Broward derby team heading to flugtag reality TV show
It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No. It’s a giant roller skate with wings flying off the back of a ramp. Sounds like a cartoon, but this giant roller skate was only one of 34 teams that created a flying craft for the Red Bull Flugtag Miami 2010 in Bayfront Park Saturday.
Over 80,000 people gathered to watch each craft fly off the edge of the ramp to see how far they could take their human-powered aircraft. No engines were allowed, but entrants were judged not only on distance, but showmanship, appearance, spirit and more.
The giant roller skate was piloted by four members of Gold Coast Derby Grrls who shoved a giant homemade, human-powered black roller-skate with 25-foot “wiings” over the Bayfront Park deck, as one of their teammates pilots the 300-pound flying contraption.
“We worked on our entry for a month and a half non-stop until it was done,” said Laura Garro, a derby skater and PR director who is also known as “Carnivorous Licks” on the derby floor. “We didn’t go as far as we wanted, but this was our first time in the flugtag and it’s a great event with lots of people.”
The goal in participating was exposure in the Miami area as the up-and-coming derby team is steadily working its way toward national championships and is looking for more local support and team members.
By night, these are tough athletes, ripping around the derby track on skates, blocking and knocking the competition off and into the crash zone. They go by names like Freek-a-Rella, Pow Pow Panther, and Great Gratzby. But by day, they’re working women. Skater and PR Director Laura Garro (aka Carnivorous Licks) is a comptroller at Everglades Petroleum Tank Service. Christina Annichiarico (Freek-a-Rella) is a professional chef. Linda Partain (Great Gratzby) is a lifeguard, and Meredith Bullard (Pow Pow Panther) is a fulltime mom.
A bout is usually two 30-minute periods with a 15-minute intermission. There are 10 girls on the track at the beginning of every jam, two jammer (one from each team), two pivots (one from each team) and six blockers (three from each team). A jam runs for two minutes, or less, and there could be any given amount of jams in a period. The point of the game is to score as many points, which is done by the jammers, as possible. The blockers assist their perspective jammers and hinder opposing jammers in the scoring of those points. (Derby is sometimes hard to understand from a description so this YouTube video definitely helps:
The real opportunity at exposure came when Red Bull invited the derby grrls to audition for a reality TV series on how the flugtag comes together. The show is expected to air Sept. 5 on Fox
“They followed us around for over a month—following us even to games in Gainesville—they’ve been pretty close to us,” said Garro. “They wanted to see how (our flugtag entry) came together.
“We’re really excited to be on national TV,” adds Garro. “It brings exposure to the sport.”
But, said Garro, be prepared to be consumed if you get involved with derby. The team is working their way up to national championships, with the goal of being in the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, which is what all derby teams aspire too.
“Then we can start competing against some of the best derby teams in the country,” says Garro of the Broward County-based team.
The team started about three-and-a-half years ago from a posting on MySpace.com.
“It’s time-consuming,” said Garro, as she explained how the team has been working non-stop on the flugtag, then spent two days at the East Coast Derby Extravaganza, returned for the flugtag and another game at the Seminole Coconut Creek Casino afterwards, followed by several weekend trips away. “We all sleep, dream and wake up thinking about derby—and if you’re not ready for, it will consume you. There’s no room for anything else.”
Follow the girls as they move up their or the team Website at : http://goldcoastderbygrrls.com/.
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