On Sept. 22 and 23 derby-girls and their entourages descended on the port city to battle it out for the title of Atlantic Champions. Members of multiple roller derby leagues from around the Maritime provinces competed in the Roller Derby Association of Canada (RDAC) regional tournament. The top two teams will be competing against six other top teams from across Canada in the national championships.
On Saturday the bouts began at 8:30 a.m. with the Lumber Smacks, a team from Moncton, started the tournament off with a bang, beating the Red Rock ‘n Roller Derby from Prince Edward Island with a score of 278 to 109. The ladies from PEI put on a brave show, but their newness to the sport meant that the veteran Lumber Smacks put them in their place. Saint John’s own Shipyard Sirens, played the next bout against the 709 Derby Girls, the Jam Jams from St. John’s, Newfoundland. Saint John trounced St. John’s 244 to 150.
The bouts continued throughout the day on Saturday, with The Daisy Cutters from Fredericton, losing to the Halifax team 198 to 215. The 709 Derby girls met PEI’s team, beating them 255 to 130, Moncton skated against Fredericton next, finishing well beyond the Daisy Cutters 284 to 129, and Saint John finished off Saturday by defeating Halifax in a fun but unevenly matched game, 240 to 129.
Sunday skaters seemed to be extra competitive. In the first bout, the ladies from Halifax were eliminated by the scrappers from Fredericton. The Daisy Cutters got to relax while the Fog City Rollers played Moncton’s Muddy River Rollers. Having defeated Halifax the night before, FCR and Moncton were now both undefeated and hungry for the top spot. The winner of this bout would move on automatically to the finals, whereas the losers would have to win two bouts in a row in order to be champions. The Lumber Smacks were the victors with a score of 215-212; Saint John’s own Shipyard Sirens would be playing back to back bouts.
Having won their bout with the Red Rock n’ Roller Derby team the previous afternoon, St. John’s Jam Jams competed and won over the Daisy Cutters, eliminating the Fredericton team. After, the 709 Derby Girls were at it again, this time skating against Saint John for the opportunity to battle Moncton. The Saint John team out-skated the team from St. John’s winning by a score of 202 to 119.
This match between Saint John and Moncton was mainly for bragging rights, as the top two teams from the region will be representing the Atlantic Provinces during the RDAC National Championships. In the end, Moncton’s respite while Saint John was forced to keep playing seemed to be give them the edge, and the Lumber Smacks triumphed over the Shipyard Sirens by a final score of 227 to174.
At the tournament the organizers handed out awards, including the banner for Regional Champions (MRR) and one for Sportsmanship (awarded to the 709 Derby Girls). Also recognized were two members of the Fog City Rollers; Sonia Freeze, aka L’il Fury, received the Non Skating Official volunteer award and Rob Moore, aka Brad Pitiful, received recognition as Ref of the Weekend.
The volunteers and organizers are really the unsung heroes of this event. Completely unpaid, the ladies and gents who refereed, announced, timed, organized were incredible. Included in this were volunteers from Saint John Ambulance, who sacrificed their time to be there in case of injury or emergency.
Attendees of the tournament had nothing but positive things to say Sunday night as everyone said goodbye. Moncton and Saint John are both continuing their practices, training for their chance at the national title. Check out their facebook groups for more information as the venue and dates are finalized.
Interested in Roller Derby?
Intrigued by the rough and tumble sport of derby? Want to meet people and get in shape? Did you see Whip It and think “If Ellen Page can do it, so can I?” Then Fog City Rollers want to meet you! On Oct. 7 they will be hosting a Fresh Meat practice where you can see if derby is right for you! All you need to bring is a mouth guard (available for cheap at sporting good stores), your ID and the ladies of the league will help you experience what life on roller skates is like. This is an opportunity to try out skates and gear before dropping a big chunk of change on them, so if you are interested be sure to check the FCR facebook group for exact location and time.