It was 7 pm at the castle and all eyes were riveted on the caber tossing athletes.

For them the ideal time is not seven o’clock but twelve o’clock: that magic moment when the caber has turned over on itself and fallen, pointing straight ahead of the thrower like the hands of a clock at noon.


But no matter what the time, the finalists were making ready for their third and last throw. The rules rule out stimulants, but Hans Lolkema from Holland had his very own source of Dutch courage. His mind went back to his magnificent 2009 duel with Gregor Edmunds.

Hansome perform’Hans from Hans

DSC_0274Then with both Hans he picked up the 74 kilo treetrunk, gathered momentum and hurled it into the air.

Like the spectator’s stomachs, it turned over before landing.

Not quite at noon but sufficiently on time to provide a fitting conclusion to a Hansome perform’Hans from Hans!

After several failed attempts to turn over the caber, all hopes were now pinned on Scott Rider.

Spurred on by his victory in the stone put – his very first world title – and cheered on by the crowd, Rider launched the 5.6 metre chestnut caber with gusto.

DSC_0267Scott Rider bang on time


No doubt a horse chestnut caber would have been more appropriate for a Rider! Be that as it may, the caber hit the ground, turned over and landed at twelve o’clock.

Bang on time!

And that is how the Englishman Scott Rider brought to a perfect close both his day in Bressuire and the 2010 Bressuire Highland Games.

With a perfect toss!


Adapted by Mary PINET

Photos: Marie-Claire GIRAUD

Reproduction interdite sans autorisation. Droits réservés AJEF