Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Haggis hurlers eye record attempt

Curator Rebecca Stapley dons 18th-century costume as she practices haggis hurling ahead of the weekend championship

Burns fans will attempt to break the world record for haggis hurling at a festival in the poet's homeland this weekend.

The World Haggis Hurling Championship will take place in the grounds of Burns Cottage in Alloway, South Ayrshire, on Sunday.

Under competition rules, entrants must stand on a half whisky barrel and throw a haggis as far as they can without it splitting open.

Last year's winner, Gary McLay from Kilmarnock, will return to defend the event record he set last year of 158ft, organisers said.

To beat the world record, competitors will have to throw the haggis further than 214ft 9 ins - the distance achieved by Lorne Coltart, from Blair Atholl, Perthshire, at the 2011 Milngavie and Bearsden Highland Games.

The haggis will be provided by local supplier Pollok Williamson.

The hurling event is part of the Alloway 1759 festival, held each year on the Sunday closest to the Bard's birth.

About 500 people are expected to gather at the National Trust for Scotland's Robert Burns Birthplace Museum for pipe music and poetry.

Event organiser Stuart Cochrane said: "We get people coming from all over south west Scotland, tourists from Glasgow and others returning to try to beat their previous haggis hurling record.

"It's free to enter and everyone gets a certificate for their efforts."

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