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Here are five Highland events gearing up to return to their full billing in 2022

Here are five Highland events gearing up to return to their full billing in 2022
Here are five Highland events gearing up to return to their full billing in 2022

With the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, many events across the country were forced to cancel pre-arranged dates and seek an alternative form.

Many made the shift to online virtual events, where some even continued doing what they previously would have, albeit just without the camaraderie and togetherness of a full event.

Others were not so fortunate and with no viable replacement or alteration, had to be cancelled completely.

However, with the rise of vaccinations against Covid-19 and more freedoms being reinstated, many events can now look forward to this year and returning to their full billing.

Here are five major events across the Highlands hoping to do just that.

The World Porridge Making Championships

Perhaps the most quirky on our list, but always a favourite in the calendar.

The World Porridge Making Championships, created by Carrbridge Community Council, have run since September 11, 1994, bringing together folk to celebrate all things porridge.

Now entering its 29th instalment, organisers are raring to go with a return to the full event following two years of virtual events.

Organiser Charlie Miller said: “It is our full intention to return to a full blooded, face to face, contest on October 8, 2022.

“Already competitors have been in touch and the community council is currently putting a team in place.

“Further updates will come in due course but we are very much looking forward to gathering in October again to celebrate all things porridge.”

Snowman Rally

Dating back to 1955, the Snowman Rally is a recognised stalwart of Highland events.

Organised by the Highland Car Club, it has been a stern test for everyone from local motoring club members to future World Rally Champions.

The event has changed over the years and even changed in 2021, taking on its first virtual concept.

Despite its success, organisers have said the real emphasis is on returning to the event proper in 2022.

The 2021 instalment of the Snowman Rally was cancelled and replaced with a virtual event

Clerk of the course Andy Jardine said: “We are right in the thick of planning to bring the Snowman Rally back to as normal as possible.

“It won’t be 100% normal from a competitor’s point of view. We are still doing contactless documentation and time keeping but hopefully from a spectators point of view they should be able to come out and enjoy and spectate the rally as normal come March 5.

“The virtual concept was good.

“It served its purpose but we really just want the full rally back.”

The 2020 Coogie Urquhart Snowman Rally was held shortly before the pandemic and in doing so became the only gravel rally event to have been held in Scotland that year.

World Stone Skimming Championships

Easdale becomes the epicentre of competition most Septembers as the World Stone Skimming Championships are held.

Attracting competitors and viewers from across the globe, the event has grown in size and stature since its humble beginnings.

The pandemic has put the event on ice for two years, however, organisers say they are ready to thaw out and return to full billing on Sunday September 25.

Donald Melville, who has been involved with the organising of the event for 24 years, said: “We are totally gutted we have not been able to hold the event for the past two years.

“The first year we wouldn’t have been able to, but last year we possibly could have had something but it just wasn’t responsible to have done so.

“The hope is to return in 2022.

“We have our fingers, legs and eyes crossed that it all comes together again.

“The event, from the way it has worked in the past, just wouldn’t work on a scaled down basis. It really has to be all or nothing.

“We are gearing up for a full return in 2022 with the hope nothing changes up until then.”

Scottish Six Day Trial

For six days, Lochaber is awash with motorcyclists competing in the Scottish Six Day Trial.

Preparations are well underway for the 2022 instalment, which is due to run from May 2 to May 7.

Organisers have already braved tough weather conditions to check on famed areas of the trials, which haven’t been in use competitively since the last event in 2019.

A bumper 612 people entered the ballot for a spot, with only 280 available.

Organisers were hoping to let competitors know by Christmas who had been successful.

Rodger Mount competing in the SSDT

Chairman Mark Whitham said: “There are many reasons why the event is so popular, but the SSDT is one of the few top level motorsport events where a clubman amateur can compete against world class riders on equal terms.

“The stunning scenery and Highland hospitality also add to the attraction where riders get the opportunity to ride over some of the remotest parts of Scotland.

“With the current worldwide focus on environmental issues the club are keen to reduce environmental impact and work closely with environmental agencies to ensure minimum impact.

“2022 will also deliver a bit of SSDT history as the first electric powered trials bikes compete alongside traditional motorcycles.

“We cannot wait to get going again.”

Skye Half Marathon

After successfully running a reduced safe event in 2021, organisers of the Skye Half Marathon are hopeful of the event returning to its full billing this year.

Entries are due to open this month, with the event taking on a more environmentally friendly approach.

Medals will again be made of wood by local secondary pupils, with runners asked to carry their own water.

The new medals for the Isle of Skye half marathon.

Scheduled for Saturday June 11, project manager Sam Crowe said she is excited to again be planning the event.

She said: “It exciting to be making plans for 2022 after a difficult two years.

“We are looking forward to having runners come back and experience the scenery and community feel of the island.

“It is such a special race.”