Claire Macaulay completed her Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail double gold last week as she brought the Ladies Gold Medal home to join the Ladies Traditional Medal she clinched three years earlier.
Lewis woman Claire, who returned to her home district of Ness just days after winning the gold medal, edged a titanic scrap for the prestigious prize at Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail Glaschu 2019 over runner-up Raonid Deans.
Speaking moments after being presented with the gold medal, Claire beamed: “I am very tired and I don’t sleep well at all before a competition.
“Last night I had 20-minutes so I had the luxury of a norrag this afternoon while my husband took the kids out so that nap took the edge off.
“I was so anxious the day before the qualifying but I felt the time was now and I had to get on with it and it was nice to just sing the songs and not have people ask me about it and the build-up anxiety.”
Claire qualifed in first place and enjoyed a three point advantage going into the televised final. On the night her rival for the gold, Raonid Deans, won by two points with the combined aggregate results earning Claire the deserved gold.
“I had three points of a lead going into the final and tonight showed that lead can make all the difference,” she admitted.
“I knew it would be close as I didn’t feel my second song was very strong as it had been such a long day. As they were totting up the marks I thought I had won but Marina and Rachael sung really well. I’m sorry for Saffron as well, not being able to perform her songs, but she will be back.”
She continued: “I looked for songs with a nice contrast between them. The judges did comment they felt theywere a bit simple but I just wanted to do something I enjoyed.
“My own choice in the first round I wanted something uplifting to compliment the sorrowful lament of the other song.”
She added: “I’m going to enjoy being a mammy again for a while.
“I have the full set of Mod medals now and I’m very proud of them and all the hours of work they took. It’s been a busy three years and I took ten years when I didn’t do any singing at all.
“My eldest daughter sings as well and she was in the Mod this morning while I was up and she did well and rememeberd all her words. That’s what the Mod is, taking part, enjoying it and being part of Gaelic.”