Crowd-pleaser at Aboyne

Neck and neck as these runners sprint for the line
Neck and neck as these runners sprint for the line

A crowd of around 9000 gathered at the Green for Aboyne’s annual Highland games on Saturday.

The attendance, a slight increase on last year, delighted organisers and spectators enjoyed a thrilling day of sporting competition.

At full stretch  in the keenly-contested tug o' war event

At full stretch in the keenly-contested tug o' war event

This year’s event marked 100 years since the death of legendary local strongman Donald Dinnie, who famously lifted two huge pieces of rock, known as the Dinnie Stones, at Potarch Bridge.

The challenge is to lift the Stanes, as they are known, at the same time and hold them for as long as possible.

Staffordshire competitor James Gardner took the honours with a successful lift lasting 12.8 seconds.

Games secretary Morag McBeath said: “We had a really good day. The weather was kind to us, we didn’t get any rain showers until 4pm.

“We had a crowd of about 9000 which was up slightly on last year.”

There were no records broken on the day but committee member Peter Henry and wife Sara entered the popular hill race. Peter finished second, making him the first local home, and Sara was also second female home and first local female.

Two film crews were at the games, one from France and the other from America.

The French crew are making a programme on festivals throughout the world and Aboyne was recommended to them for Highland games events. The Americans are compiling footage of stone-lifting around the world and heard about the Dinnie Stones.

Results:

Piobaireachd Junior - open Robbie MacIsaac; March - open, Strathspey and Reel - open - Allan Russell; Piobaireachd - open - Calum Brown; March U 14 - open Tom Blackhall; Marches - local James McPetrie; Strathspey and Reel - local James McPetrie; March, Strathspey and Reel U18 - open Robbie MacIsaac; March, Strathspey and Reel U18 - local - Murray Watt; Hornpipe and Jig - open Calum Brown.

Heavy events:

Light Stone 16lb - George Evans; Weight by ring 28lb, Light Hammer 16lb, Weight over bar 40lb, Heavy Hammer 22lb - open -Kyle Randalls; Caber - Grant Sinclair/John Fyvie/Kyle Randalls; Putting Light Stone - local - Grant Sinclair;

28lb Weight by ring - local, Throwing Light Hammer - local - James Dawkins; Throwing caber - local - Grant Sinclair/John Fyvie; Throwing Light Hammer - open - Scott Rider; Throwing 28lb weight by ring - open, Putting light stone - 16lb open, Scottish Championship 56lb weight for distance, Weight over bar 56lb - Scott Rider; Putting heavy stone - open - Scott Ryder/Lorne Colthart; Tossing caber - open - Scott Ryder/Craig Sinclair; Tug O’War - open championships - 725kg weight limit, Tug O’War - open championships - 500kg weight limit - Cornhill.

Races:

Youth Championships 220y Boys Open U16 years, Youth Championships 100y Boys Open U16 years - Alexander Thomson; Youth Championships 220y Girls Open U16 years, Youth Championships 100y Girls Open U16 years - Erin Thomson; 220 Yards race - local - Hamish Leeson; Youth Championships Half Mile Boys Open U16 years - B Tosh; Youth Championships Half Mile Girls Open U16 years - R Noble; Half Mile Race - local (3 laps) - Cammie Reid; 100 Yards - open - heats - David Irvine; Children’s Races - Open Boys and Girls 4,5,6y - Cara Johnstone; Open Boys and Girls 7,8,9y - Finlay McLean; s - Open Boys and Girls 10,11,12y - Ritchie Paterson; Long Leap - local - Hamish Leeson; Long Leap - open - Sam Lyon;

Long Race (One Mile) - open (6laps) - Colin Welsh; Hop, Step and Leap - open - Sam Lyon; Short Race 220y - open final - David Irvine; Running High Leap - open - Sam Lyon; Scottish 800m footrace. Half Mile Race - open (3 laps) - Colin Welsh; Hill Race - open - Kyle Greig; HIll Race - Open - Women - Anisha Badiel; Best Local Male - Peter Henry; Best Local Female - Sara Henry; 440y Race - open - Colin Welsh.

Dancing;

Highland Fling - local - 9 and under, Sword Dance - local 9 and under, Seann Triubhas - local 9 and under - Mhairi McPherson; Highland Fling - local - 10,11,12y, Sword Dance - local 10,11,12y - Poppy Fraser; Highland Fling - local - 13,14,15y, Sword Dance - local 13,14,15y, Seann Triubhas - local 13,14,15y, Flora MacDonald’s Fancy - local 13,14,15, Sailors Hornpipe - local 13,14,15y, Irish Jig - local 13,14,15y - Emma McPherson; Seann Triubhas - local 10,11,12y, Half Reel of Tulloch - local 10,11,12y - Jessica Batchelor; Highland Fling - local 16+, Seann Triubhas - Local 16+, Flora MacDonald’s Fancy - Local 16+ - Eva Handsley; Sword Dance - local 16+ - Maddy Silcock; Highland Reels - open - 16+ - Liam Elphick; Highland Fling - open 16+, Flora MacDonald’s Fancy - open 16+ - Rachel Walker; Sword Dance - open 16+ - Laura Smith; Highland Fling - open 9 and under - Isla Buchan; Highland Fling - open 10,11,12, Sword Dance - open 10,11,12 - Lauren Towns; Highland Fling - open 13,14,15 - Molly Smith; Sword Dance - open 9 and under - Abbie Crighton; Sword Dance - open 13,14,15, Seann Triubhas - Open 13,14,15 - Michelle Gordon; Seann Triubhas - open 9 and under - Isla Buchan; Seann Triubhas - open 10,11,12 - Emma Smart; Irish Jig - local 16+ - Rosa Donaldson; Hornpipe - local 16+ - Abbie Duthie; Half Reel of Tulloch - open 10,11,12 - Emma Smart; Half Reel of Tulloch - open 13,14,15 Ciara Roger; Flora MacDonald’s Fancy - Open 13,14,15, Sailors Hornpipe - open 13,14,15 - Molly Smith; Seann Triubhas - open 16+ - Liam Elphick; Irish Jig - open 13,14,15 - Michelle Gordon; Sailors Hornpipe - open 16+, Irish Jig - open 16+ - Rachel Walker; Two Scottish Tunes own choice, 12 years and under local - Rhiann Matthew; Any 3 Scottish tunes 15y and under open - Rosie Winchester; March, Strathspey and Reel local competition any age - Eilidh Anderson; 
Slow Air, March, Strathspey and Reel - open 16+ - 
George Davidson.