Cowal Highland Gathering is one of the largest highland gathering in the world. The first one was first held in 1894 and attracted fewer than 2,000 visitors. But today, in stark contrast, it pulls crowds of between 15,000 and 20,000 people from all over the world.
The Games feature a number of different events, including the World Highland Dancing Championships, the Cowal Pipe Band Championships and various heavy athletic events ranging from wrestling right up to good old-fashioned caber-tossing.
As well as the music and sporting events, Cowal also attracts a range of stalls, from arts and crafts through to the sublime Scottish food stalls which feature the finest foodstuffs from all across Scotland.
The event itself also acts as the final competition in the pipe band world’s calendar. This of course means that it is at Cowal that the yearly ‘champion of champions’ (the overall winner of the pipe band competitive season) is announced. In an unsurprising turn of events given the band’s successes this year, Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band from Northern Ireland took home that most prestigious of honours for 2011.
The full Cowal Gathering grade one pipe band results were as follows:
1st - Field Marshal Montgomery
2nd - Inveraray and District
3rd - Boghall and Bathgate
4th - St Laurence O'Toole
5th - Strathclyde Police
6th - Scottish Power
7th - The House of Edgar Shotts and Dykehead
8th - Fife Constabulary
9th - Cullybackey
10th - Lothian and Borders Police
11th - Torphichen and Bathgate
12th - Dysart and Dundonald
13th - Robert Wiseman Dairies Vale of Atholl
The winning band was presented their award by Taggart Star Blythe Duff, the chieftain of this year's gathering.
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