Braemar Royal Highland Games: Contest Report

Sebastian Wenta has been racking up victories on the 2009 Highland Games circuit and over the weekend, he added the illustrious Braemar title to his collection.

Francis Brebner filed this report for IronMind®.

2009 Braemar Royal Highland Games
by Francis Brebner
The Braemar Royal Highland Games this weekend attracted more than 20,000 spectators to the Games despite light showers throughout the day.  More than a dozen top-line athletes battled it out before the Royal Braemar party, which included Her Majesty the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, and Prince Charles and Princess Anne.
The first event with the 16-lb. open stone was a double whammy for the Wenta brothers from Poland, with Sebastian Wenta claiming the win with a throw of 57’ 1”, and brother Lucas Wenta in second with 54’ 9”.  Just inches behind was Australia’s Aaron Neighbour in third place with 54’ 3”; England’s David Dowson took fourth with a respectable putt of 50’ 5”.
In the 28-lb. weight for distance, Neighbour marginally took the win over Scotland’s Bruce Robb with a distance of 82’ 1”, pushing Robb into second place at 81’ 8”.  In third place was Sebastian Wenta with 80’ 1” and in fourth, Scotland’s Craig Sinclair at 79’ 4”.
In the 56-lb. weight for distance, a determined Bruce Robb took the win by a clear nose with a pounding throw of 42’ 11”.  In second place was Sebastian Wenta at 40’ 6” and in third, Neighbour at 39’ 1”.  Sinclair landed in fourth spot with 34’ 3”.
In the next event with the 22-lb. hammer, Sinclair come into his own as he blew away his rivals with a dominating distance of 111’ 10” for the win.  In second place was Robb with 107’ 7”, in third was Sebastian Wenta with 104’ 7”, and just inches behind him in fourth was Neighbour at 104’ 2”.
The 56-lb. weight over the bar was an easy win for Sebastian Wenta at 15’ 6”, with Robb coming in second place at 15’.  This left a mass tie for third between Sinclair, Stephen Aitkin, Neighbour, and Lucas Wenta at 14’ 6”.
The fifth event of the competition was the open caber, which was 20’ 1” in length and 121 lb.  This proved to be a riveting competition as the top four fought for the win.  Robb and USA’s Rob Troupe tied with 12:00 tosses, but in a very close third and fourth were Neighbour at 12:01 and Sinclair at 12:03.
Next the athletes moved to the Braemar caber which was 19’ 9” in length and a little heavier at 132-lb.  This time there was no tie as the best man of the day, Robb, nailed a perfect 12:00 for the win, with Sebastian Wenta in second place with 12:10, Aitkin in third with 12:12, and Troupe in fourth with 12:14.
In the 28-lb. Braemar standing putt, it was Sebastian Wenta who claimed another victory with a distance of 37’ 4”.  In second was brother Lucas Wenta with 36’ 1”, with Robb in third at 35’ 1” and just an inch behind, Neighbour at 35’.
Going into the last event of the championships, Bruce Robb was leading by a half a point over Sebastian Wenta.  It was all or nothing for both these athletes—a case of who could keep it together.
The hammer (light) was once again won by Sinclair, with a distance of 125’ 6”.  Sebastian Wenta, who had been lying in fifth in this event, was the very last thrower in the competition and managed to pull off second place with a noble effort of 124’ 7”—which also secured him the overall title.  In third place was Neighbour at 122’ 8” and in fourth, Aitkin at 121’ 6”.
Just to note, this is the third year in a row that Robb has lost the Braemar title, each year by a half point more than the previous year.
2009 Braemar Championships points:
1.  Sebastian Wenta 61
2.  Bruce Robb 58.5
3.  Aaron Neighbour 46.25
4.  Craig Sinclair 39.25
However, Robb’s consolation was that he won the Glenfiddich Championships:
Overall points:
1.  Bruce Robb 320 points
2.  Stephen Aitkin 294.5
3.  Craig Sinclair 210.5
4.  David Dowson 131.25
5.  Stuart Anderson 120
Glenfiddich Qualifiers
Braemar under-25 Championships
1.  John MacLeod 25 points
2.  Sinclair Patience 24
3.  Daniel Carlin 22
4.  Grant Sinclair 13
Glenfiddich under-25 League Championships
1.  Sinclair Patience 309 points
2.  John MacLeod 272
3.  Dale Walker 168
4.  Grant Sinclair 132

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