Weights thrown for distance, weights thrown for height, the hammer toss, the sheaf toss, the stone throw and perhaps the most recognizable or well known, the caber toss.
Many of the events have their origins in ancient times; in fact, the stone throw is the oldest of all the competitions and can be traced to the original Olympics competition. The Blairsville stone weighs approximately 21 pounds and the athlete throws it as far as possible. The fashion of the throw is similar to the discus throw. There is a box drawn on the ground which the athlete may not cross or they are disqualified for the throw.
The caber toss (looks like a telephone pole) is the most popular with our guest watching and perhaps requires the most finesse to achieve a “perfect” outcome. The athlete must balance the caber, lift the caber, and at just the right moment toss the caber. The outcome, in order to be considered perfect, must have the caber go end over end and land in the 12:00 position. The caber is generally 12 to 18 feet in length and weighs between 95 and 135 pounds.
The athletes are each allowed three attempts at each event and their best score is used to determine the leader of the event. The athlete with the highest points at the end of the day will be considered the overall winner of the games in their division.
This year there will be three groups competing, two on Saturday and one on Sunday. The Amateur A group; competitors who have won previous contests, and the Masters division; those gentlemen over age 40, they will compete on Saturday. This year one of our Masters competing is actually in his 70’s. On Sunday, the Amateur B group will compete. These are athletes who may be starting out in the sport, have not been competing very long or have not won enough competitions to move up.
The games start at approximately 9:00 – 9:30 each morning of the Festival and finish up around 2:30PM. Since they run most of the day, you have plenty of time to check in with us throughout the day and enjoy all the rest of the Festival.
On Sunday afternoon there are a couple of competitions for those not so athletically inclined. We have a “Haggis Hurl” for the ladies, this is a bean bag thrown by the ladies trying to throw as far as they can. Ladies must be wearing some form of Scottish Tartan. Also, for a completely non-athletic competition, we have the Boniest and Bonniest knee competition for the gentlemen. You must be wearing a kilt for this competition, but it is such fun.
Meeks Park on Highway 515 hosts all the events on Saturday and Sunday, June 9 and 10. Gates open at 9 am Saturday morning. The Gaelic Gallop begins at 8 am, rain or shine.