The Dinnie Trip at the Gold Cup

by Al Myers

Art Montini lifting one of the Dinnie Stones in 2001, as part of the group of lifters that made the trip following the World Championships.

One of the exciting things that will happen at the Gold Cup is a day trip the following day to visit the Dinnie Stones.   Andy Tomlin has made arrangements for this to happen as a group activity.  It is something I’m really looking forward to.  I have only seen the Dinnie Stones once, and that was in 2005 when I was in Scotland competing in the Highland Games.  It looks like there will be at least 10 people making the trip.  

I won’t go into details of the Dinnie Stones – there are several blogs on this website that have done that previously.  I’m more interested right now in who will be able to pick them up on this trip.  I have a couple of lifters in mind that I think have an excellent shot at it.  I won’t mention names here as I don’t want to hex them beforehand.

This isn’t the first time that the Scots have combined a Dinnie Trip with a major meet.  The first trip was planned in 1996 after Worlds to go see the Dinnie Stones.  It was on that occassion that Frank Ciavattone lifted them, and became the first American to do so. Franks experience lifting them was told in this blog on the website:   Then in 2001, again following the World Championships, a group of several lifters made the trek to the Bridge of Potarch, the “holding grounds” of the Dinnie Stones.  This was the day that Kevin Fulton lifted the Dinnie Stones, and became the second American to lift them (without straps and at the same time).    Kevin was quoted by Bill Clark in an old Strength Journal and this is what he had to say about it, ” The day after the competition we took a van full of lifters into the highlands to the Dinnie Stones.  Steve Angell and I both lifted them – all 775 pounds of them.  I was told Frank Ciavattone and I are the only Americans to ever lift them.  Steve also lifted the smaller stone – 330 pounds – to his chest. Not to be outdone, I deadlifted the small stone with only two fingers.  It was alot of fun lifting them, but very difficult for me. They are heavy and very awkward.  I was stiff and sore from the competition.  It has been a goal of mine for several years to lift them and now I’ve had the opportunity.”

It appears All Rounders have had a pretty good history of lifting the Dinnies.  The limiting factor is the grip – and most All Rounders have a much stronger hook grip than other lifters.  Gordon Dinnie has a comprehensive website devoted to those that have lifted these fabled stones –   To date, there have been only 4 Americans that have lifted them unassisted (without straps,  which is the ONLY WAY they should count as being lifted).   This is that short list:

1.  Frank Ciavattone,  Walpole, Massachusetts – September 24th, 1996
Frank’s lift was officiated by several IAWA officials and a certificate of completion was given to Frank by Frank Allen.

2.  Keven Fulton, Litchfield, Nebraska – October 8th, 2001
Kevin’s lift was also officiated by several IAWA officials.

3.  Bill Crawford, New Hampshire – October 3rd, 2005

4.  Travis Willingham, Blue Springs, Missouri – September 7th, 2009

As you notice, two of these four have been very active USAWA members.  Will this list be expanded by another all-rounder after the 2012 Gold Cup?  I predict it will.