This weekend, keen competitors will be making their way to Easdale Island in Argyll for the World Stone Skimming Championships.
The championships were first held in 1983, but have only been resurrected as a regular event since 1997. The event is now held annually on the last Sunday in September.
The championships are held on Easdale Island, which is the smallest permanently inhabited island of the Inner Hebrides. Once the centre of a thriving Scottish slate mining industry, the World Stone Skimming Championships use one of the disused quarries as an arena for the games. The stones used in the championships have been naturally formed from the Easdale slate.
The skimming rules are quite simple. To qualify, the stone must bounce no less than three times and stay within the designated lane as marked by the buoys. Skims are judged on the distance thrown rather than the number of bounces. Each competitor is allowed three goes at skimming, using specially selected Easdale slate skimming stones.
Anyone of any age and skill level can enter. Competitors come from all over the world to take part and the championships attract more than 300 participants as well as many spectators. Entrance into the championships is on a first come first served basis, with 350 places available. Registration takes place from 10am until 1pm, with the competition beginning at 12pm.
The World Stone Skimming Cup is presented to the over-all winner, the Salver for the best women’s and the best men’s skim, and The Puffer Trophy for the winning team. There are also slate medals for the best junior skim and runners-up in each category. The Bertie, named after the event’s founder, is presented to the Easdale Islander who skims the furthest, and The Old Tosser Walking Stick is awarded to contestants over 60 years old with the longest skim.
This year, on the night before the World Stone Skimming Championships, there will be a Pre-skim Party. Taking place in the community hall, the night will have live music, hot food and a bar.
When: 29th September 2019
Where: Easdale Island, near Oban in Argyll, Scotland
£: Entrance fees for adults (16 and over) £5, old tossers (60 and over) £3, juniors (10-15 years) £2, and under 10s £1. Team members pay an extra £1 per person to enter the team competition
More info: www.stoneskimming.com