RAF Tug of War at The Royal Highland Gathering
The Royal Highland Gathering happens annually in the small town of Breamar on the first Saturday of September every year. It is the only Highland Games where her Majesty the Queen attends and presents trophies to winning competitors. This year was a special year and embraced the RAF 100 celebrations which included fly pasts and attendance from CAS and many other Service dignitaries who enjoyed watching RAF personnel competing in a number of the sporting disciplines including Trach races, a fell race and the Tug of War.
Over the course of the Summer, the Tug of War teams have been competing for qualification places to be included at the Games. This has involved competing against teams from across Defence for one of only 10 places available to compete at Breamar. The senior side has had a good season earning a place early on with victories at the Infantry championships. The development team did exceptionally well by earning their place thanks to a great showing with bronze at the RAF 100 event hosted here at RAF High Wycombe where both teams were victorious against the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Logistics Corps, Artillery, Infantry and Royal Signal sides at the largest Military event of the year.
At the games, both teams had tough draws against will drilled sides who had been given over a month to prepare by their Regiments! We had 3 days at Lossiemouth and Grantown on Spey to make sure our tactics gave us the best possible chance. Early disappointments for both sides in the league competition meant it was an all or nothing competition for the development team as they came up against the 26 Regt Royal Artillery. Against all the odds and with shear determination they powered their way to the knockout competition 2-1 in front of a 16000 crowd who showed their appreciation to both team who battled out a gruelling 6 minute pull. Waiting for them next was the 15 Regt Royal Signals who were strong and well prepared, they showed their class against the Young RAF team who gave them nothing but had to settle with exiting the completion. The other side of the draw saw the RAF senior side overpower teams from the infantry and Royal Horse Artillery before meeting 30 Signal Regiment in the Plate Final. A brutal encounter for both teams who gave everything but it was the RAF team who slowly and patiently worked the rope back with relentless pressure being applied to the Signallers who fought hard but couldn’t find anything in reserve to break the Airman down. 2-0 to the RAF and 20 years of waiting for a Trophy at the Royal Highland Games came to an end for the RAF. A great day and a fantastic opportunity to enjoy some Highland Hospitality long into the night!
If you would like to come and give Tug of War a try then contact Flt Lt Davies, the Station Training Officer.
Flt Lt Davies