In the last Highland Games of the season in Scotland, Bruce Robb ended with another mark in his win column.
IronMind® would like to say a special thanks to Francis Brebner, our ace Highland Games reporter, who has shared his knowledge and passion with Highland Games competitors and fans worldwide through his steady coverage of the planet’s major Highland Games competitions this year. As our mutual friend David Webster would say, “Well done, Francis!”
2009 Invercharron Highland Games
by Francis Brebner
The 28th Invercharron Highland Games, in the Kyle of Sutherland in Scotland, attracted 2,000 spectators and were opened by the very popular radio broadcaster for BBC Radio Scotland, Mark Stephen, who presents the weekly outdoor magazine program Out of Doors. Weather conditions for the day were dry, but with a very cold wind.
Judging the heavies was Charlie Simpson from Wick, who was a great all-round athlete and one of the best in his day. Since his retirement from the Games, he now judges most of the Games in the northeast of Scotland.
The heavy events were sponsored by Skibo Castle, home of the Carnegie Club, and had a line-up of seven top heavy athletes, including Bruce Robb, Craig Sinclair, Grant Sinclair, Stephen Aitken, Stuart Anderson, Jason Young, and Malcolm Cleghorn.
In the opening event with the 16-lb. shot, Bruce Robb took the win and edged out Young, with a putt of 51’. In second place was Young with 49’ 3”, and in third, Craig Sinclair at 47’ 1”, leaving Aitken in fourth place at 45’ 5”.
The 22-lb. stone putt was also a very close competition between Robb and Young, with Robb again snatching victory with a distance of 41’ 9”. Young took second with 40’ 10”; Aitken followed in third at 36’ 11” and Craig Sinclair in fourth place at 36’ 7”.
With two wins under his belt going into the 28-lb. weight for distance, Robb added a third, but he had to work hard for it, fighting off Craig Sinclair with a distance of 79’ 2”. Sinclair came in second place at 78’ 8” and Young in third at 66’ 8”; Aitken trailed in fourth place at 65’.
The 56-lb. weight for distance was Robb’s fourth straight win, with a distance of 39’. In second was Craig Sinclair at 37’ 8”; in third spot again was Young at 32’ 11” and in fourth, Aitken at 32’ 7”.
After four events Robb was in a good position and was looking to have it all his own way—until the 16-lb. hammer, in which Craig Sinclair blasted out the winning distance of 126’ 6”. In second was Robb with 120’, in third Young with 116’, and in fourth Aitken with 112’.
In the heavy hammer, Craig Sinclair pulled off another great win with a throw of 108’ 7”. Close behind was Robb at 107’ 9”. Young landed in third spot at 90’ and Aitken came in fourth place with a well below par throw of 87’ 2”.
The caber, which was 19’ and 110-lb., was a tie for first equal between Robb and Young, with both tossing perfect 12:00s. Craig Sinclair was third with 12:04 and Aitken was fourth with 75 degrees.
Going into the final event, the Scottish 56-lb. Weight Over the Bar Championships, Jason Young unfortunately had to pull out due to back problems, which had occurred in the caber event. Robb once again claimed the national title with a winning height of 14’ 6”. Craig Sinclair took second at 14’ and Malcolm Cleghorn came in third at 13’. Ever fourth was Aitken at 12’ 6”.
1. Bruce Robb
2. Craig Sinclair
3. Jason Young
4. Stephen Aitken
This concluded the final Games for the year in Scotland. I look forward to the next season with great interest to see how the young blood in the sport will rise to meet the challenge—which I am sure they will.