Damp start but 3000 gather at Forres Highland Games

Sun eventually shone on Forres Highland Games (pic: Mike Crutch)
Sun eventually shone on Forres Highland Games (pic: Mike Crutch)

FORRES’ GRANT PARK rose the occasion for the second time in seven days when thousands gathered for the annual Highland Games on Saturday.

An estimated 3000 people defied early rain to enjoy an afternoon of traditional competition in the sun – and were rewarded with fun and games alongside some highly polished music and dance performances.

New to the games this year were three Army entrants from 39 Engineer Regiment based at Kinloss, including 32-year-old Donald Campbell who took part in the hammer event. Also having a go for the first time were his military colleagues Rich Butterfield and Kevin Douglas who had a go at tossing the caber.

“This was our first games – I think we should have practised a bit more,” Donald said, adding: “We enjoyed ourselves and want to improve and go on to future games as well.”

While the underfoot conditions where more challenging than the events at the start of the day, Forres Highland Games secretary Mike Scott was delighted at the turnout: “The games always bring a lot of tourists to Forres – but you get the good years and bad years.”

Mr Scott had particular praise for the assistance the games received from the army sappers at Kinloss: “39 Engineer Regiment were a great help setting things up this year.”

A week after the European Pipe Championships took place in the same arena it was the turn of local bands to shine, with the prize for best presented pipe band going to the Buckie & District Pipe Band, a spokesman saying: “Our deportment must have been spot on! Well done to all the hard-working band members who took part – and a special mention for Sandy Shearer, our Pipe Major, for all his hard work and guidance getting us there.”

Selected results from the Forres Highland Games:

10k – Kenny Wilson, Moray Road Runners
10k Team Trophy – Forres Harriers
3000m – Kenny Wilson, Moray Road Runners
Senior Heavy – Bruce Robb
Junior Heavy overall – Murdo Masterson
Junior Weight over Bar – Ciaran Wright

Best Presented Pipe Band – Buckie & District
Marching Pipe Band – Strathisla
Highland Dancing – Molly Smith

Full results will be published on the Forres Highland Games website.