2015 Highland Games Report

The Inverness Highland Games attracted an enthusiastic crowd of around 7000 spectators upon its eagerly anticipated return to Bught Park as part of the new Inverness Gala.

History was made when Provost Helen Carmichael became the first female Games Chieftain in the history of the Gathering, and the warm smiles and sustained applause from the packed grandstand as the spectators realised that they were witnessing something very special indeed got proceedings off to the finest possible start. The numbers taking part in the traditional Mass Highland Fling led by the Elizabeth Fraser School of Highland Dancing at the end of the opening ceremony were the largest to date; thanks to the arrival of around 100 soldiers from The Royal Regiment of Scotland based at Fort George, spectators from all over the world and a host of distinguished guests.

The Games featured one of the largest number of entries for the Track and Field athletics events for many a year; thanks to the support of the Inverness Harriers, who found their athletes facing competitors from all over the North of Scotland, France, Australia England, Ireland and as far away as Fiji.

The Heavy events took place in front of a backdrop of wonderful entertainment which was provided throughout the day by members of the Inverness Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dancing Society; the Northern Constabulary Police Band, the Dingwall Royal British Legion Pipe Band and the Strathisla Pipe Band.With a Canadian Film crew recording his every move for a Discovery Channel TV Documentary on the science of Highland Games; Sinclair Patience of Tain retained his Inverness Games Championship after a memorable struggle with John Macleod of Lochinver, David Hart of Fort William, Shaun and Jamie Gunn of Halkirk; and Brad Goldsmith (Virginia)and Paul Finn (New York) of the USA.

The Games ended with 252lb Stonemason’s Stone Challenge and to the delight of the crowd all of the heavies stepped forward to attempt it. After watching Goldsmith and Hart go agonisingly close to launching the Stone over the 5 foot bar; the day ended with the crowd going wild as Sinclair Patience achieved the feat for the 3rd year in a row. Roll on 2016!