|July 20&21, 2001 - The 49th Portland Highland Games:
We've been attending the Portland Highland Games for many years now, and have most often been there on the Friday before, spending the night in our motorhome. We knew there was a Pro Piobaireachd event held on the Friday evening, but have never managed to get to it. Now we know what we've been missing.. (A lot) This event it very much worth attending.
The photo above is even winner Bruce Gandy in action. The venue is a large and very comfortable theatre, with great seats, and very good sound. It is an ideal location for such a contest.
And it gets better.. there were, I'm guessing, 250 to 300 people in the audience - it is wonderful to see such support for a Piobaireachd contest.
The Friday was / is a very enjoyable event and evening, and one I certainly will plan to attend in the future.
A bit strange with the daughters not competing in solo, so I just wandered about and took photos (did I tell you....?? I have a new camera)
Taken from the top of the grandstands, this composite (4 photos) shows the piping / dance venue. Dance is straight ahead, vendors and food to the right, and solo piping and drumming events were held all over the place. Band contests were held in front of the packed grandstands.
The field shown above is used for the grandstand events, piping, drumming, dancing, and vendors. The clans and the athletic events all take place on their own field, a short walk away.
Each Highland Games we attend has their own way of doing 'things'. Portland provides an very functional wall of information: event locations, competitor lists and order of play, judges and stewards assignments, and a map too. This photo shows the judging 'plan' - assignments, times, etc. I think it works well.
It did seem the lack of RMM 3 solo players was felt. As an example, the Grade 1 and 2 piping classes appeared to be about half the usual size. (the RMM 3 kids have been asked to concentrate on band music, and not play solos until after this summer's Scotland trip).
For the entire day the grandstands were packed, and for the entire day there was entertainment provided for those in the grandstands. In this stitched photo, final preparations are being made for the Clan March.
A lot of clans, and a lot of piping - I think you can see they are working pretty hard here.
As the sun moved across the sky, the shadow from the grandstands became a challenge for the bands. Here you see RMM 3, in their competition 'circle' .. which was really a long oval, but it kept all pipers in the sun.
Crowd control during the band contest was an issue that needs a bit better solution I fear. The local Boy Scout troop attempted to keep people and photographers back, but there were many instances of strange things happening In this photo you see judge Bob Worrall standing in the crowd in order to perform some of his duties. In a couple of cases the judges actually had to walk into the crowd to view / hear the bands.
At one point, early in the band contests, Bob actually hip checked (a good one too!) a TV Camera man out of his way - Bob just shrugged, the camera man staggered, and did get that message.
Well, enough of this.. a great day, lots of photos - take a peek at the BCPA Photo album for more if you're interested.