THE chairman of the Rosneath Peninsula Highland Gathering has hailed the community effort behind another hugely successful event.

The annual festival of traditional Highland music, dance and athletics attracted a healthy crowd to the Howie Park in Rosneath on Sunday – as well as competitors from all over the world.

The solo piping competition – always one of the jewels in the Gathering’s crown, with the second-largest entry list of any Games in Scotland – attracted more than 200 entries from as far afield as the Netherlands, the USA, Germany and Australia, and saw Angus J. McColl from Oban crowned the top piper with first-place finishes in the piobaireachd, march and Strathspey and reel.

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The Highland dancing entries were equally widely spread, with competitors hailing from Northern Ireland, Belgium and Canada as well as across Scotland, many visiting Rosneath as part of a busy summer competing at events throughout the country.

And the ‘heavy’ events attracted nine top-class athletes, including a few local competitors keen to test their mettle against some of the best in Scotland.

All of the day’s events were overseen by Captain Craig Mearns, commanding officer of HMS Neptune at HM Naval Base Clyde and a former Rosneath primary pupil, who took on the role of chieftain for the fourth and last year before his forthcoming retirement.

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The event’s chairman, Robert MacIntyre, said: “It was a brilliant day for everyone. This was the 40th anniversary of the first Gathering in Rosneath, and it was probably the best we’ve had in quite a few years.

“The Gathering is a real community effort – from the conveners of the dancing and piping events to the members of the committee and the volunteers who set up and clear away the venue before and after the event.

“They all do a fantastic job and I owe them, and the small businesses who support us through their sponsorship, a big thanks for their help.”