Hundreds turn out for World Stone Skimming Championships

The 20th anniversary of the World Stone Skimming Championships on Easdale Island
The 20th anniversary of the World Stone Skimming Championships on Easdale Island

More than 350 people from across the globe braved the elements to take part in the World Stone Skimming Championships on a tiny Argyll island yesterday .

But high winds meant the winning throws at the 20th anniversary of the annual competition were considerably shorter than usual.

The event attracts entries from as far away as Japan, Holland and Denmark.

And it has become so popular that organisers have to restrict the maximum number of entries to 350.

This year, as usual, there were many more people wanting to take part.

Donald Melville, who is one of the organisers and MC for the event, said about 600-700 people turned out for the championships.

He said: “There were three showers close to the event, which passed fairly quickly and it brightened up in between, but it was consistently windy all day.

“The wind was a real factor. It meant there was a chop on the water, which is why the results were shorter this year.

“But everyone had a great time.”

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 winner of the men’s title and overall winner of the championships was Dougie Isaacs, of Blairgowrie, with a skim of 200ft.

English competitor Lucy Wood won the women’s category with 131ft and the winning team was Drummond Wanderers, made up of David Faithfull, John Foxwell, Marcus Mackenzie and Dominic Hawthorn, who achieved a collective total of 1,371ft.

Neil Fraser, who grew up on Easdale, but now lives in Oban, took the best islander title with 180ft.

The over 60s categories – known as the Old Tossers – were won by Ron Long, of Wales, with 128ft and Erica Charlier, of Scotland, who achieved 59ft.

Winners in the children’s competitions were Megan Banks, of England, in the girls under 10 category, Otto Rourke, of England, in the boys under 10, Ellie Tulloch, of Scotland in the girls 10 to 15 and Finn Thomasson, of Mull, in the boys 10 to 15.

The event is held to raise funds for Eilean Eisdeal, the trust that runs the island’s community hall, the harbour and the museum.