Spectators flock to day one of Cowal Highland Gathering 2019 - Cowal Highland Gathering
27th - 29th August 2020

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News  »  Spectators flock to day one of Cowal Highland Gathering 2019

Spectators flock to day one of Cowal Highland Gathering 2019

The crowds came out in Dunoon today as Cowal’s world famous Gathering finally got underway.

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 Highland Games events in the Scottish calendar.

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

The action began early when the Scottish National Highland Dancing Championships kicked off at 8.30am.

The Scottish Championships are one of three major 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 – which included the qualifiers for Saturday’s World Highland Dancing Championships - saw 501 dancers in 10 categories battle it out for the honours.

Among the winners were: Eilidh Gammons from Helensburgh who won the premier category for dancers aged 11 years, picking up the Elkington Challenge Trophy. Eilidh also tied with Rosey Watt from Macduff to pick up the May Falconer Memorial Trophy for the best Scottish Dancer (resident) in Events 8 to 15.

Innes Mackenzie from Tain was awarded the May G Falconer Trophy for the best Male Dancer in any of the Scottish Championships: Event 8 to 15.

It wasn’t all about dancing today, because the entertainment is not quite finished. The ever-popular 5K Cowal Run is due to start from the Crazy Golf course at West Bay at 7.15pm this evening.

Around 80 athletes are expected to set off, cheered on by spectators lining the route.

Cowal Highland Gathering chair Ronnie Cairns said he was delighted by how the event’s first day had gone.

“Dunoon is the centre of the Highland dancing world this weekend, and today we got a taste of what we can look forward to for the next couple of days,” he added.

“The competitors all did themselves proud and, as always, were cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd which made for a great atmosphere and really set the tone for the rest of the weekend.

“People across the globe who are serious about Highland dancing will now be holding their breath to see who comes out on top in the various competitions, as the Cowal Gathering crown is the most glittering of them all.

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

Ronnie said the efforts of everyone involved in organising and running the Gathering over the last few months have paid off.

“Everything seems to have gone smoothly so far. Even the wet weather failed to dampen the spirits of competitors and spectators, most of whom come prepared for rain at some stage!” he said.

“We’ve got a packed schedule for tomorrow and Saturday with something for everyone to enjoy, whether it be more Highland Dancing, pipe bands, heavy athletics, wrestling, ceilidh music, running, axe throwing, cycle stunt teams, birds of prey, mountain biking, crazy golf, interactive children’s storytelling, medal making any of the many other attractions around the town this weekend.

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

Cowal Highland Gathering is supported through EventScotland’s International Events Programme.

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “We are delighted to continue our support for the Cowal Highland Gathering this year, through EventScotland’s International Events Programme. The event is a wonderful celebration of Scotland’s rich history and traditions from highland dancing to heavy athletics, as well as being a key event for the Argyll and Bute region. It is great to see so many spectators and competitors from far and wide enjoying what was a memorable first day in Dunoon.”


A full list of the results of all today’s action will be posted on the Gathering website – www.cowalgathering.com - as soon as possible.

For information or to book tickets for the rest of the event, please visit the website or contact the event office by emailing info@cowalgathering.com or phoning 01369 703206.