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

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Thurso Pipe Band at the Halkirk Games

Games Chieftain Viscount John Thurso MP of Ulbster, salutes the Thurso Pipe Band as they leave the Games field.

The star attraction at the Halkirk Highland Games yesterday was the Thurso Pipe Band, who entertained the crowd every hour throughout the (very wet) Games and then for over an hour in the evening on Halkirk's Bridge Street. The band and the watching crowd got attacked by midges during the evening performance!

Halkirk Highland Games - Cyclists and Runners

There were loads of cyclists and runners at the Halkirk Highland Games yesterday. Thurso's Andrew Raeburn swept the boards in the Track & Field. Professional cyclist Evan Oliphant from Wick had a great tussle with Craig Hardie, Fife and just edged the championship. The wet and slippery conditions prevented the cyclists from going flat out and there was a nasty crash in the 2000m race.

The European and World Junior cycling champion at the individual sprint, John Paul from Lybster, competed for the first time on grass. However, he couldn't adapt his style and finished well behind the leaders in the 800m scratch race, his only race of the day.

Halkirk Highland Games - The Heavyweights

Standing - Leslie Oliphant, Stuart Anderson, Jason Young, Craig Sinclair, Sam O'Kane, Beau Fay (USA), Garry Hagan, Alistair Gunn. Kneeling - Bruce Stewart, Jamie Gunn, Murray Gunn

Nine heavyweights competed at the Halkirk Highland Games yesterday, including four from Halkirk and one from Washington DC.

Halkirk Highland Games winners

Craig Sinclair, Heavyweight Champion

Murray Gunn, Caithness Heavyweight Champion with Games President Peter Murchison

Tug O'War Champions - Inverness

Scott Robertson with Games Chieftain Viscount John Thurso MP of Ulbster

Track and field champion Andrew Raeburn with the Chieftain

Andrew Raeburn with the Prince Henry Sinclair Cup as most outstanding Caithness athlete

Cycling champion Evan Oliphant (left ) and Craig Hardie
The Halkirk Highland Games was held yesterday during a day of heavy showers which kept the attendance down compared to last year. The Highland Dancing had to be moved indoors to the Ross Institute. I was told that nearby Thurso had no rain at all!

I was on the microphone along with James Campbell, keeping the crowd informed of what was happening.

There were 9 heavyweight athletes, including Beau Fay from Washington DC. There were nearly 20 track and field athletes, which is the most ever at the Games. Around 10 cyclists had a tricky day due to the wet conditions and there was a crash during the 2000m race with Allan Clark from Dunnet coming off worse after a spectacular 360 degree somersault through the air. I had my camera in hand, but wasn't quick enough to snap the action. He did walk back to the car and I believe he went to the hospital for a precautionary check.

Still looking through my action pics, which I managed to take from the commentary box.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Wick vs Inverness Caledonian Thistle

Wick Academy drew 0-0 with an Inverness Caledonian Thistle select tonight at Harmsworth Park. Halkirk's Shane Sutherland wasn't in the ICT team. Wick gave as good as they got and hit the bar early on. James More was in fine form and pulled off some good saves in an entertaining match. The man of the match went to Richard MacAdie.

Wick had trialist James Pickles from Orkney on from the start.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Working Hunter jumping at the Caithness Show

The working hunter classses were held at the Caithness County Show on Friday afternoon and I snapped away at a couple of the fences by getting in closer than usual with my 70-200mm telephoto lens set up on a tripod, to save me re-focusing for every jumper.