The Fetterairn Show was the site of a new world record for loading the Ardblair stones, as Paul Benton competed in the third leg of the IHGF Stones of Strength Scottish Nationals Qualifying Series.
2019 Fettercairn Show: Another Ardblair Stones World Record
by Francis Brebner
President, International Highland Games Federation (IHGF)
It was a fantastic weekend at the 2019 Fettercairn Show, an agricultural show that attracts several thousand spectators from the northeast of Scotland—and which was the third leg leg of six in the IHGF Stones of Strength Scottish National qualifying series. The top two athletes from the men’s and woman’s group proceed to the finals of the IHGF Scottish Stones of Strength finals in September.
IHGF representative for Scotland Charlie Blair Oliphant, who has done great work in promoting interest in the culture and challenges of stonelifting, said it was a fantastic day with well over a hundred attempts made at the Ardblair stones in ideal stonelifting conditions, a sunny day with a gentle breeze.
Just a couple of weeks ago, the world record for completing all nine Ardblair stones was set by Janis Skujins in a time of 27.04 seconds. This third leg of the men’s Scottish National qualifying series was electrifying to say the least, as the world record was broken again by less than a hundredth of a second. Paul Benton, from Laurencekirk, Scotland, set all nine stones in the new world record time of 26.79 seconds.
In second was Jamie Duncan from Brechin, Scotland, completing eight Stones in a time of 24.66 seconds.
In the woman’s division, Nicola Ann Bennett from Aberdeen, Scotland, placed five stones in 15.56 seconds for first place. In second was Ruth Massey from Turriff, Scotland, with four stones in 13.30 seconds.
Benton, Duncan, Bennett, and Massey have all qualified for the 2019 IHGF Stones of Strength Scottish National finals at the Blairgowrie & Rattray Highland Games on Sunday, 8 September and will join the men’s group of Skujins, Jamie Gorrian, and Paul Adams, and the woman’s group of Pavlina Thomson, Stacey Douglas, and Emmajane Smith .
A big thanks go to Karen Ramsay, the secretary of the Fettercairn Show, for inviting the Charlie Blair Oliphant of the IHGF and his team to the show and to Castle Water for sponsoring the event. The next IHGF Stones of Strength Scottish National qualifier will take place at the Kirriemuir Agricultural Show, 13 July, at the Muirhead of Logie, Kirriemuir in Angus.
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