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Assynt Highland Games August 2018Assynt Highland Games August 2018
Added: 15 Aug 2018

The weather forecast for last week’s Assynt Highland games at Culag Park Lochinver was not the best. Nevertheless, an audience of 1,700 hardy folk cast aside all gloomy forebodings and headed to Lochinver for an afternoon of athletic endeavour; triumphant pipers, graceful dancers, sampling the finest local produce and visiting the welcoming beer tent. Rewarded with blues skies and fluffy white clouds, they came, they watched, they sunbathed.

Alastair MacDonald, one of the two stewards from the Scottish Highland Games Association who were officiating at the games, was effusive in his praise of the games. Culag park surrounded by its new deer proof fence, was one of the ‘best presented fields’ Mr McDonald had seen on the Highland Games circuit.

The day began with the new joint Chieftain’s, Dr John and Grace Vine joining previous Chieftains for a trip round Soay Island in the barge than back to Lochinver harbour and the customary procession, led by pipers to the Games arena.

An afternoon of track and field events dominated the day with much cheering for the many of the competitors in the running and jumping events coming from locals and tourists taking a wee break from conquering the North Coast 500. Jane Adrian of Strathan won the Ladies Hill race and Murphy Hand from Fintry won the men’s race.

Most of the oohs and aahs were saved for the heavy events, as the regular group of giants on the circuit groaned and grunted as they lifted, threw and shunted heavy objects around the field. Coming from as far afield as the Czech Republic, Canada and Halkirk, the competition was fierce with Vladislav Tulacek, Lucasz Wenta, Scott Rider and Jamie Gunn all competing for the top spot. Vladislav came out on top in the Tossing the Caber competition.

The Craft and Produce Tent was busy with more local children taking part than usual. There were less flower entries this year with the recent hot spell possibly bringing blooms on too early for the competition. This year saw some fantastic vegetable displays and an unbelievable bowl of soft fruit, including figs, all grown, of course, in Assynt. The preserves class was disappointing, with more jams, chutneys and wines needed for next year.

The piping competition had a good field, with Pipe Major CSgt Peter McGregor of Assynt, an instructor with the Army Piping School in Edinburgh, being commended by the judges for his outstanding performance. With a view to next year it is hoped that the event attracts more competitors to enable the heritage and tradition continue.

There were over fifty dancers competing on the day having from all over the Highlands, the islands of Shetland and Islay with one young lass coming from Canada. The dancers performed beautifully and looked amazing in the perfect weather conditions. Isla McLeod of Fearn won the Nina & Iain MacAuley Glen Leraig Trophy for the highest aggregate points in the 13-15 age group. Sadie Mackay from Golspie was the best competitor from Sutherland and won the Assynt Pipe Band Shield. Young Lily Kelman from Inverness was the winner of the White Shore Cup in the under 12’s.

A new trophy was presented by Malcolm and Trish Bangor-Jones to the female champion. The trophy commemorates Annie Park Kerr, a keepers daughter from Assynt who died in the Second World War when the ship she was serving on as a nurse was sunk in the Atlantic. Her brother also fell in the First World War and the trophy is in commemoration of all from Assynt who gave their lives in both wars.

The day ended with the assorted Shields and Cups being handed out to the happy winners before they made their weary way home.

Photography by Chris Puddephatt
 Assynt Crofter’s Trust celebrates 25th Anniversary with week of events
Added: 16 Nov 2017
Join the Assynt Crofter’s Trust’s 25th Anniversary Celebrations next year.

A week of different events every day celebrating all aspects of crofting and inviting locals and tourists to come and participate and learn.
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15 Aug Assynt Highland Games August 2018
16 Nov Assynt Crofter’s Trust celebrates 25th Anniversary with week of events
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