Yukon Roller Girls sharpen skills in Hawaii

Most people return from Hawaii with suntans, not blistered feet. Members of the Yukon Roller Girls came back with both.

Most people return from Hawaii with suntans, not blistered feet. Members of the Yukon Roller Girls came back with both.

Six members of the Whitehorse-based roller derby crew forewent beach time for some grueling training and a day of bouts in Honolulu recently.

The half-dozen Yukon Roller Girls took part in an intensive camp before competing in a series of bouts called SK808, organized by the Pacific Roller Derby association in Honolulu on Jan. 19.

“They were intense,” said Yukon president Lindsay “Bonanza Babe” Agar. “It was in a gym with no air conditioning, no fans, so it was hot. We’ve never sweated in so many places.

“Our coaches had trouble understanding what minus 40 was when we were telling them about where we were from.

“No one here knows where the Yukon is,” she added.

The Yukon skaters were split into different teams for the 8.5-hour series of bouts at SK808 with each team playing three 30-minutes bouts.

Yukon’s Katherine “Wilder Than Her” Stewart helped give her team a first-place finish and Amil “The Fighting Mongoose” Dupuis-Rossi was named best jammer for hers.

Also competing were Jelena “The Devil In Me” Collee and Heather “Faye Tality” Wanamaker, while Stephanie “Soupmix” Hammond reffed.

Before the bouts, the Yukon crew had plenty of opportunities to burn off mai tais in a skills camp with some high-level coaches.

“The great thing about the camp was that it was small, so we were groups with each coach, which meant we had a lot of one-on-one time,” said Agar.

“I think every year they limit it to 30 participants, so you get a lot of attention,” said Dupuis-Rossi. “So as you’re running the drills and skating with your partner, the coach is skating with you and gives corrections right there.”

It’s a good time for the Yukon Roller Girls to sharpen their skills, as the reigniting of a rivalry is just around the corner.

The Yukon Roller Girls will be facing their sister-city rivals, the Juneau Rollergirls, in Juneau on Feb. 16.

The bout has the fitting title: “A Love-Skate Relationship.”

“We have a bit of a friendly sibling rivalry with Juneau because we’re a lot alike and we beat them last time,” said Dupuis-Rossi.

The Yukon squad squeaked out a 164-161 win over the Juneau Rollergirls last February in Juneau.

“We’re hoping not to have any (penalty) box time, and to bring our fresh meat (new skaters) into it,” said Agar. “Our fresh meat from August will be skating with us this game.

“We’re trying to get it streamed online at a local (Whitehorse) bar.”

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com