It’s unclear the exact origins of the event but it is thought that it was a competition created by foresters as way of moving felled trees across rivers. It’s one of the most spectacular events at Highland gatherings. It is a competition of not only strength, but of skill and balance.
The aim is to lift the caber into an upright position, then, keeping it balanced, the competitor runs and throws it into the air. The larger end of the pole must hit the ground and it must fall in a way that the small end will describe a half circle. Scoring is based on the nearest fall to “12 o’clock”.
Another event created to make the working day past quicker, there is no doubt the competition originates wherever hammers were used, for example farms or at the blacksmiths. The shaft of the hammer is made of cane, with a round metal head.
The thrower stands with his back to the throwing area. With his feet planted firmly on the ground, he then swings the hammer above his head to gain momentum and then release it over his shoulder.
Together with the Sword Dance, the Highland Fling is probably the most famous of the Scottish Dances. The legend says that an old shepherd, who was giving his young grandson some chanter lessons on a hillside, saw a stag rearing and wheeling in the distance. He asked the young lad if he could imitate the stag’s dance. This he did, and so the steps and the graceful curve of the arms and hands depicting the stag’s antlers, was born.
Games cycling can be much more testing than track cycling because the terrain underfoot can vary from location to location. Handicap cycling can be much faster and exciting because competitors compete with a fixed wheel and no brakes, so remember stay off the track!!