FOR the first time in the history of the Scottish Alternative Games, no competitive action was possible due to rain.
But that didn’t stop Sunday’s event at New Galloway proving a success, thanks to special guests Rory McGrath and Will Mellor.
The pair were there to film for their new Channel 5 show “Rory and Will: Champions of the World” and kept the crowd entertained despite the deluge.
Although the games started in the dry at 2pm, by the time they were officially declared open the heavens had opened.
More than an hour of constant heavy rain left parts of the arena under water.
A good crowd had gathered to see the opening ceremony, which had an Olympic flavour as gird ’n’ cleek world champion Neil Armstrong and Rory and Will carried their torches round the arena, led by piper George Galloway.
Most spectators bravely soldiered on hoping for a break in the weather and in the meantime the popular snail racing switched to the CatStrand.
Rory and Will entertained the crowd with their attempts at tossin’ the sheaf and the tractor pull.
A special gird ’n’ cleek challenge was arranged, giving Rory and Will the chance to become unofficial champs.
Current title holder Neil and former champions Alexander McKenna and Jayde Devlin completed the field. Conditions meant the race had to be run at a more leisurely pace but it was still an exciting encounter.
Halfway down the back straight, barefoot Rory cut through the middle of the arena in an unsuccessful bid to catch the others.
Will looked a natural and crossed the line in second place behind the reigning champ.
Despite the rain, the Balmaclellan Skittles carried on when possible under the expert guidance of Bill and Mary Blyth and all the stall-holders did their best in the circumstances.
Magician Tammy’s circus skills and balloon modelling proved popular.
There was the largest turnout of classic cars for some years but the competition didn’t get judged as many owners left early.
The weekend started with a quiz in the town hall on Friday night, won by the Village People.
Saturday saw an archive film night in the CatStrand, showing footage of New Galloway galas in the 1950s and the old rail line from Dumfries to Stranraer.
Organisers New Galloway Community Council would like to thank everyone who helped with this year’s events and those who attended.