Published: May 11, 2013

Gourock nixed due to swampage

The spirits of many have been dampened after the 2013 Gourock Highland Games were cancelled, nixing the first Scottish outdoor competition for many bands, including the new-look Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia.

Organizers of the event cited a waterlogged field as the reason. It’s not the first time that Gourock has been cancelled due to wet conditions; in 2009 the competition also did not take place. Last year’s Gourock Highland Games went on, but just barely. Torrential conditions made the competition a severe challenge for competitors.

Under new Pipe-Major Ryan Canning, Shotts & Dykehead were set to hit Gourock with a completely new repertoire and a reinvigorated roster that comprises more than half pipers and drummers new to the band in 2013.

The band will have to wait until the British Pipe Band Championships on May 25 in Bathgate, Scotland, to compete for the first time.

Gourock had been looking forward to a Grade 1 competition taking place. Grade 1 bands have been reluctant or unable to enter non-championship events on the UK circuit, and Shotts & Dykehead’s planned strategic debut at Gourock had increased excitement for the contest.

“Obviously all bands will be disappointed not to get out tomorrow,” Canning commented. “From our perspective, Gourock was a great chance to test ourselves in a competition scenario before the major. We’ll just need to hope for good weather in a few week’s time at the British Championships.”

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