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Barrogill Races Ahead With The Kandahar

28th January 2009

Photograph of Barrogill Races Ahead With The Kandahar

The Kandahar Club races each year in Switzerland at the world famous Murren Inferno downhill ski race - the longest downhill race in the world. This year the North Highland's Mey Selections Barrogill has sponsored the Hulse-Palmer Cup which is awarded to the three Kandahar teams with the best improved times in the Inferno race, and to the member of the Club with the best individual performance. Bottles of Barrogill whisky and miniatures of Barrogill whisky were awarded to the winning competitors on Saturday night at the Club's post-race dinner at the Alpin Palace Hotel in Murren after the Inferno race in Murren on 24 January. The prizes were awarded to the winners by HRH The Duke of Kent who is patron of the Kandahar Club.

Sam Hulse from the Kandahar Club said, "The race this year was as hard as ever and the winners of Mey Selections Barrogill fully deserve their prizes after an arduous race over 11 kms. The race has a great tradition and history and this is the 66th event in Murren Switzerland. It's a perfect match between the Club, the Inferno race, and Barrogill - all linked by history and tradition."

Dr John Strak, Managing Director of Mey Selections and a competitor in the Inferno race since 1998, was in Murren and said, "The traditions of the Kandahar Club, the Inferno and Barrogill whisky all fit perfectly together. It's marvellous that we can bring them together through this sponsorship. 2009 will be the year of exports for Mey Selections and this event with Barrogill is an example of how Mey Selections is reaching out to new markets. We now have a local stockist in Murren, the Eiger Guesthouse, and this will ensure that visitors to Murren can taste Mey Selections Barrogill all year round."

"The race this year coincided with the Burns Night and a score of Mey Selections haggis were brought from Caithness to Murren for a proper Burns Supper at the Eiger Guesthouse Hotel. Alan Ramsay, a Scot and proprietor of the Guest House who races the Inferno each year in his kilt, even organised the delivery of a Mey Selections haggis through the snow to HRH The Duke of Kent. Our Mey Selections Barrogill and haggis made this an event to remember for all present."

The Inferno Race in the Swiss Alpine resort of Mrren was organized for the first time in 1928 by a group of "ski-crazy" Brits (all members of the Kandahar Club, - founded on 30th January 1924 in Mrren). Today it is the largest amateur skiing race in the world. This spectacular annual event is so popular that participation has to be limited to 1800 competitors - about half the skiers who would like to participate. The course covers 15.8 kilometres of contrasting terrain and topography, and is open to the skiing public at other times of the year. The Inferno Race is particularly suited to allround skiers. As the official documentation explains: "The upper part of the course demands downhill turning technique and an optimal line. The middle section calls for an ideal downhill position and fast gliding. From the "Kanonenrohr" to the "Hhenlcke" technically superior skiers come into their own. Over the stretch from Maulerhubel to Winteregg, skating step and arm power can be all-important. And from Winteregg-Spriessenkehr to Lauterbrunnen optimal equipment, a clean downhill position and - not least - mental stamina can be the key to a fast final time."

The Kandahar Ski Club is named after the oldest downhill ski race in the world which, in turn, was named after Field Marshal Earl Roberts of Kandahar (who took his title from the relief of Kandahar). It was founded in 1924 by Sir Arnold Lunn and a group of Englishmen. In those early days the rules for Downhill and Slalom races were being evolved and eventually, in 1931, Sir Arnold organised at Mrren the first World Championships in Downhill and Slalom Racing. He did the same in 1935, these being the only occasions in history when one country has organised the World Championships of any sport on the territory of another country. It was not until 1936 that Downhill and Slalom Racing were admitted to the Winter Olympic Games. From the very beginning the Kandahar has treated racing as an activity for all members, not just for a specialist elite.

The biggest event for members is "Inferno Week". Every year over 100 members gather in Mrren and participate in a number of events on and off the snow, culminating in competing in the longest down hill race in the world, the Inferno.

North Highland Products Limited is the company formed by Caithness farmers to select and source premium quality food and drink products from the most northerly area of the British Isles. All ingredients for Mey Selections products are sourced wherever possible from within a 100 mile radius of the Castle of Mey. Mey Selections gives a fair price to our traditional family farmers, fishermen and food producers. See

The formation of North Highland Products and the creation of the Mey Selections brand are direct results of the North Highlands Initiative inspired by HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, which was launched in August 2005 to boost the economy of the region.

North Highland Products is the fastest growing food and drink Company in Scotland, last year scooping the prestigious Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Excellence Award.

In the 2008 BBC Radio 4's food and farming programme awards Mey Selections won the Best Retail Initiative award.

In the 2008 Great Taste Awards five Mey Selections products scooped gold stars: Two products - the Mey Selections Honey and Oat Biscuits and the Mey Selections Rib of Prime Scottish beef - were awarded the coveted two-star gold awards and several of the Mey Selections honeys from Struan Apiaries - the heather and the Barrogill whisky blended honeys - were awarded one gold star each, as were the Mey Selections Toasted Highland Oatcakes from Reid's Bakery.

At the 2008 Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards, Mey Selections won two awards - Best Collaboration in a Supply Chain and Best Range of Honey, Conserves and Preserves. In recognition of its quality, Mey Selections Rib-eye Beef won the SuperMeat Award in the Fresh Meat Category in an event organised by the Meat Traders Journal in 2007. One of Mey Selections cheeses, Highland Blue, won a Gold Award in the World Cheese awards in 2006. In May 2007, Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Mey Selections Meatballs received the top award from The Grocer magazine in the meat and poultry category of The Grocer Own Label Excellence Awards 2007. In December 2006 the same product won the Best New Meat Product in the Meat Industry Awards in London.

The Mey Selections product range includes prize-winning beef, lamb, mutton, geese, cheese, eggs, oatcakes, honey and oat biscuits, shortbread, whisky, honey, preserves and Castle of Mey tweed.


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