in Champaign-Urbana's first ever roller derby bout
How many rocket scientists does it take to set up a roller derby bout?
Apparently, the answer is two. That's how many were on hand Friday night to help lay the track for Champaign-Urbana roller derby's sold-out exhibition bout. In a university town there's a lot of spare expertise floating around. I'm pretty sure we had the most precise track ever measured out in the history of the sport, and the league is only four months old.
Mrs. Myrmecos (a.k.a. Elle Camino) skates for the Boneyard Bombshells, and that brings me to the point of this post. I was given the opportunity to slip inside the track's inner circle as official photographer for this inaugural bout.
As those of you who follow this blog know, I don't normally shoot anything larger than a dung beetle. Sports photography is an entirely different beast from my usual nature gig, full of fast action in low light and with strong constraints on composition and lighting. So I spent the last few weeks in high-ISO training to make sure I had the rudimentary skills to do the job. It was a challenge I was happy to face, though. I've been a derby fan since I started following the Copper Queens back in Tucson, and I can't tell you how happy I am to see the sport picking up steam here in C-U. Fantastic bunch of women, too.
Houchebag (#M-7) takes a corner
The full set of photos from the bout is posted in the gallery here, but I've also pasted a selection below the fold.
Cruel Whip, jammer for The Paign, stretches before the bout.
Cruel Whip's lead jammer status is signaled by the ref. A fan shares my timing and triggers his flash at just the right moment.
That looks like a lot of fun to watch. I'm now a fan of the sport. Part of my study in momentum.
I'll definitely have to check this out this summer
So proud of you gals, the first bout is the most nerve racking, the rest will be mush easier. Well as easy as derby gets. Congrats from an ex Sugar from RMRG!!!!!
I've been meaning to watch the Rat City Roller Girls ("You win some, you bruise some") for a long time, but so far their bouts haven't coincided with my sister's visits to Seattle.
Too frickin' cool, Mr. Camino. Congratulations on your widower status.
I see Elle Camino takes after her mother.
Another denizen of the world of roller derby! I announce for the Denver Roller Dolls, as Brad Example -- look me up if you're ever in town for a bout!
Mr. Rock- Thanks! I presume Ms. Rock is still skating?
Squiddhartha- Awesome, will do!
Awesome photos from the bout, thank you. I am hooked on what these women are doing and can't wait for their next bout.
Cool! I went to speed practice at Skateland a couple of times recently to try it out after having not been since I was a kid, and there were quite a few roller derby women there. I didn't realize it was so big in C-U.
Interesting connection we have here (other than me being a follower of your blog.) I too am an entomologist, working on my phd in John Wenzel's lab at Ohio State on damselfly systematics. And, I am a long time roller derby coach, announcer, and supporter. My wife plays as Barracuda(formerly of the Ohio Roller Girls, currently on a 9-month hiatus.) Currently in my spare time I announce for the Cincinnati Rollergirls and the Derby News Network. Great blog!