Cairns Wins Rare Double
Inverness, Scotland – September 8-9, 1999 – John Cairns of Ontario completed one of the rarest of piping feats by winning the Highland Society of London’s Gold Medal for piobaireachd at the Northern Meeting in Inverness, thus becoming only the twelfth piper in 250 years to obtain “The Double” – winning both Gold Medals in the same year.
The last time it was done was in 1970, when Andrew Wright of Paisley turned the trick.
“I’m still in shock,” Cairns admitted the day after. “Winning at Oban was great, but this is something else.”
Robert Wallace of Glasgow won his first Clasp, the competition reserved for previous winners of the Gold Medal at Oban or Inverness. Wallace played “The Battle of Waterloo” to capture the prize.
Bruce Gandy of Summerside, PEI, won both of the A Grade light music events, the first time the trick has been turned since Jack Lee in 1979.
James Murray won his first Former Winners’ Silver Star March, Strathspey & Reel, besting perennial favourite and nine-time winner Alasdair Gillies of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Jenny Hazzard of Woodbridge, Ontario, and now living in Glasgow, won the Silver Medal, with Andrew Hayes of Ottawa, Ontario, second.
Gold Medal: John Cairns (“My King Has Landed in Moidart”), 2nd Alasdair Gillies, USA, 3rd Iain Speirs, Edinburgh, 4th PM Michael Gray, The Highlanders, 5th Douglas Murray, Glenrothes, Scotland.
Clasp: Robert Wallace, 2nd Niall Matheson, 3rd Stuart Shedden, 4th Willie McCallum.
Silver Medal: Jenny Hazzard, 2nd Andrew Hayes, 3rd Liam Brown, 4th Innes Smith, 5th James McHattie
Grade A March: Bruce Gandy, 2nd Douglas Murray, 3rd Iain Speirs, 4th Andrew Matheson.
Grade A SR: Bruce Gandy, 2nd John Patrick, 3rd Andrew Matheson, 4th Peter Hunt.
Hornpipe & Jig: Angus MacColl, 2nd Roddy MacLeod, 3rd Robert Crabtree, 4th Stuart Liddell
Grade B March: James MacHattie, 2nd Allan MacColl, 3rd Michael Rogers, 4th Jenny Hazzard
Grade B SR: Chris Armstrong, 2nd James MacPhee, 3rd Allan MacColl, 4th Jenny Hazzard.
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