A SOLO piping competition with a worldwide reputation has marked a milestone anniversary at a special event in Helensburgh.

The Rosneath Solo Piping contest has been a much-admired feature of the Rosneath Highland Gathering since the late 1980s. 

But the Gathering - and therefore the competition - has not taken place since 2019, with the Covid pandemic and then ongoing concerns at the lack of funding for the event preventing its return since then.

But the contest retains a special place in the affections of many in the solo piping world - and its global standing was confirmed when entrants from across the world gathered in Helensburgh at the weekend for a special competition to mark the event's 35th anniversary.

Competitors from more than 50 countries - including the USA, Canada, Australia and many European nations, as well as from across the UK - came to Hermitage Academy to take part in the event on Sunday, October 15.

The winner of the prestigious Sir Alex Ferguson Cup for the A grade Piobaireachd was Darach Urquhart, while Greig Canning won the Christine Menzies Wreford Memorial Shield.

Darach completed a clean sweep of the A grade prizes by finishing first in the march and the Strathspey and reel competitions.

Helensburgh Advertiser: One of the winners poses with their trophyOne of the winners poses with their trophy (Image: Colina Helen Campbell)

Many of those taking part in the contest - which is open to members of the Competing Pipers Association - were in Scotland for two other major solo piping events, the Captain John A. MacLellan MBE Memorial Piping Championship, held at the Army School of Piping in Edinburgh on Saturday, October 7, and the graded competition at the Royal National Mod, the annual celebration of Gaelic language and culture, in Paisley on October 14.

Colina Helen Campbell, organiser of the Helensburgh contest, said: “The competition at Hermitage Academy rounded off a week of graded solo piping competitions for members of the Competing Pipers Association.

“We are grateful to all the sponsors, committee members, judges, stewards, volunteers and the janitor at Hermitage Academy who all helped make the day such a huge success.”

Results from the day were as follows.

Piobaireachd (A): 1 Darach Urquhart (Glasgow), 2 Greig Canning (Kirkcaldy).

Piobaireachd (B): 1. James McPetrie (Aboyne), 2 Edward Gaul (Dundee), 3 Andrew McPhee (Inverness), 4 Andrew Ferguson (Dollar), 5 Daniel Nevans (Barnhill).

Piobaireachd (C): 1 David Stulpner (Western Australia), 2 Cameron Macleod (Glasgow), 3 Chris McLeish (USA), 4 Jeffrey Lawson (Glasgow), 5 Andrew Smith (Kyle of Lochalsh).

March (A): 1 Darach Urquhart (Glasgow), 2 Greig Canning (Kirkcaldy).

March (B): 1 Ross Connor (Campbeltown), 2 Angus McPhee (Inverness), 3 Brodie Watson Massie (Edinburgh/Northern Ireland), 4 Chris McLeish (USA), 5 Keith Bowes (Inchinnan).

March (C): 1 Cameron Macleod (Glasgow), 2 Andrew Smith (Kyle of Lochalsh), 3 Jamie Brownlee (Lanark), 4 Griffin Jackson (Wishaw), 5 Eala McElhinney (Duntocher).

Strathspey and reel (A):  1 Darach Urquhart (Glasgow), 2 Greig Canning (Kirkcaldy).

Strathspey and reel (B): 1 Chris McLeish (USA), 2 James McPetrie (Aboyne), 3 Brodie Watson Massey (Edinburgh/Northern Ireland), 5 Angus McPhee (Inverness).

Strathspey and reel (C): 1 Cameron Macleod (Glasgow), 2 Scott McCaskill (Alloa), 3 Kyle Cameron (Rosemarkie), 4 Andrew Smith (Kyle of Lochalsh), 5 Liam McElhinney (Duntocher).