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Bristol Harbour Harlots show Gloucester the pain

Crowd pleasing hits at Painspotting Roller Derby bout

Photo courtesey of Matthew Roach

Better late than never…! Here’s our report on the recent Painspotting bout held here in Bristol on 9 July. This was only the second home bout in Bristol’s derby history, and once again we packed the place. Rowdy derby fans came from near and far to watch our beloved, brutal sport (and to eat our luscious cupcakes). We hear some Swansea City Slayers even showed up!

Back in December of last year the Bristol Harbour Harlots bravely faced Gloucester’s Severn Roller Torrent, and were soundly defeated 138-60. It was clear that the Harlots had some work to do. And work they did! After a few months of intense training, not to mention some excellent guest coaching and a couple derby bootcamps, the Harlots invited SRT to Bristol for a re-match. This time the story was quite different, with the Harlots maintaining control of the entire game and taking the win 195-91.

Bristol Roller Deby: Painspotting

Photo courtesey of Matthew Roach

To get right to the point, that was some great roller derby, y’all! Both teams worked extremely hard, and the crowd not only got to see some super hard hits but some excellent strategies. Jammer penalties on both teams led to some intense power jams, racking up lots of points – always great fun to watch. The Harlots offered a deep bench of skilled jammers, maintaining those much-needed fresh legs throughout the bout. And not only that but each jammer brought her own unique strengths to the game, really keeping SRT on their toes. This, combined with fantastic communication and blocking, worked to their advantage. Gloucester was able to pick up quite a few points throughout the game though, taking Bristol by surprise with some impressive footwork and heavy blocks, and often sneaking through the pack before the Harlots could call off the jams.

Katie Clysmic holds her own against Helen Fury's solid blocks

Photo courtesey of Matthew Roach

Rumour has it that UWE staff thought this was one of the most organised sporting events they’d seen in a while, and we were all really proud of ourselves too – from the fans to the refs, cake bakers to derby widows, all hands were on deck to make this not only a win for the Harlots, but a win for Bristol Roller Derby. We should also mention that we totally won the after party too!

If you haven’t yet joined the Harlots on Facebook, it’s about time you did. Come see us at and keep an eye out for the next bout!

Written by La Calavera #420


Bristol Roller Derby II from Sera Pickering Pick on Vimeo.