Big crowds turn out for big men at In­ver­aray High­land Games

The Oban Times - - 27 -

TWO big men grabbed the head­lines at Tues­day’s In­ver­aray High­land Games.

Ken­tish com­peti­tor, Scott Ry­der, won the Ge­orge Ho­tel- spon­sored World Caber Cham­pi­onships for the third year run­ning at the Win­ter­ton - but this year he had to share his crown with gi­ant Pole, Se­bas­tian Wenta, af­ter judges were un­able to split the two.

It was an ex­cit­ing end to a day that be­gan rather less aus- pi­ciously, with heavy rain fall­ing on sat­u­rated ground in the early hours. Things, as they say, dried up and the sun came out for much of the af­ter­noon.

The rain left a legacy be­hind of mud - and wellies were the or­der of the day while mo­torised as­sis­tance stood by to help ve­hi­cles from the sog­gier corners of car parks. The tra­di­tional grand open­ing

pa­rade was a sight to be­hold. With the Duke of Ar­gyll at its head,the pa­rade was led by In­ver­aray and Dis­trict Pipe Band and 5 Scots Bal­a­clava Com­pany from the parish church to the Win­ter­ton.

As the day’s events un­folded, a crowd of around 5,000 cre­ated an at­mos­phere that buzzed with ex­cite­ment.

Spec­ta­tors at the friendly and vi­brant event had plenty to choose from - the heavy ath­let­ics, High­land danc­ing, ath­let­ics, a full heavy event pro­gramme, cy­cling and Scot­tish back­hold wrestling to high qual­ity lo­cal food, sideshows and the fun of the fair.

The solo pip­ing set new records, with more than 110 en­tries and an ex­tra per­form­ing plat­form and judge just to cope with num­bers. The Grade A piobaireachd was won by An­gus MacColl of Ben­der­loch. In a 35- strong Grade B piobaireachd com­pe­ti­tion, Graham Mul­hol­land from Dunkeld lass Sarah Muir in third place. The Les­lie Craig Kilt­pin was this year awarded to the Grade C piobaireachd win­ner, and it went to Cal­lum Wynd of Dun­blane.

In the arena, sol­diers from 5 Scots Bal­a­clava Com­pany - for­merly the Ar­gyll and Suther­land High­landers - got stuck into many of the day’s ath­let­ics events. Even en­joy­ing them­selves im­mensely.

Sup­ported by main spon­sors, Loch Fyne Oys­ters and Clan Camp­bell Scotch Whisky, this was another suc­cess­ful In­ver­aray Games.

Con­venor Alas­dair Chrys­tal said: ‘It’s been another fan­tas­tic day. The num­bers who came along have been great, the very happy with how the day has gone.’

He added: ‘I would like to thank the many vol­un­teers who help put at this event year af­ter year. Thanks as well to all the com­peti­tors and ex­hibitors, and not for­get­ting our spon­sors for the event.’

Neil El­liot of He­lens­burgh hurls the 56lb weight for dis­tance.

In­ver­aray Pipe Band leads the morn­ing pa­rade.

The highly com­pet­i­tive Scot­tish back­hold wrestling.

Big Se­bas­tian Wenta likes his

win­ning throw.

In­ver­aray’s Steven King in the

caber toss com­pe­ti­tion.

World caber cham­pion in 2013 and 2014, Scott Ry­der gets a

win­ning throw in 2015.

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