Atholl Gathering Latest/ 100 Guineas Results from South Africa

Angus MacColl out at Blair Atholl

Piping Convenor Jack Taylor has passed on the following update on entries for the popular Atholl Gathering to be held on May 26 at Blair Atholl.

Dr Taylor advises: Players should keep an eye on the entry form for the current position.

C Piobaireachd is full with 25; 4 reserves, room for one more reserve. B Piobaireachd has 24 entries. Will cap at 25, and take five reserves. Light music is over capacity at 65. Entries are now closed. P/A Open Piobaireachd entries 13; still places there. Juniors – seven in so far, room for more.

Closing date: Sunday 12th May. Competitors pay normal entry to field – on field or online on Atholl Estates website. Registration on the day open at 9.30am, and closes 10.30. Competitions start at 10.30.

Adult competitions are Piobaireachd, MSR & Hornpipe/Jig.  Competitors to submit three tunes on the day for each discipline (except H/J – own choice). Finalists in the H/J are required to submit a different H/J to the set played in the qualifying leet.

The piobaireachd competitions are graded C, B and Open (A/P and non CPA members). The light music competitions (MSR & H/J) are open, each with four seeded leets, top four from each leet qualify for the finals. Junior competitions are U18. Juniors may enter for Piobaireachd, MSR & Jig.  Own choice for each discipline.

If you subsequently discover that you cannot attend the Atholl Gathering, PLEASE inform us on or 07730666168. Those who do not attend and who do not inform us, will not have their entries accepted for next year’s Atholl Gathering. From the Friday prior to the Gathering (Fri 24th), all communications are to be made to the Chief Steward, Alistair Duthie, on 07908 030188

Blair Atholl Games are seen as the first major outing of the summer and the response from competitors augurs very well for the remainder of the games season.

MacRaeBanner ’19
Ayrshire Bagpipes Nov 2020
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65th Annual ‘Hundred Guineas

The annual competition took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 23 and 24 March 2024, writes Chris Terry. The weekend turned out to be a triumph for the two Pentz family members from Howick in KwaZulu Natal. It is a good many years since two siblings have competed in the competition.

Richard Payn opened proceedings with The Lament for MacSwan of Roaig. This was quite possibly the first time this great lament has been heard in South Africa, and it was a pity there wasn’t a bigger audience to hear it. His pipe was excellent, and he moved confidently through the variations. In the crunluath he tended to come off the top hand theme notes a little quickly, and the movement was not quite as crisp as it should be. In the Crunluath singling he played the connecting notes after the crunluath preceding the double echo on B as A, D instead of A, E, in all three lines – an understandable error, but an error nevertheless.

Michael Jeanrenaud followed, with Donald MacLeod’s Lament for the Iolaire. There was some good phrasing in the tune, but he went astray several times before abandoning ship altogether. It was a pity not to have had this lovely tune played in full.

Brian Mulhearn was given Cabar Feidh Gu Brath to play. In the Piping Times of December 1983, General Frank Richardson wrote, ‘Pipe Major MacLeod has called his tune a salute. I wonder. To me it sounds more like a lament…’. I personally feel a great sense of wistfulness in the tune. Brian, however, chose to play this as a very bold salute. His pipe was good, as were the fingers, but he belted through it.

The last competitor was Emily Pentz, who won the junior competition in 2022 and 2023. She was given Lord Lovat’s Lament. Unfortunately her pipe was not quite top class, but, apart from a slight choke towards the end, her control, execution and musicality were. She brought out the best of this lovely melodic tune.

Emily Pentz receives the LM Millar Trophy for the Senior Hundred Guineas from Chris Mulinder

I gave the result as: 1 Richard Payn 2 Emily Pentz 3 Brian Mulhearn. Open March (Eagle Pipers’ Silver Salver): 1 Emily Pentz 2 Richard Payn 3 Brian Mulhearn 4 Michael Jeanrenaud. Judge: Roger Davies. Open Strathspey and Reel (The President’s Cup): 1 Emily Pentz 2 Michael Jeanrenaud 3 Richard Payn. Judge: Joshua Hogg. Overall: Emily Pentz

Former Winners’ MSR (The Captain DM MacLennan Trophy): Richard Peyn.
Best Piper Under 30 – Grahamstown Trophy: Emily Pentz
Best Military Piper – George Ackroyd Beer Mug: Michael Jeanrenaud
Best Piper 18 to 21 – John D Farmer Memorial Trophy: Emily Pentz
Pipe Major Alan Watters Jig Challenge: 1 Richard Payn 2 Emily Pentz 3 Michael Jeanrenaud 4 Brian Mulhearn. The best Junior was Aurryn Gaertz. Judge: Rod Watters.

The following day we had the Junior Hundred Guineas. This is limited to pipers who were under 19 the previous year on October 1. Emily’s younger brother, Oliver Pentz, set a benchmark that will probably never be equalled. He has been playing for less than three years, and at the age of 11, played an outstanding rendition of Cabar Feidh Gu Brath. Disregarding the error at the end, this performance would have been a serious contender in the Open event. The result was: 1 Oliver Pentz 2 Joshua Hedges (also Cabar Feidh Gu Brath) 3 Joshua Andrews (Company’s Lament) 4 Matthew Johnston (Lament for Alasdair Dearg MacDonell of Glengarry). Judge: Chris Terry. 

Junior March: 1 Oliver Pentz 2 Ethan Bellingan 3 Joshua Andrews 4 James Howard. Judge: Gordon Delaney. Junior Strathspey and Reel: 1 Oliver Pentz 2 James Howard 3 Ethan Bellingan 4 Joshua Hedges. Judge: Roger Davies. Overall: Oliver Pentz 

Oliver Pentz receives the Jack Gartly Silver Chanter Trophy for the Junior Hundred Guineas from Thomas Fuller, President of the Scottish Piping Society of Southern Africa

The winner of the Intermediate Piobaireachd was Rory Mackenzie, from KwaZulu Natal, playing Corrienessan’s Salute. This was a solid, if rather safe, performance, on an instrument that started quite well, but improved as the performance wore on. His technique was good. The other competitor, Murray Roodt, had memory lapses in The Little Spree, and some timing in the ground and doubling was a little cavalier. Result: 1 Rory Mackenzie 2 Murray Roodt. Judge: Chris Terry.
Intermediate March: 1 Murray Roodt 2 Rory Mackenzie 3 Richard Prall. Judge: David Harris.
Intermediate S&R: 1 Murray Roodt 2 Rory Mackenzie 3 Richard Prall. Judge: Struan Young.
Overall: Rory Mackenzie; season champion: Rory Mackenzie.

Novice Piobaireachd: 1 Beckham Lee 2 Christopher Myburgh 3 Cameron Whittstock 4 Caleb Mangena. Judge: Richard Payn. Novice March: 1 Cameron Whittstock 2 Aurryn Gaertz 3 Connor Pleaner 4 Beckham Lee. Judge: Struan Young. Novice S&R: 1 Cameron Whittstock 2 Aurryn Gaertz 3 Christopher Myburgh 4 Beckham Lee. Judge: David Harris. Overall: Cameron Whittstock; season winner: Cameron Whittstock.

The chanter competition was won by Liam Cornell, followed by Lee Zimmerman and Laurence Southee. The Judge was Richard Payn. 

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