Game of Throws

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Year of firsts for Brodick Highland Games

Words and photographs by Hugh Boag

Brodick Highland Games never fails to deliver a day to remember – and this year was no exception.

It was to be a year of first’s for the games. The first ever female taking part in the heavy events, the first ever outing of the Local Heroes Strongman Competition, the participation of a top German champion, also in the heavy events, and a 10-in-row title for Archie McNicol in the 100m race.

The weather was also to be kind to this year’s event last Saturday being dry and bright throughout the day and, while numbers may have been slightly down on last year’s record, more than 4,000 still packed into Ormidale Park during the day to watch all the action.

Yvonne Currie of Lamlash was the woman who put her mark on the heavy events and she performed well throughout the day. Yvonne admitted that in her 43-years living on the island it was her first ever Highland games – and what a way to start.

She was up against a big field of 11 heavy eventers including top German champion Daniel Dorrow, making his first appearance on Arran. Local heavy event regulars Ernie Weir, Andrew Earle and Dr Rory Gilmore also took part. Following the competition Daniel walked away with Rev James Currie Cup, for the highest overall score in the heavy events, and there is a new name on the Rodden Middleton Rosebowl after he beat the hammer record.

As well as the competition heavy events the contestants also took part in the strongman competition which included dragging an anvil, flipping giant tyres and lifting the ‘Stones of Density’.

There were also appearances throughout the day by the pipe bands joining the Arran Pipe Band on the day Maybole Pipe Band and Kilbarchan Pipe Band. And the Highland dancing competition was also a big draw taking part for the first time at the far end of the field and run superbly by Anne Marie McGarry.

There was also fierce competition on the running track where Archie McNicol picked up the Lady Jean Fforde Cup for the 10th time in the 100m race. Isla McKelvie picked up the Bob Cameron Trophy for the 100m womens race. All the children’s races and the senior athletes took to their marks under the watchful eye of judge Bill Simpson from Ayrshire.

This year’s games were dedicated in memory of Hon President Lady Jean Fforde DL and President Steward Lambie MBE, who have both passed away since last year’s games.

There was reward too for games stalwart Kenny Morrison who was presented with the MacMillan Trophy, awarded at the discretion of the games secretary, for his loyal and devoted service to the games over many years.

Secretary Sheila Gilmore said: ‘Kenny works tirelessly for the community in lots of ways.  He keeps the Sports Association going, is the Highland Games yreasurer, and is  a very modest man. No-one deserves this more than Kenny!’

Throughout the day the burger stall of the Arran Mountain Rescue Team, and the other food and drink and charity stalls, did a roaring trade as did the kiddie rides.

Andrew Earle tries his hand at the anvil drag. 01_B32games01

Fancy dress winner Hari Boss from Carntyne brought her Caledonian Isles costume all the way from Glasgow. 01_B32games02

All the entrants in the fancy dress competition. 01_B32games04

The three big drums of the pipe bands. 01_B32games07

The joint pipe bands entertain the crowd in the games arena. 01_B32games09

These boys are flat out and heading for home. 01_B32games12

These young girls show their determination. 01_B32games13

Daniel Dorrow in action in the 28lb weight for distance. 01_B32games14

Pete Hart throwing the 28lb for distance. 01_B32games15

Susannah Kay on her way to winning the girls Stewart Dickie Trophy. 01_B32games17

Susannah Kay of Motherwell with the girls Stewart Dickie Trophy. 01_B32games18

The crowds who packed Ormidale Park for the games. 01_B32games19

Dr Rory Gilmore (left) and Andrew Earle compete in the flip the tyre race. 01_B32games22

The Highland dancing competition in full swing. 01_B32games23

Ernie Weir throwing the 56lb weight for distance. 01_B32games25

Connor Norman from Lytham St Annes with the boys Stewart Dickie Trophy he won for the second year in a row. 01_B38games26

The AMRT burger stall did a roaring trade. 01_B32games28

Willie Falconer throwing the hammer. 01_B32games31

Daniel Dorrow launches the hammer a huge distance. 01_B32games33

Chairman Donald MacKelvie presents the 100m trophies to his 13-year-old daughter Isla and 10 times champion Archie McNicol. 01_B38games39

Games stalwart Alan Pettigrew conducts the heavy events. 01_B38games43

Dr Rory Gilmore makes the 56lb weight for height look easy. 01_B38games44

Two girls battle it out in the pillow-fight. 01_B38games45

The combined pipe band drummers at the ferry terminal. 01_B38games47

The combined pipe bands at the ferry terminal before their departure. 01_B38games48

Donald MacKevlie presents Yvonne Currie with the prize of a side of salmon. 01_B38games49

Donald MacKelvie presents Ernie Weir with the Tom Dolan Challenge Trophy.  01_B38games50

Donald MacKelvie presents the Macmillan Trophy to games stalwart Kenny Morrison. 01_B32games53

Yvonne Currie is in position to toss the caber. Photo by Dr David Hogg 01_B32games55

Yvonne Currie throws the 56lb weight for height. Photo by Dr David Hogg. 01_B32games56