Bathed in beautiful sunshine and greeted by the lovely Bobby our shiny new tent looked great under the trees in the Moss O'Balloch park for our first attendance at the Loch Lomond Highland Games. We could see the main ring from our spot under the trees so while we advised on clans and tartans, we could still spy the cycling, running, hammer throwing and heavy weights. The tossing of the caber has to be the highlight and something we need to learn to do!
Lucas Wenta was in fine form and just missed beating the World Record of 17ft 4inches for the 56lb throw over the bar, and picking up the Heavy Weight Championship prize. In the Novice Competition Craig Winslow improved on his 2nd place of last year to take the win.
Piping throughout the day and providing the event finale with a walk through the village of Balloch the Helensburgh Clan Colquhoun Pipe Band and Tulliallan Pipe Band entertained us in style. Formed on 20th March 1913 as the Helensburgh and District Pipe Band, the name changed to the Helensburgh Clan Colquhoun Pipe Band in 2014, and they wear the Ancient Colquhoun tartan with cap badges carrying the Colquhoun Crest and motto. John Low is the current and 14th Pipe Major and within the band there is plenty of experience with Malcolm Gilmour with them since 1948 and Jim Gunn who has been playing and teaching with the band since the 1950s. The Tulliallan Pipes and Drums are based in Kincardine and wear the Loch Lomond tartan. They are recruiting pipers and drummers if you fancy joining them!
The Tug of War has a serious and a less serious side to it and the visiting French team were in fine spirits, sporting some slightly dodgy Stewart Royal kilts and attending as part of a stag weekend. From the heavy weights to the tiny children everyone had a go in a sport which dates back to 4000 year old tomb in Sakkara, Egypt where artwork has been found depicting teams of 3 young men pulling opposite ends of a rope.
The Chieftain of the Highland Games, Major James Macrae was delighted with the turn out, with over 8000 people attending from all over the world. Fiona Urquhart, age 10, travelled all the way from Alberta in Canada to compete in the Highland Dancing competition. We are off to the Bridge of Allan Highland Games next on 5th August so if you missed us this weekend don't worry you can come and find us there.