A WORLD record attempt is to be made later this year for the largest number of athletes successfully tossing a caber at the same time.
Appropriately, the bid is to be made in Scotland later this year at the Masters World Championships Highland Games being hosted in Inverness.
The heavy athletes taking part hope to successfully toss 150 cabers at the same time, to mark the 150th anniversary of the Northern Meeting Park – the oldest Highland Games venue in the world – where the games are being hosted.
Highland Council has enlisted the services of Danny, a three-year-old Clydesdale horse from the Revack Estate, near Grantown, to help create a Guinness World Record later in the year, as part of the Year of Homecoming celebrations in the Highlands.
Danny is key to the attempt being made by the Inverness Highland Games Committee to record the largest number of heavy event athletes tossing a caber at the same time at any event in the world.
Over the past few months, Danny has been helping drag fallen trees from the estate to be shaped into cabers in readiness for the big challenge on Sunday 14 September following the conclusion of the Masters World Championships.
Danny’s “guardian”, Dave Garman, who helps run the Revack Estate and is equipment manager for the 2014 championships, has been busy shaping the cabers, which must be at least 14 foot 9 inches in length and weighing a minimum of 55 pounds for the world record attempt.
He has already produced 100 and is prepared to make as many as are needed to ensure that Inverness writes itself into the history books, during this special Homecoming year.
He said: “We need to successfully turn 50 cabers to break the world record. It would be nice to get 150 to mark the 150th anniversary of the Northern Meeting Park – the oldest Highland Games venue in the world – but I can see no reason why we cannot aim for 200.
“Danny and I will be working flat out to prepare as many cabers as the Inverness Highland Games Committee needs to create this world record. It will be a momentous occasion.”
A performance artist from Los Angeles, Dave has been competing in and organising Highland Games for 22 years.
He will be one of the heavyweight athletes taking part in the championships and joining in the attempt to create a new Guinness World Record.
The Masters World Championships has already earned one world record for Inverness with 200 male and female heavies aged 40 and more from 13 countries registering to take part.
Inverness Provost Councillor Alex Graham said: “These Highland Games will mark the 150 years of sporting history at the Northern Meeting Park in style.
“I am sure the World Record attempt will be a great occasion, attracting locals and visitors alike who will be hoping to witness this spectacular record-breaking event.”
Caroline Packman, Homecoming Scotland Director, said: “The spotlight will well and truly be placed on the Highlands during September and October as part of the Year of Homecoming celebrations.
“Danny is a perfect example of how much work goes on behind the scenes to make these events a fantastic success and I’m sure visitors and locals attending the Inverness Highland Meeting are in for an action-packed and fun-filled event.”
The caber, a long wooden pole similar to a telephone pole, is normally is about 18 feet long, and nine inches thick.
Contrary to popular belief, the caber is thrown not for distance but for style.
The athlete must rest the caber against his shoulder and lift it vertically up off the ground while keeping it perfectly balanced.
His objective is then to toss it in such a way that it turns end over end in the air and lands with the lower end pointing towards the athlete in a relative twelve o’clock position.
The World Masters is a key part of the Highland Homecoming celebrations which are due to take place between 1 September and 31 October, including the Royal National Mòd, the Camanachd Cup Final and the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running.
Scotland will welcome the world in the Year of Homecoming 2014 – providing a year-long programme of events alongside the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games.
Visitors from around the world are invited to join in a celebration of the nation’s food and drink, active pursuits, cultural heritage, nature and ancestral heritage.