Throwing heavy stuff at the Alma Highland Festival & Games

May 24, 2007

Caber Toss!

Caber Toss, photo by BearlyWorking

This photo is part of a set of 2006 Alma Highland Festival photos featuring kilt-clad competitors lifting and hurling heavy objects.

The Alma Highland Festival and Games take place May 26 & 27, 2007 on the campus of Alma College (2007 is the 40th annual). In addition to the Great Lakes Scottish Heavyweight Athletic Events, the festival includes piping, drumming and traditional Scottish fiddling and dancing competitions. There’s also games for children, the Parade of Tartans, and lessons and Scottish clan tents when you can learn about Scottish culture.

In addition to explaining the dance and band competitions, Wikipedia’s entry on the Highland Games lists the Heavy Events as stone put, Scottish hammer throw, weight throw, weight over the bar, sheaf toss and:

Caber toss: A long tapered pine pole or log is stood upright and hoisted by the competitor who balances it vertically holding the smaller end in his hands. Then the competitor runs forward attempting to toss it in such a way that it turns end over end with first, the upper (larger) end striking the ground and then the smaller end, originally held by the athlete, following through and in turn striking the ground in the 12 o’clock position measured relative to the direction of the run. If successful, the athlete is said to have turned the caber. Cabers vary greatly in length, weight, taper, and balance, all of which affect the degree of difficulty in making a successful toss. Competitors are judged on how closely their throws approximate the ideal 12 o’clock toss on an imaginary clock.

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