The thing I love most about my job is that it takes you deep into worlds beyond your normal, day-to-day existence. Such was the case when I headed into the Brisbane Convention Centre for the Red Bull Roller Ragers event.
I was there to write a press release about the energy-drink sponsored games held at half time. I’d never even heard of Roller Derby until about 48 hours before the event, but before I knew it, I was alongside these Amazonian women with mouth-guards, punk-goth looks and names like Thumpelina and Dead Meat. It was heaps of fun, if a little scary!
There were face-plants, fishnet burns, shoulder barges and some spectacular sliding at the first ever Red Bull Roller Ragers. With $10,000 of prize money there for the taking, four reps from seven teams sharpened their elbows and got ready to jam.
First up was the relay race and it was a dizzy display of derby magic as Breakneck Bella, Demonik, Thumpelina and Dead Meat hit the rink rolling. Taking the corners at rapid speeds, they smashed it for their team, the Northern Brisbane Rollers, with team Gold Coast Roller Derby snapping at their wheels.
Next up, the roller gals certainly managed to lower the bar on that childhood favourite, limbo. Hurling themselves under the bar on knees, sides or faces, they polished the floor with an easy 40cm. But helmets, skates and even the ruffles on their pants were many a slider’s undoing when the bar went down to 30cm. It came down to a tie breaker between Original Sindy of the South Island Sirens and Kamikaze of the South West Rockets, but it was the latter who nailed it, wowing the crowd with a porn-star slide.
Nikki Nitro from Gold Coast Roller Derby clearly had an advantage in the Bash & Grab. The one-time nipper from the Gold Coast was up and at ’em before the others knew what was happening, then she hogged the inside and elbowed the others out of her way to take first place.
When it was time to step up for the high jump, it came down to Kamikaze again in a jump-off against Dead Meat. The crowd couldn’t believe their eyes when Dead Meat cleared 85cm, making it look like a jump in the park.
And they may have come as team-mates, but when it came to the Queen of the Track event, it was every woman for herself. There were scores to settle between the states, and the ancient rivalry between Brisbane and the Gold Coast flared up, resulting in a three-girl pile up. Push came to shove, and it was Alice Affliction from Gold Coast Roller Derby who rolled out with the crown.
With the fun and games over, there could only be one winning team, and it was the girls from the glitter strip at the top of the podium with Northern Brisbane Rollers in second and South West Sydney Rockets in third.
The Red Bull Roller Ragers brought together the finest roller derby competitors from around the country to showcase their awesome skills…. stay tuned for more!