Whilst cloudy skies and a fairly cool temperature heralded the start of the day, the sun soon broke through on what proved to be a memorable Games Day of sport and competition in Nethy Bridge on Saturday 10 August. Over 3000 spectators were treated to the excitement, thrills and spectacle that only the Games can deliver.
Games President’s Address
In his address, Games President Neil Sutherland paid tribute to our announcer, Hamish Scott, whose running commentary keeps everyone entertained and informed, building up the tension, and encouraging competitors to give their best performance.
Neil also paid tribute to another personality on the circuit, Ian Tasker, who has been helping Highland Games for over 40 years as an athletics judge and handicapper.
Games Chieftain Rob Ritchie, himself a veteran of the Highland Games, notching up 40 attendances at Nethy Bridge since 1970, was impressed by the good turnout of junior heavies; he has been encouraging and working with youngsters throughout the area for many years as well as competing himself, judging, officiating and offering wise counsel on the running of the heavy competition. He mentioned a number of local youngsters attending Nethy in the past who have gone on to great things – Craig McLean, The Olympic Gold medallist apparently started his cycling career at Nethy as a very young boy, accompanying his father to the Games on his bike!
Let’s hope next year’s Commonwealth Games will further encourage participation in athletics!
New records set
Records tumbled on track & field, the crowd discovered events previously overlooked, and everyone generally had a thoroughly good time amidst the cheerful & friendly atmosphere that is the Nethy Games.
We had more records broken this year than for many a year. Seven records were broken. In the Heavies, World Champion Scott Rider from Birchfield Harriers broke three games records on the way to taking the overall winners prize on his first visit to The Abernethy Games. Scott broke the Putting the Shot and 28lb Weight for Distance records, which have both stood since 2000, throwing 16.86 and 25.08 respectively, and the 56lb Weight over the Bar record, clearing 15’9” beating the 2004 record of 15’8”. Local youngster Conan Quin swept the board in the local, and junior (17-19 yrs) competitions.
Perhaps inspired by last years Olympics, there was a very strong field in the athletics competition, particularly in the younger age categories. Four games records were broken; Sean Rudolf broke the boys 12years and under, 100yds record with a 12.34sec run; Ailsa Clark from Edinburgh won the 100yds girls 14 years and under in 12.19s; Eleanor Briggs from Inverness Harriers broke the 200mts ladies race in 26.95s and Lukas Prettenthaler from Austria and who was also competing in the heavy events broke the high jump record by clearing 1.78m.
The Children’s programmes of races and fun events continues to go from strength to strength with around 100 youngsters taking part in the many events, and an enthusiastic crowd cheering them on. The wheelbarrow race and the 3 legged races in particular drew a large entry, keeping the crowd well entertained.
RSPB Abernethy Forest Road Race
The RSPB Abernethy Forest 10 mile Road Race attracted a good field of 91 runners, with first home, Terence Forrest of Cairngorm Runners achieving a very creditable time of 57.20. First lady home was Megan Mowbray in 66.07 (Hunter Bog Trotters)
Nairn Runners won the team competition.
Always a crowd pleaser, the Tug o’ War was well fought, Dufftown were clearly the strongest team, beating Buckie in the final, 2-0.
Highland Dancing convener, Claire Bryce, was delighted with the turnout of dancers, around 100, hailing from England, Canada, and all over Scotland, the adult competition being won by Fiona Lee, former World Champion from British Columbia. Dancing was of a very good standard, with the Brenda Gordon Dance School from Huntly taking the prize for best dance school.
Extended Games Field
The newly created arena in the wooded extension to the Games field provided a splendid backdrop to the senior solo piping and pipe band competitions, the Pipe Band Shield being presented to the winners, Elgin & District Pipe Band by Chieftain, Rob Ritchie.
Full Results for 2013:
Abernethy Highland Games Association
Nethy Bridge, Inverness-shire, PH25 3DA. Scotland
a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation
registered charity number SC 042969