Double the Derby – Adelaide Roller Derby Season Opener @ Adelaide Showgrounds, Wayville SA 18/3/2023

As the clouds parted and the sun emerged, it was a hive of activity, colour, and excitement at the Adelaide Showgrounds as the Adelaide Fringe and Adelaide Roller Derby joined forces.

As hundreds of derby lovers descended upon the Wayville Pavilion for Double the Derby, the sounds of Bridget Fahey and the Bone Rattlers welcomed them. The duo’s country-rock vibes entertained throughout the day, adding to the electric atmosphere.

Bout 1 saw the newly named The Good Ship Salty take on the Wild Hearses. And what a bout it was! The Hearses came out strong from the first whistle as jammers Alice Dawkins, VVarlust, and Truffles took turns to get some decent points on the board. The Salties jammers, Haines, Rage Ruthless, and Alice Affliction, didn’t take it lying down. They did well to keep the score deficit contained. At halftime, the Hearses led 139 to 103.

The Salties opened period 2 with 9 scoring jams in a row for 72 points to the Hearses’ 58 points. It was derby at its finest, which the crowd appreciated, as evidenced by their raucous cheers. Amidst the hip and shoulder blocking, apex jumps, expulsions, and jamming, the Hearses skated to victory 262 to 242 at the final whistle.

Double the Derby meant twice the derby for this Fringe bout. But before bout 2 began, we were treated to a special between-bout performance from Banana Jolie. The international artiste was ripe for the picking showing she was truly a master of talk and dance. Wearing a sparkly pink leotard, she danced through a workout with the crowd and derby skaters joining in.

Reigning champs Mile Die Club then took on last year’s runners-up Road Train Rollers, in a grand final replay for bout 2. With the dedication shown by each team, you could be forgiven for thinking it was the actual grand finale. The Roadies blockers Valkyrie Vixen, Brutiful, and Crush’er Ramone were on fire as they tried to stop the Dies jammers from scoring. They kept them to 75 points (to the Roadies’ 65) in the first period.

Period 2 was gruelling for both teams. It was anyone’s game as Mad Sqweelz Milz fought for points for the Dies while Trinket battled for the Roadies. When the bout was tied at 110, it summed up how evenly matched these two teams are, and the crowd loved it! As the officials, Team Zebra worked to resolve technical difficulties, the Dies’ IV and QT blocked jam after jam with no break, and Invader Scrim tried to skate by them for the Roadies until Glitterbiscuit’s final whistle blew. The end score didn’t reflect the sheer effort it took to get there. The Dies won 165 to 145.

Double the Derby from Adelaide Roller Derby was an exciting and electrifying family-friendly day of all things derby. With live music, market stalls, high energy, laughter, dancing on the track, full-contact sport, and athleticism, the event provided something enjoyable for everyone.

Check out more Double the Derby action on 17 June 2023 at the Adelaide Showgrounds. Doors from 4pm.

Fringe Review By Anita Kertes

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