2013 Highland Games Report

The 2013 Inverness Highland Games provided a mixture of sunshine, smiles and record breaking performances before a packed and enthusiastic Northern Meeting Park crowd.

Just over 3000 spectators enjoyed the Games which were held in glorious sunshine and opened by Games Chieftain Provost Alex Graham who was welcomed to the field by the Inverness British Legion and Forres Pipes and Drums Bands.

Following the playing of "The Inverness Gathering" by Yvonne Kelman, the crowd roared their approval as the Games got underway with a spectacular Mass Highland Fling organised by the Fraser School of Dancing.

Throughout the day spectators explored a number of interesting exhibitions around the Games field including a large clan village which was organised by the newly formed Association of Highland Clans and Societies, Wheelchair curling and a change to see the cabers for the 2014 Gathering being lovingly prepared. Musically the Solo Piping competitions organised by the Inverness Piping Society and the Traditional Music Stage programme organised by Margo Maclennan were of the highest quality; as was the latest addition to the Inverness Games programme; Scottish Backhold Wrestling which featured a number of Scottish Champions.

The Heavy events were used as a backdrop for a fashion shoot by the French Newspaper La Monde; and the visitors were treated to a fine show as former Masters World Champion Jason Young overcame a determined challenge 2012 Games Sinclair Patience to win the Men’s Championship; and Alison Roger overcame a strong challenge in the Women's Heavy events from Kirsty Law who had the consolation of establishing a new record in the Weight For Distance. The Games ended the first attempt in 191 years of a stone lifting challenge that was last seen at the True Highland Games staged in Inverness in 1822. To the delight of the crowd Patience and fellow Heavy John Macleod were able to lift the 252 pound Stonemason's Stone over a 5 foot bar.

Inverness Games Chairman Angus Dick said "The sunshine provided the perfect end to a great week for everybody involved with our Games following the announcement that we have had a world record number of entries for our Homecoming Highland Games next year. Some of the performances that we have seen this year from our female competitors have been really impressive with Kirsty Law's new Games record in the Weight for Distance and Rachel Mackenzie's clean sweep of the Women's 100 yards, 200 metres and High Jump really standing out. We have had a wonderful Gathering and we are already looking forward to next year which will see us staging two Highland Games in Inverness for the first time ever".