The City of Inverness Highland Games and Gala weekend attracted over 10,000 spectators to Bught Park and provided a huge economic book for the city while making a lasting impression on visitors that will stand the area well for years to come.
The weekend started and finished with two unforgettable record breaking moments. The festivities got underway with performances by the Inverness Military Wives and University of Leuven Belgian Choirs and the induction into the Inverness Highland Games Hall of Fame of Games Chairman Angus Dick and Games Scorer John Findlayson. This was followed by presentation of the Provost’s Medal to Inverness Harrier Paul Davidson to mark his success in the International Neurological Athletic Association of Sports European Championships in Ankara, Turkey. The records then started to fall as the crowd enjoyed the biggest Mass Highland Fling to date as hundreds of delighted spectators ran on to the field to perform for Games Chieftain Provost Helen Carmichael. After witnessing 120 competitors in the Games Highland Dancing Competitions showing them how it should be done; the laughter from the field and packed grandstand told you everything you needed to know about their enthusiastic efforts.
After an exciting day of fiercely contested competition in the main stadium Sinclair Patience was crowned Champion Heavy after winning the weight over the bar, Scots Hammer and Inverness Stone; before completing the Inverness Stonemason’s Stone Challenge to end his day. Third time visitor Brad Goldsmith of Virginia USA failed on his first attempt at the Stonemason’s stone before becoming only the 6th man in the modern era to complete the daunting 252lb Challenge with his second attempt to the delight of the crowd. Brad also won the Tossing the Caber event while Jamie Gunn from Caithness emerged victorious in the Weight For Distance.
Amongst the many attractions on offer over the weekend were a 700m long exhibition of vehicles called TruckNess; a fly past by the Coastguard’s helicopter, a Veterans Parade, a Wheelbarrow Grand Prix, an Armed Forces Village, a Shinty Sixes competition and a Boxing Tournament. The packed programme of activities was the biggest package of entertainment that the Highland Council has ever organised on a single weekend.