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I'm a part-time freelance sports photographer covering Caithness and the North of Scotland.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Edinburgh Speedway

While down South for the Scottish Press awards I stayed an extra night to catch the speedway at Armadale.  Edinburgh Monarchs were at home vs local rivals the Glagow Tigers.  I had been before, but not with my camera.  Luckily the rain was very light and so the race was not cancelled at the last minute.

I was not allowed inside the ring due to Health and Safety rules limiting the number of photographers to two, so I had to find a high vantage point to see over the 4 foot high barriers. The barriers were needed as there was one big crash where a rider's throttle stuck open.

A crowd of around 1,500 from 8 to 80 years of age, enjoyed 15 races over 2 hours.  The Tigers won in Edinburgh for the first time in years.

Both teams have foreign riders who fly in especially for the race and then fly back to Europe to race for other teams.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

MacKay Invitation Golf Tournament

The 7th annual MacKay Invitation Golf Tournament took place at Reiss on Saturday.  Played in memory of brothers John and Bill Mackay, Master Butchers of Keiss, the event is growing more popular every year.  The extended MacKay family (from as far as Switzerland) met in the evening at the Norseman Hotel for the prizegiving.

The overall winner of the Stableford event was George MacKay and he was presented with the John MacKay Challenge Cup by John's wife Irene (top pic). 

Winner of the best of the par 3s was Sandy MacKay and he was presented with the Bill MacKay trophy by Bill's wife Margaret (2nd pic).

Scottish Press Awards - results

I attended the 31st Scottish Press awards in the 5* Radisson BLU Hotel in Glasgow on Thursday night.  Nearly 300 from the industry attended the prestigious black tie event. 

I was delighted to come away with the runners-up prize in the Sport Photographer of the Year category, with my two pics of surfers at Brims Ness, Thurso and one of wrestling at Wick.

The winner was Tom Main from Falkirk.  Tom is a full-time freelance photographer who supplies the News of the World and Sunday Times (amongst other nationals) with sports pics. He has won the category 3 times in the last 5 years.

In the pic I'm congratulating Tom on his win.  By sheer coincidence, we sat beside each other during the evening.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

O'Neill Cold Water Classic - Sunday

A cracking day for surfing photos at the O'Neill Cold Water Classic event.  In between snow showers, the sun shone and the waves were superb at Thurso East.  It was not easy keeping warm in the cold wind - the surfers must be freezing.

The semi-finals and final will be held tomorrow (Monday).

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Thurso Swimming Club medal success

Thurso Swimming Club had 3 members competing at the National Championships last weekend and came back with a fantastic haul of 10 medals.  Ellie Spencer and Rhona Plowman won the 10 medals between them, while Stephanie Webster did really well, but did not make the podium.  Coach Andy Foster must take a lot of credit for the performances of the club members.

I caught up with them as they trained on Thursday evening for the next competition. They train at all hours for 6 days a week, with 6am starts quite the norm! Total dedication.

Thurso Golf Club - Summer season starts

The annual Captain vs Vice Captain's match was held at Thurso Golf Club on 5th April and it marks the start of the summer season.  In the group photo, Captain Ewan MacKenzie (right) shakes hands with Vice Captain Ali Simpson.  The match was held in the rain and ended in a draw.

O'Neill Cold Water Classic - Saturday

The O'Neill Cold Water Classic surfing event continued today at Thurso East in the pouring rain.  The waves were good, but it was not great for taking photos and I gave up after 1 heat (at 10am.)

In the red is Stuart Kennedy from Australia.  He won the event in Tasmania last month. In black is Jay Quinn from New Zealand.  Both won through to the next round.

Thurso's Chris Noble didn't make it through Round 2.

24 surfers remain to battle it out tomorrow.  

Halkirk Utd vs Bonar Bridge

Halkirk Utd beat Bonar Bridge 7-1 today in the PSG North Caledonian League. I caught the second half and it poured rain all the time.  Bonar had a few triallists including Halkirk's Matthew MacKay who prevented James Budge from getting on the scoresheet.

Luke Sawyer was in top form and scored a few. 

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Hakirk Utd vs Thurso

Halkirk Utd and Thurso drew 1-1 last night. The game was advertised with a KO of 6.45pm but actually started at 6.30pm, so many missed the first 15-20 mins, including me.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

2010 O'Neill Cold Water Classic Surfing event

I managed a few hours at the O'Neill Cold Water Classic surfing event this morning and caught the last 5 heats of round 1 at Brims Ness, near Thurso.  There was no sun and so the pics are a bit flat. The event was stopped at 11.30am due to poor waves.

A bit of history was made as Chris Noble, Thurso, won his heat and became the first ever Scot to go through to round 2 at this prestigious world class event. Chris in yellow shirt, is seen flying the flag.

The Scottish Champion, Mark Cameron from Fraserburgh, didn't make it through, but still flew the saltire.  Mark was up against 3 world class surfers whose scores were in the top six for the whole round.

With 128 competitors, the event is due to finish on Sunday or Monday, so lots of chances for some more pics.