The traditional Heavy Events competition (see below) takes place at the central axis of the park. This year the competition will be divided into two parts – amateur and professional. The amateur part will comprise qualification, where each contestant will receive a Certificate indicating their results, and the five best competitors will in addition receive material prizes from the Games organiser. (The amateur part of the competition is in effect a triathlon; a tally is made of all points won by contestants according to a pre-determined system. Entry to the amateur competition is conditional upon throwing the qualifying caber – there is a practice caber for non-qualifying attempts.)
The top two contestants go through to the final, and will compete against established athletes from the Czech Republic and abroad. The winners of the individual finals (including the Farmer’s Walk) will be awarded prizes from the sponsors of the 23rd Sychrov Highland Games. The overall winner will receive in addition a bottle of Glenfiddich 18-year-old Malt Whisky and the annual cup presented by another of the Games’ partners – the Cowal Highland Gathering.
Qualification for the sports competition will take place on Saturday from 9am to 2.30pm in the following disciplines:
– Weight Throw for Distance
– Caber Toss
– Stone Put
The two contestants with the highest number of points will go through to the final, competing against established Czech and foreign athletes in the Heavy Events.
The Farmer’s Walk is a separate competition, which will however also be taken into account. It will take place on Saturday from 9am to 3pm.
The Final of the Scottish Heavy Events competition will take place from 3pm to 6.30pm in the following disciplines:
– Weight Throw for Distance
– Weight Over The Bar
– Stone put
– Caber Toss
– Hammer Throw
Rules for the Scottish Heavy Events Competition at Sychrov
Weight Throw for Distance
The contestant will hold the handle of the weight with one hand only. The weight is to be thrown as far as possible, with a maximum run-up of 2.5m. Each contestant has three attempts, of which the longest throw will count. The weight is a solid steel ball attached to a steel chain of three rings and a steel handle with a total weight of 28lb (c. 14kg).
The contestant will put the stone with one hand, with the stone remaining against the neck. The stone will be thrown as far as possible (similar to the shot put). A run-up is permitted, however the contestant may not spin. The contestant may not overstep the log which marks the start of the throwing area (overstepping the mark will invalidate the throw). Each contestant has three attempts, of which the longest throw will count. The stone is a natural stone ball weighing approximately 20kg.
Weight Over The Bar
The contestant will hold the handle of the weight with one hand only. The weight is to be thrown to a given height over the crossbar. If the weight touches the crossbar but the crossbar does not fall off, the attempt is considered valid. At the end of each round the crossbar is raised by a pre-determined amount. The winner is the contestant who throws the weight the highest. In the case of a draw, the winner will be the contestant with the fewest attempts to throw the weight over the crossbar at the previous height. The weight is a solid steel cylinder with a steel handle with a total weight of 56lb (c. 28kg).
The caber is a log, 5 to 6 metres long, with the bark removed, with one end narrower than the other. The contestant will pick up the caber with both hands at the narrow end, and rest it on the neck. The contestant then makes a run-up and at the appropriate moment, tosses the caber. The contestant may not overstep the mark. A successful toss is considered to be when the narrow end describes a circle in mid-air perpendicular to the ground and falls in the direction away from the contestant. Points are not awarded for distance, but for deviation (or lack of it) from an axis marked on the ground, counted in centimetres rather than degrees.
The contestant will hold the handle of the hammer and turn his or her back to the direction of throw. The contestant spins the hammer round the head and throws it, without the feet leaving the ground. No run-up or spin is permitted. Each contestant has three attempts, of which the longest throw will count. The hammer is a solid steel ball attached to a 1m long handle with a total weight of 16lb (c. 8kg).
A less common, yet ancient part of the Highland Games. The contestant holds two 50kg weights by their handles (one in each hand) and sets off along a pre-determined route. The distance walked continuously before putting down the weights is measured.