Spectators flock to day one of Cowal Highland Gathering 2014 - Cowal Highland Gathering
27th - 29th August 2020

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News  »  Spectators flock to day one of Cowal Highland Gathering 2014

Spectators flock to day one of Cowal Highland Gathering 2014

The crowds came out in Dunoon today as the world’s most spectacular Highland Games finally kicked off.

Visitors have been pouring into the town over the last few days in the run-up to what is one of the most eagerly awaited events in the Scottish calendar.

Today they joined scores of local people in flocking to the Gathering for the start of the action.

At 10am sharp the first event got underway - the Scottish National Highland Dancing Championships.

The Scottish Championships are one of three dancing competitions being held during the Gathering. The others are the Argyllshire Championship and the World Championship, which both take place on Saturday.

Today’s action saw top class entertainment from 361 dancers in 11 categories. Among the winners were:

• Chloe McClean from Edinburgh (14 years)
• Finley Duncan, Banff (15 years)
• Stacey Webster, Wick (16 years)
• Claire McLaughlin, East Kilbride (17 years)
• Stephanie Webster, Wick (18 years and over)

The Cowal 5K run took place this evening which saw last year’s winner Craig Ruddy from Inverclyde AC defend his title. Andrew Harkness from Greenock Glenpark Harriers was second with Sean Gaffney from Inverclyde AC in third. First local was Nathan Robinson in sixth overall and Chloe Simpson from Inverclyde AC was the first female runner.

Cowal Highland Gathering chair Ronnie Cairns said he was delighted by both the crowds and the entertainment they witnessed.

“It’s no exaggeration to say Dunoon is the centre of the Highland dancing world this weekend,” he added.

“People across the globe who are serious about Highland dancing will be waiting with bated breath to see who comes out on top in the various competitions.

“If today’s action is anything to go by, we’re in for a real feast of top class dancing over the next couple of days.”

Ronnie said that all the meticulous planning which has gone on over the last few months seems to have paid off.

“So far, I’m pleased to say that everything has gone without a hitch. Even the weather gods smiled on us today, with no rain to dampen the spirits of either competitors or spectators,” he said.

“We’ve got a packed schedule for tomorrow and Saturday with something for everyone to enjoy, whether it be Highland Dancing, pipe bands, solo piping, heavy athletics, ceilidh music, running, cycle stunt teams, animal display teams, interactive storytelling or any of the many other attractions around the town this weekend.

“I’m delighted with how the first day has gone, and we very much look forward to welcoming everyone back again tomorrow for another day of spectacular entertainment.”

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and there is still much for spectators to enjoy at the Gathering over the next two days. Cowal Gathering is one of our most exciting cultural events, which celebrates and showcases our rich heritage and with everything from Highland dancing and piping to food and drink there is something for everyone in Dunoon this weekend.”