Over 50 competitors from Shetland, Orkney, Inverness, Ross-shire, Caithness and even one entry from Taiwan descended on Thurso High School early on the afternoon of Friday 2 March for the Caithness Invitation Badminton Tournament (CIBT).
The action started with a Caithness v Shetland inter county match which was won convincingly by Caithness 10-2.
Shetland travelled with a very young squad and played some excellent badminton, forcing the home team to use their experience and guile to win the points.
The match was followed seamlessly with the CIBT singles competition.
There was home success as Mark Mackay Caithness beat Martin Cook, Caithness in the final in two comfortable sets. Mark beat Andrew Reid, Orkney, in the semi-final while Martin beat Euan Jappy of Caithness.
The ladies singles final saw Shona Mackay of Caithness beat Joanne Pottinger of Orkney, also in two sets. Although Joanne was able to put pressure on Shona, she was unable to sustain the momentum over the course of the match.
In the men’s doubles Mark and Martin teamed up to beat the Shetland pairing of Jason Jamieson and Gordon Keith in a two setter final.
The ladies doubles was an all Caithness affair with Shona partnering Carole Begg to beat Kate MacNicol and Lauren Gunn, Caithness.
In the mixed, husband and wife duo Mark and Shona beat Martin and Carole in a two set final.
The CIBT provided an excellent excuse to forget about the bad weather outside, the blocked roads and lack of milk and bread in the shops!
Luckily for the organisers, the ferries and planes were still operating, with only one call off.
An evening prize giving, buffet and ceilidh finished off a very successful weekend of badminton. There may have been more sweat left on the dance floor than on the badminton court by some players!
The atmosphere throughout the weekend may have been social and friendly but it was extremely competitive from the first shuttle strike.
Meanwhile on the east side of the county, Wick Juniors held their in- house competitions over 2 days, from under 11 through to under 17 for all 5 disciplines.
No mean fete as so many of the usual coaches and volunteers were involved in the CIBT in Thurso.
Results can be found on the Wick Juniors face book page.