Scottish Pipe Band Championships Underway in Difficult Conditions

After a week of spectacular summer weather it was odds-on that rain would arrive just in time for the Scottish Pipe Band Championships now underway at Levengrove Park, Dumbarton.

Weather experts at the UK Met Office are predicating heavy downpours later in the day and have issued the following ‘yellow’ warning:

But pipe bands are a hardly lot and despite the exposed nature of today’s competition field, right on the Clyde estuary, steeled themselves for rain, capes at the ready. It is not expected to be cold, 17degs.C forecast.

A total of 120 bands are taking part. Here is the draw in Grade 1:
14:45 Inveraray
14:55 Johnstone
15:05 PSNI
15:15 Fife Police
15:25 Scottish Power
15:35 SLOT
15:45 Boghall
15:55 Glasgow Police
16:05 Glasgow Skye
16:15 Lomond & Clyde
16:25 Shotts
16:35 FMM

At the other end of the scale the first band getting things underway were Edradour Pitlochry and Blair Atholl – regraded from 4B to 4A with the schedule brought forward eight minutes to 9.52am to accommodate the switch.

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Today’s championships is notable for the number of overseas adjudicators on duty. From Australia there are Nat Russell and Sam Young, from New Zeland Brian Switalla and from Canada Greg Dinsdale and Ken Eller. Some of these gentlemen will be staying in Scotland until the end of August.

Most bands view the Scottish as a significant marker for the World Championship on August 16 and 17. In Grade 1 St Laurence O’Toole from Dublin have been making the running with two major wins, the British and UK Championships, with Inveraray taking the Europeans at Inverness.

SLOT leading drummer Stephen Creighton and P/M Alen Tully after their win at Paisley in May

Without a major win yet are Field Marshal Montgomery the current World Champions. But as last year, they are coming into form at the right tine with two firsts in piping at Inverness. That said, SLOT remain the bookies favourites for Glasgow Green but that could change after today’s contest. Other bands to watch are Boghall and Scottish Power both playing very well but without a major so far this season.

Seventeen bands will fight it out in a highly competitive Grade 2. Check out MacStig’s preview from earlier this week here.

Stay tuned to Piping Press for results from Dumbarton or follow the RSPBA’s Twitter feed for the placings as they are announced. Admission at Dumbarton is free. Ample parking for £5 for the day. Train to Dalreoch station.

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