Rousing finale to 2013 Cowal Highland Gathering - Cowal Highland Gathering
25th - 27th August 2022


© Photo by Ken Clark

News  »  Rousing finale to 2013 Cowal Highland Gathering

Rousing finale to 2013 Cowal Highland Gathering

Thousands of people from across the world gathered in Dunoon today for the finale of the celebrated Cowal Highland Gathering.

Competitors and spectators alike joined forces to ensure the event’s spectacular Saturday was a day to remember for everyone involved.

From the hundreds of dancers and pipers on show to the heavy athletes, runners and ceilidh tent performers, every participant contributed to what is being billed as one of the most successful days the Gathering has ever seen.

The standard of competition was breathtaking, with the world’s top competitors giving their all in a bid go home with the silverware.

One of the highlights of the Gathering’s final day – and one of the most fiercely contested – was, as always, the pipe band competition.

This year, Field Marshal Montgomery managed to hold off the challenge of Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia (2nd) and Scottish Power (3rd) to be crowned winners of the 2013 Grade 1 Cowal Pipe Band Championships.

Today also saw the Highland Dancing World Championship finals, with dancers from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA pitting their skills against the best the UK has to offer.

In the end, the three world championship winners were Morgan Bamford from New Zealand (adult), Megan Sweeney from Toronto, Canada (junior) and Kaylee Finnegan from California, USA (juvenile).

The highest placed Scottish dancers were Rebecca Thow from Aberdeen (fourth in the world adult class), Abbie MacNeil from Crookston (runner up in the world junior class, and Ellis Hayes from Newton Stewart (fourth in the world juvenile class).

Throughout the afternoon, four of the world’s hottest traditional music bands entertained the crowds in the now-famous ceilidh tent.

Leading the pack was Oban-based Skipinnish, who also brought the house down at last night’s family ceilidh. Today, they were ably supported by The Outside Track, Reely Jiggered and Heron Valley Ceilidh Band.

While they were playing, the heavy athletes and wrestlers battled it out in the main arena. Among the winners were Lucy Marshall from Crick, who smashed the previous 14ft Cowal record in the 28lb weight for height event by a massive 18 inches.

One of the highlights for the younger visitors this year was ‘Artie’s Tartan Tales’. Veteran entertainer Artie Trezise – who spent 30 years as one half of The Singing Kettle - used a tartan trunk full of souvenirs and trinkets as props for his traditional but interactive Scottish storytelling sessions.

Cowal Highland Gathering chair Ronnie Cairns said the event would go down as one of the most memorable in recent times.

He stressed that its success was in no small part due to the efforts and support of the people of Dunoon and the wider Cowal community.

“On behalf of the Gathering’s organisers, I would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard over the last few months to ensure that the event was a success. I hope they are as pleased as we are with the results,” Ronnie said.

“I’d also like to thank the thousands of people who have come out to support the Gathering over the last three days. We’ve welcomed spectators not just from Argyll and Bute and Scotland more generally but from right around the globe, and the feedback we’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive.

“Of course we wouldn’t have a Gathering at all without the wonderful competitors, who excelled themselves this year. Those of us lucky enough to have been here witnessed levels of performance never seen before.

“We all know how popular the traditional Highland Games events such as the piping, dancing and heavy athletics are, and of course they remain the main draw. However, we’re delighted with the feedback we’ve had on some of the new attractions - such as the interactive storytelling and drumming workshops for youngsters – and we’ll continue to look at ways to further improve the event in the future.

“A big thank you again to everyone involved, and I hope we’ll see you back again next year”.

Dunoon residents and visitors are already starting to line the streets for the event’s show-stopping finale this evening – the massing of the bands and their march down Argyll Street at 7.20pm.

The final act of this year’s Gathering will be the firework display at Dunoon pier, which starts at 9.30pm.
The 2013 Cowal Highland Gathering is part of EventScotland’s National Events programme.

A full list of today’s results will be put on the website at as soon as possible.