November 03, 2016

Glenfiddich overall prize-list corrected

Bruce Gandy

The organizers of the Glenfiddich Solo Piping Championship have identified and apologized for an inadvertent error in tabulating the overall prize-list for the 2016 competition.

Bruce Gandy has been formally announced as finishing second, and Willie McCallum third, each piper swapping the order in which they were announced at the event.

The discrepancy arose when a three-way-tie between Roddy MacLeod, McCallum and Gandy for first was tabulated, each piper gaining five overall points. The system for breaking a tie in aggregate points across the piobaireachd and MSR events defers to a higher result in the piobaireachd.

MacLeod was announced the overall winner by merit of his first prize in the piobaireachd. The confusion apparently arose when McCallum was thought to be second on the merit of his first-prize in the MSR. Gandy, though, finished fifth in the piobaireachd event, and second in the MSR so, by merit of his higher piobaireachd placing, should have been awarded second originally.

A statement from the organizers to pipes|drums read:


This year’s Glenfiddich Piping Championship generated a unique situation whereby three pipers tied on merit points for the overall awards.

Two of those had been placed 1st in a major element of the Championship viz, the Piobaireachd and March, Strathspey & Reel sections whilst the third piper had been placed 5th and 2nd in these sections respectively.

It was considered that, in terms of precedent, the winner of the Piobaireachd competition should take preference in the tie and win the Championship by being placed 1st overall.

The second and third overall positions involved a comparison between the merits of a 1st prize against a combination of 5th and 2nd prizes. It was considered that, in balance, the higher placing viz, the 1st prize should attract preference in the tie as this best reflected the level of achievement involved in winning a key element of the Championship.- the March, Strathspey & Reel competition – which in itself, is a major stand-alone win.

John Wilson, a Senior Adjudicator, who was Fear an Tighe for the day was involved in these discussions and fully supported the logic underpinning this decision.

In the interim period since the Championship, however, the organisers have been contacted by the 2nd overall prize winner, Willie McCallum, who has intimated that he is aware of some of the conflicting comment on social media regarding his award and he has, consequently, made it clear that this situation is causing him some personal discomfort. As a result, he has magnanimously requested that the organisers review the tie break for 2nd and 3rd overall prize on the basis of a Piobaireachd preference alone which will result in him being now placed 3rd overall as opposed to 2nd place.

In recognition of Willie’s request and in line with the standing of this competition, the decision has been reviewed and records will now show Bruce Gandy as 2nd overall in the 2016 Glenfiddich Piping Championship.

In conclusion, it should be recognised that there are differing ways of breaking ties in such circumstances. Decisions can be based on Piobaireachd preference, the highest placing on the day or, indeed, the most consistent number of placings in the various elements of the competition. It’s a question of balance.

That said, everyone should be assured that the decision on the day in relation to the 2nd and 3rd overall prizes was considered, totally objective and made in good faith in what was a very unique and difficult situation.

Liz Maxwell
November 3, 2016

There are additional cash awards for the top-three aggregate prizes, and organizers said that Gandy would receive the additional £200 for his success.





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