It is that time of year again when the best stone-skimmers from across the globe converge on a tiny Argyll island to do battle.
The World Stone Skimming Championships take place on Easdale on Sunday.
Easdale is the smallest permanently inhabited island of the Inner Hebrides. It was once the centre of a thriving Scottish slate mining industry, and one of the disused quarries forms a perfect arena for the event.
The championships are held every year on the last Sunday in September. Anyone of any age and any level of skill can enter. Each competitor is allowed three skims using specially selected Easdale slate skimming stones.
For a skim to qualify the stone must bounce at least three times – it is then judged on the distance achieved before it sinks.
The competition attracts entries from all as far away as Japan, Holland and Denmark. It has become so popular that organisers have to restrict the maximum number of entries to 350.
Keren Cafferty, one of the main organisers, said: “This is simply due to the amount of time that it takes to let everyone have their throw, hold the awards’ ceremony and then ensure people manage off the island whilst the ferry is within its operating hours.
“We will do all we can to ensure that people are made aware when the maximum number of entrants has been reached. The organisers very much regret any inconvenience that this may cause.
“Every year we have to turn a few people away, but we would be starting to lose daylight if we let it continue much longer.”
She added that they are still looking for a main sponsor for the event.
Registration for the championships takes place at Easdale Island Community Hall from 10.00am until 1.00pm on the day or when we reach a total of 350 entrants.
Ms Cafferty added: “If you would like to compete just turn up as there are no qualifying rounds.
“The competition starts at 12 noon – get down to the quarry side early to avoid the queues.”
This will be the twentieth consecutive year that the championships have taken place and the twentieth year that Donald Melville, the other main organiser, has been involved.
Ms Cafferty said: “Donald has done so much work and brought the event up to what it is today.”