brought you back to the competition in 2018?
We decided to rejoin because as a team we felt like we would like a new challenge this year. We will be playing several teams we have never played before, and we’re all really looking forward to these games.

Any particular Bombshells players or tactics the crowd should look out for on Sunday?

We don’t like to reveal any of our tactics before a game. The main thing we all aim to do is give 100%, work together as a team and enjoy the game. Our squad has a few seasoned players who played in 2015 Champs and its predecessor Heartlands, so you’ll likely recognise the names of the ones to watch. Amazing Graze continues to wow crowds with her strong and consistent jamming, and will also probably be wowing the crowds with her trademark smiley face shorts. The blockers to watch will be Smash’er Fierce and Crash who have been with the Bombshells from the very beginning. Both have their own style of blocking which I’m sure Plymouth City will remember afterwards! For supporters who know the Bombshells well, you’ll be surprised to see Hell Block H and Drag-N-Fly not skating, but don’t worry they are still part of the team. Hell is our bench coach any Fly will be line-up managing.

What do you know of your opponents Plymouth City? Care to predict the result/score?
We don’t know much about the Plymouth skaters, but we do know they are a strong and well established team. I wouldn’t like to predict the result as you never know how a game may go.

The day’s other game sees Milton Keynes take on Bridgend. Any thoughts re that game?
It will be great to watch. We’ve played Milton Keynes a few times over the years, and it will be good to see them play and catch up with some of the players we know from our previous games. We haven’t seen Bridgend play before. We’ll be instead to see how both teams play and what strategy and tactics they use.

Finally, what should people expect from the event venue-wise?
We will be selling cakes and team merch in the hall, and there’s also a cafe and vending machines at the venue for any other refreshments people need.

MILTON KEYNES ROLLER DERBY: TEAM REPLY

For anyone reading who might not know of MKRD what can you tell us about your league’s history and achievements?
MKRD was founded in May 2010. In 2011/2012 we created The End of the World Series tournament for five local leagues, in which we were undefeated. The EOWS led to The Heartland Series in 2013 and MKRD remained heavily involved in the organisation. This tournament then developed into the British Championships tournament, which saw MKRD retain a solid place in Tier 3 until 2017.

Any particular Concrete Cows players or tactics the crowd should look out for on Sunday?

Concrete Cows are known for being solid and hard hitting. Look out for Bolshevik and Poled As Ice, both of whom pack a mighty punch. Not literally – we know that’s illegal!

What do you know of your opponents Bridgend Roller Derby?
It looks like they’ve taken some time away to rebuild their team, which we’ve also had to do. They seem to have played some good games last year as well. Hopefully it will be a good match between us, though obviously we’d like to start Champs off with a win!

Any thoughts on the other Tier 4 South teams: Eastbourne’s Bombshells, Plymouth City and Oxford Wheels of Gory?
We played Eastbourne in a friendly last year as a Champs warm-up. Unfortunately we lost, but hopefully we’ll make up for that this year! We’ve not done our homework on Plymouth yet, but they will be formidable opponents. We know Wheels of Gory as they’re gepgraphically close to us, but we haven’t had chance to play them so that will be fun.

Finally, any message for MKRD fans in Sunday’s crowd?
MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!



BRIDGEND ROLLER DERBY: TEAM REPLY

Can you tell us a little about Bridgend Roller Derby’s history and achievements?
Bridgend Roller Derby (also known as BRD) was founded in 2014 and consists of our main competing team, plus the recently formed Bridgend Men’s Roller Derby who made their debut at the end of 2017. We decided our team goal last year was to focus on developing as a unit, so we opted not to compete in Champs and focus on improving our teamwork and going up the European rankings. We had a phenomenal year, entering our first game at the beginning of the year at 330th and ending on the massive high of 148th. This reflected the development of our team and highlights all the work that we put in. We have had a wobbly start to 2018 with a number of injuries and illnesses which has meant we have needed to adapt to some changes, but with our team goal this year to win Champs, we have pulled together and trained hard, and now feel we are in a good position to compete to win.

Any particular Bridgend players the crowd should look out for on Sunday?
Jonesing For Destruction, affectionately known as Penjen. She’s a fantastic, tenacious jammer and one of our unsung heroes. She doggedly racks up points for us and never gives up. This is the last game she will be playing as part of BRD as she is moving back home to Canada. We are all going to miss her terribly as she has played a big part in our team. She is level headed, very chilled, incredibly determined and she really loves cats.

What do you know of your opponents Milton Keynes Concrete Cows? Care to predict the result?
We don’t tend to spend a lot of time looking at the opposition. We have our own game which we adapt as we need to to be at our most effective. MKRD are quite far from us geographically so we have never had the opportunity to play them before. Flattrackstats predicts a close win for us, but we shall see what happens.

Any thoughts re the other three teams in this division?
We want to win Champs, so our only thoughts are on our own game and our training, and developing our players throughout the coming season to ensure we are competitive.

Finally, any message for any Bridgend fans in Sunday’s crowd?
Thank you Dan for all your support!

[Photos by John Hesse]

LINKS
TICKETS: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/eastbournerollerderby1/146719
FB EVENT PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/events/157334044899955/
BRITISH CHAMPS: https://www.britishchamps.com/
EASTBOURNE RD: https://www.facebook.com/EBRollerDerby/
PLYMOUTH RD: https://www.plymouthcityrollerderby.co.uk/
MILTON KEYNES RD: https://www.miltonkeynesrollerderby.com/
BRIDGEND RD: https://www.facebook.com/BridgendRollerDerby/

THIS KENT BE HAPPENING: BOURNE BOMBSHELLS v APEX PREDATORS PREVIEW

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

VARIOUS FOLK – APEX PREDATORS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is the Apex Predators’ Christmas Wish?

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

Sew Solid Sue: To have our own venue.

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



INNSTERSLAM – BOURNE BOMBSHELLS

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

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

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

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

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

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

How different is an away game to a home match?

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

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

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

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

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

What is Eastbourne Roller Derby’s Christmas Wish?

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

FB EVENT PAGE
https://www.facebook.com/events/1340028019457352/

VENUE
http://www.medway.gov.uk/leisurecultureandsport/sportscentres/medwaypark.aspx

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/

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

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

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

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

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

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THE PHILOSOFEAR & ROCKAMILLIE – BOURNE BOMBSHELLS

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

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

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

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

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

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WILTSHIRE ROLLER DERBY

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

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

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

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

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

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PONT BLANK – BOMB S’QUAD

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

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

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

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

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

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SUFFOLK PUNCH – SUFFOLK MENS RD BENCH COACH

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

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

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

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

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

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

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