A CANADIAN team triumphed at the World Pipe Band Championships last night, taking home the trophy for a third time.
More than 40,000 piping enthusiasts flocked to Glasgow Green to watch Simon Fraser University, from Vancouver, wrest the title back from the The Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band, from Northern Ireland.
Third place went to championship veterans the House of Edgar Shotts and Dykehead Pipe Band, who have won the competition 15 times.
Organisers claimed this year’s event was the biggest yet, attracting 221 bands – amounting to 8000 musicians – from 15 countries and bringing £10million in revenue to the city.
Ian Embelton, chief executive of The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA), said: “This year was fantastic. I’ve been putting these championships on for eight years and this was easily the best. The weather was in our favour, the crowds turned up in enormous numbers and it was truly spectacular. We were delighted with this year’s championship.”
French band Bagad Cap Caval won the Grade 2 piping prize and many other foreign bands achieving good results.
Embleton added: “There is something about this championship that seems to be capturing the interest of people all around the world. People are beginning to realise this is a major world championships.
“More people are playing the pipes these days. To get 221 bands where perhaps 20 years ago you would only have got 100, I think that says all you need to know.”
Glasgow is currently celebrating 60 years of association with the championship. The city has managed to keep The Worlds in Glasgow until at least 2012, beating off stiff competition from Belfast.
Glasgow Lord Provost Bob Winter said: “We are thrilled that the RSPBA decided Glasgow was the best home for the Worlds and this has by far been the biggest and best yet.”
This year’s chieftain was culture minister Linda Fabiani.
She said: “I am delighted to have been involved in this fantastic spectacle. The dedication, talent and sheer number of pipers on display demonstrates how piping is thriving not only at home, but all over the world.”