Hell on eight wheels: Roller derby bout combines endurance, balance and mayhem

Posted March 15, 2013, at 5:41 a.m.
Rock Coast Roller Erin Darnell, aka &quotIron Orchid," of Rockland, wears war paint for a bout against the Port Authorities, Saturday, March, 9, 2013, in Portland. &quotI wear it because it gives me strength and power when I need it most," she said.
Robert F. Bukaty
Rock Coast Roller Erin Darnell, aka "Iron Orchid," of Rockland, wears war paint for a bout against the Port Authorities, Saturday, March, 9, 2013, in Portland. "I wear it because it gives me strength and power when I need it most," she said. Buy Photo
A line of fans stretches around the Happy Wheels roller rink before a bout between the Port Authorities and the Rock Coast Rollers, Saturday, March, 9, 2013, in Portland.
Robert F. Bukaty
A line of fans stretches around the Happy Wheels roller rink before a bout between the Port Authorities and the Rock Coast Rollers, Saturday, March, 9, 2013, in Portland. Buy Photo
Port Authorities jammer Dana Hayes, aka &quotGrim D. Mise," signs an autograph after the bout, Saturday, March, 9, 2013, in Portland, Maine.
Robert F. Bukaty
Port Authorities jammer Dana Hayes, aka "Grim D. Mise," signs an autograph after the bout, Saturday, March, 9, 2013, in Portland, Maine. Buy Photo
Players can earn a trip to the &quotsin bin" for penalties ranging from dangerous hits to insubordination.
Robert F. Bukaty
Players can earn a trip to the "sin bin" for penalties ranging from dangerous hits to insubordination. Buy Photo
Even the referees give themselves nicknames that play on the sport's hell-raising spirit.
Robert F. Bukaty
Even the referees give themselves nicknames that play on the sport's hell-raising spirit. Buy Photo
Fans line the rink to slap high-fives with the players after the bout, Saturday, March, 9, 2013, in Portland.
Robert F. Bukaty
Fans line the rink to slap high-fives with the players after the bout, Saturday, March, 9, 2013, in Portland. Buy Photo
Bristol Smashin' of the Rock Coast Rollers, left, accuses a Port Authority player of a penalty that went uncalled, Saturday, March, 9, 2013, in Portland.
Robert F. Bukaty
Bristol Smashin' of the Rock Coast Rollers, left, accuses a Port Authority player of a penalty that went uncalled, Saturday, March, 9, 2013, in Portland. Buy Photo
A fan shouts during a bout between the Rock Coast Rollers and the Port Authorities, Saturday, March, 9, 2013, in Portland.
Robert F. Bukaty
A fan shouts during a bout between the Rock Coast Rollers and the Port Authorities, Saturday, March, 9, 2013, in Portland. Buy Photo
The Rock Coast Jeerleaders perform during the half-time intermission, Saturday, March, 9, 2013, in Portland.
Robert F. Bukaty
The Rock Coast Jeerleaders perform during the half-time intermission, Saturday, March, 9, 2013, in Portland. Buy Photo
Port Authorities jammer Dana Hayes, aka &quotGrim D. Mise" (305), makes a move to get around &quotBistol Smashin'" to score a point against the Rock Coast Rollers, Saturday, March, 9, 2013, in Portland.
Robert F. Bukaty
Port Authorities jammer Dana Hayes, aka "Grim D. Mise" (305), makes a move to get around "Bistol Smashin'" to score a point against the Rock Coast Rollers, Saturday, March, 9, 2013, in Portland. Buy Photo
&quotSinner of Gravity," a jammer for the Rock Coast Rollers who has been called &quota centrifugal force to be reckoned with," speeds around the track in a bout against the Port Authorities, Saturday, March, 9, 2013, in Portland.
Robert F. Bukaty
"Sinner of Gravity," a jammer for the Rock Coast Rollers who has been called "a centrifugal force to be reckoned with," speeds around the track in a bout against the Port Authorities, Saturday, March, 9, 2013, in Portland. Buy Photo
The Port Authorities and their coach, &quotCaesar Foulin'," let out a cheer before the start of the second half of a bout against the Rock Coast Rollers, Saturday, March, 9, 2013, in Portland.
Robert F. Bukaty
The Port Authorities and their coach, "Caesar Foulin'," let out a cheer before the start of the second half of a bout against the Rock Coast Rollers, Saturday, March, 9, 2013, in Portland. Buy Photo
Bristol Smashin' of the Rock Coast Rollers circles the rink wearing the skin of a canine predator as she is introduced prior to a roller derby bout against the Port Authorities, Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Portland. &quotOne day I'd like to win an all-female arm wrestling competition, circumnavigate the globe under sail, finish writing my book, come to terms with my gypsy lifestyle and inability to sit still," said Smashin' in her bio on the team's website.
Robert F. Bukaty
Bristol Smashin' of the Rock Coast Rollers circles the rink wearing the skin of a canine predator as she is introduced prior to a roller derby bout against the Port Authorities, Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Portland. "One day I'd like to win an all-female arm wrestling competition, circumnavigate the globe under sail, finish writing my book, come to terms with my gypsy lifestyle and inability to sit still," said Smashin' in her bio on the team's website. Buy Photo
Jennifer Kruszeweski, whose roller derby name is &quotPixie," makes announcements prior to a bout Saturday, March, 9, 2013, in Portland.
Robert F. Bukaty
Jennifer Kruszeweski, whose roller derby name is "Pixie," makes announcements prior to a bout Saturday, March, 9, 2013, in Portland. Buy Photo
Tracy Fredricks MacMillan, aka &quotT-Storm" of the Port Authorities goes down hard in front of the pack in a bout against the Rock Coast Rollers, Saturday, March, 9, 2013, in Portland.
Robert F. Bukaty
Tracy Fredricks MacMillan, aka "T-Storm" of the Port Authorities goes down hard in front of the pack in a bout against the Rock Coast Rollers, Saturday, March, 9, 2013, in Portland. Buy Photo
Christa Calder, aka &quotPrincess Layher Out," of Auburn, has a tattoo of her mother on her shoulder. "[My mother] probably would not approve — so I just bring her along for the ride,' said Calder. &quotI brought my Dad to a bout once and he told me that watching me at roller derby was a lot more fun than watching me do cheerleading competitions in high school."
Robert F. Bukaty
Christa Calder, aka "Princess Layher Out," of Auburn, has a tattoo of her mother on her shoulder. "[My mother] probably would not approve — so I just bring her along for the ride,' said Calder. "I brought my Dad to a bout once and he told me that watching me at roller derby was a lot more fun than watching me do cheerleading competitions in high school." Buy Photo
A fan reacts to the rough play on the rink during a bout between the Rock Coast Rollers and the Port Authorities, Saturday, March, 9, 2013, in Portland.
Robert F. Bukaty
A fan reacts to the rough play on the rink during a bout between the Rock Coast Rollers and the Port Authorities, Saturday, March, 9, 2013, in Portland. Buy Photo

PORTLAND, Maine — Hundreds of fans packed the Happy Wheels roller rink last Saturday to watch a flat track roller derby bout between the Port Authorities of Portland and the Rock Coast Rollers of Rockland.

The sport is a combination of high-speed skating and tactical moves with a lot of mayhem mixed in. The women who compete not only have exceptional endurance and great balance, but also the toughness to take the occasional elbow to the face — and keep on skating.

During half-time the crowd was entertained by the Rock Coast Jeerleaders, a co-ed group. Later a raffle was held to award several prizes, including a $100 gift certificate from a local tattoo parlor.

Players and referees adopt “skater names” that play on the sport’s rugged nature. Christa Calder of Auburn calls herself “Princess Layher Out.”

Calder has a tattoo portrait of her mother on her right shoulder.

“[My mother] probably would not approve — so I just bring her along for the ride,” said Calder.

“I brought my Dad to a bout once and he told me that watching me at roller derby was a lot more fun than watching me do cheerleading competitions in high school.”

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