Iain Speirs wins Glenfiddich Piping Championship

Iain Speirs took the honours for the second year in a row. Picture: Contributed
Iain Speirs took the honours for the second year in a row. Picture: Contributed
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IAIN Speirs won the 40th Glenfiddich Piping Championship last night – the competition recognised as the most prestigious event in the solo piper’s calendar.

Speirs from Edinburgh took the honours for the second year in a row thanks to a masterly rendition of the piobaireachd Colin Roy MacKenzie and a strong performance in the March, Strathspey and Reel.

Entry to the event at Blair Castle, Perthshire, is restricted to the ten most successful pipers on the competition circuit in any year. Speirs, whose father Tom is a champion piper, took first place in the event for piobaireachd, the classical music of the bagpipe.

He was followed by ­Stuart Liddell of Inverary in second place and Willie McCallum of Bearsden who took third. Jack Lee of British Columbia won the March, Strathspey and Reel, with Speirs taking second place in front of Bruce Gandy, Nova Scotia.

Speirs won the overall ­title on account of his first place in the piobaireachd, the discipline regarded by solo pipers as the highest form of their art.

Speirs said: “When you qualify for the Glenfiddich Championship, you know that you will be up against the world’s best and whatever the outcome, there is always going to be only a whisker that separates each and every one of us competing for first place.

“It’s therefore both an honour and privilege to simply just be on this stage competing with the best of the best and winning has been the icing on the cake.”

The Balvenie Medal for services to piping was awarded to Pipe Major Ian McKerral.