Scottish Highland Athletes Toss the Caber
Posted July 13, 1998
GRANDFATHER MOUNTAIN — This past weekend the 43rd Scottish Highland Games wrapped up on Grandfather Mountain.
Among the unique events in the games is the caber toss.
Ken Starnes is a world class highland athlete, and he has one favorite event.
"Favorite has always been the caber toss," Starnes said. "I just adapted to it well and it has always been my best event."
The object of the event is to flip a 20 foot long, 120 pound pole end over end.
"You have to get a clean pick to get it under control," Starnes said. "Once you do that, you try to gain as much forward speed as you can and make sure the caber is catching up. Then you have to drop and pull and everything has to be synchronized to get a good pull."
It looks fairly simple, but many find out that it is not.
"One of my friends is a big body builder and one day we were out, and I said go ahead," highland athlete John Grichard said. "He bends down and tries it, and drops it. He tried like five times, and he dropped it every time."
That challenge is what makes the caber toss Starnes favorite event.
"I've always enjoyed it, and it's just a challenge to try to flip a bigger stick," Starnes said.