Sunday, December 19, 2010

Roller derby - an interstate showdown

Last weekend, I went to another derby bout. But this time, it wasn't just the Canberra Roller Derby League teams skating against each other. It was the best of the Canberra teams, skating as the Canberra Vice City Rollers, up against the best of the Sydney teams, skating as the Sydney Assassins. So basically, it was the best bout that you're ever likely to see in Canberra.

It was out at the arena at the AIS, so they were able to sell a lot more tickets than when it's down in Tuggeranong. I think the final crowd was over 3,000, which is a record for roller derby in the ACT. The atmosphere in the stadium was electric, and most people were there to support the Canberra girls.
Yes, the Canberra Roller Derby League logo is a set of brass knuckles...
The title for the bout was "Lord of the Rink: The Two Towers" - Telstra Tower in Canberra versus AMP Tower in Sydney. So, in keeping with the theme, the Vice City Rollers entered in capes with one of them carrying a staff and yelling "YOU...SHALL NOT...PASS!!!!!!". Awesome... Sadly, my photos of that bit didn't turn out so well, but here they are ditching the capes for their individual introductions.

Before every bout, the referees do a gear check to make sure everything's above board:

And then they were off in the first jam of the night! I'm not about to try and explain the rules of roller derby (and it's only partially because I don't entirely understand them myself), but I will say that half the stuff that goes on in Whip It! (which, if you haven't seen it, is totally awesome and should be watched as soon as possible) will get you sent to the sin bin - no punches to the face, for starters! If you REALLY want to know the rules, you can read this...

So here's the first jammer for the VCRs, Short Stop, lining up against Winnie Bruise for the Assassins.

Canberra got away to an early lead. Here's VCR captain Bambi von Smash'er as jammer (with the star on her helmet) making her way through the pack...

Aaaaaand here's the ref indicating that she's got lead jammer status! Bambi's an amazing skater - and she's only 4' 11"!!

Here's Short Stop lining up as jammer against Great Bolz o' Fire:

And here's Dee Natured (wearing the green leg warmer thingies) preparing to block the Assassins' jammer:

And Roulette Rouge (who, incidentally, was an intern at work earlier this year) coming around the side to take out the Assassins' jammer:

The VCRs continued to kick some Sydney arse, and by half time, here's how the scores stood:

Sydney put up a fight early in the second half, and the scores became a little more even. But the VCRs kept on doing what they do - here's Dr Hell (who, incidentally, is an actual doctor, and was called upon in the Grand Final bout to deal with a fairly spectacularly broken leg - tibia AND fibula, requiring surgery and pins to fix...) bringing the VCR pack together to block Winnie Bruise jamming for the Assassins:

And here's Roulette Rouge skating up the inside as jammer for the VCRs:

And here's a successful block by the Dutch Ass on Great Bolz o' Fire:

And finally, here's Short Stop darting through the middle of the pack. She really is amazing! A couple of the girls in the Canberra League apparently used to be speed skaters, and I'm willing to bet she's one of them:

The final score, as you can see, was a resounding and well deserved victory for the Vice City Rollers! The Assassins put up a good fight, but in the end, the Canberra girls were just too good for them.

Sadly, that's the end of roller derby for the year. But in February, one of the girls from work will be making her bout debut as Femaelstrom, which is very exciting - it'll add some extra thrill to the bouts next year when she's skating!

At least there's Whip It! to get me through the off season........ ;)

K xx

PS. For the record, I would totally sign up to be a derby girl, if only I weren't so terrified of falling down and hurting myself... The downside to not having roller skates as a child, I think!!

2 comments:

  1. Wow... I don't know if they have that here in Auckland, but if so - I should totally go and watch!

    I'd be terrified of joining in. My only experience of shoes with wheels was when I had to learn how to rollerblade for a TV show. I was awful. I tried, and failed dismally :-)

    These girls are awesome!

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  2. Oh, they do, Kat: http://piratecityrollers.com/

    Derby is awesome to watch, once you get your head around what's going on! One of my favourite parts is actually seeing the kids of all the skaters flying the flag and supporting their mums - one even wears a pair of Heelys to every bout, and has a t-shirt saying something like "Derby chick in training" on it!! Makes me laugh every time!

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