Skate-Turion was a first for both Canberra and its premier roller derby league. Canberra Roller Derby League (CRDL) hosted the tournament last month with the assistance of Scope Mount Stromlo to commemorate Canberra's centenary, billing it "Canberra's biggest battle in 100 years." With three tiers of competition, nine leagues, and twelve teams participating, Skate-Turion brought together Australia's derby community for a full and vibrant weekend from June 8-9.
Day one saw the deciding heats for each division. Within Tier C were Canberra Roller Derby League's Capital Brawlers, Varsity Derby League's Dishonour Rollers, Adelaide Roller Derby's Adeladies (C), and the potluck team the Licorice Allsorts which was comprised of skaters from Hawkesbury/Hills Area Roller Derby, Blue Mountains Roller Derby, Sydney Roller Derby League, and Wollongong Illawarra Roller Derby. The Capital Brawlers came away winning each game and establishing their position in the final against Adelaide.
Tier B consisted of CRDL's VCBs, Perth Roller Derby's West Coast Evils, Sydney Roller Derby League's Snipers, and Adelaide Roller Derby's Adeladies B. The West Coast Evils dominated the heats, placing them with the VCBs in contention for the final.
Tier A was populated by some of Australia's most competitive derby leagues whose rankings had previously been decided by June 2012's biggest Australasian derby tournament, The Great Southern Slam: the Northern Brisbane Rollers' Brawl Stars (third); Adelaide Roller Derby's Adeladies (fourth); Sydney Roller Derby League's Assassins (fifth), and Canberra Roller Derby League's Vice City Rollers (sixth). The Tier A heats saw the Brawl Stars come away undefeated, while the Vice City Rollers placed second after winning two out of three bouts.
Day two of Skate-Turion dawned: finals! The venue was closed to the public until the double-header grand final for Tiers A and B, but the energy was palpable throughout the day, as resting skaters, referees, and volunteers caught the action of the remaining bouts and gave their vocal support.
Within Tier C, the Licorice Allsorts took out a win for third place against the Varsity Dishonour Rollers (332-55), while the CRDL Capital Brawlers won against the Adelaide Adeladies C (171-142), to top the division. In Tier B, the Adelaide Roller Derby Adeladies B drew a narrow victory against the Sydney Roller Derby League Snipers (170-189), placing third - an especially striking win considering that the Snipers had dominated against the Adeladies B in the previous day's heats, 191-99. The battle for third in Tier A was another nail-biter, pitting the Sydney Roller Derby League Assassins against the Adelaide Roller Derby Adeladies. After losing each game in the heats, the Assassins were able to make judicious use of a power jam within the final minutes of the bout, and the Assassins won 180-172.
The Tier B grand final was hard-fought by both teams, but Perth's West Coast Evils demonstrated able pack control and were very effective in shutting down the VCBs' offensive efforts and ultimately won, 207-112. The Tier A grand final between the Vice City Rollers and the Brawl Stars saw the Brawl Stars play with a very depleted pack towards the end, a consequence of injury and some skaters fouling out. Nevertheless, strong defence meant the Brawl Stars conquered Skate-Turion, defeating the VCRs 168-144.
Skate-Turion was a notable event for Canberra Roller Derby League, as its first ever hosted tournament. We are very proud of our three teams that we put forward, and it was a privilege to have so many leagues participate in our celebration of Canberra's centenary. We are delighted that we could deliver an epic, eight-wheeled battle to all who spectated. May it not be another one hundred years before we can host another such battle (or another awesome after-party...thank you, Hellenic in the City)!
If you would like to look at the scores for each team within each division, details are here: http://canberrarollerderbyleague.com/skate-turion.