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Digital Subscriptions > The Oban Times & Lochaber Times > 29th September 2016 > STONE SKIMMING

STONE SKIMMING

Far from perfect conditions fail to deter seven times world champ from taking eighth distance title

THE Isle of Easdale hosted its 20th World Stone Skimming Championships on Sunday, when hundreds of skimmers hoped ‘gi’e it their all and hit the back wall’.

The island’s ferrymen sailed constantly back and forth between long queues on Ellenabeich and Easdale piers, and the full quota of 350 skimmers registered well before the 1pm deadline. Most travelled many miles for three shots and glory across the deep black pools of the flooded slate quarry. Competitors pick three skimming stones, either from the billions littering the island’s beaches or from pre-picked bucketfuls, rigorously tested for size through a metal hoop.

Once launched from t h e slate stage, a stone must bounce three times, within the two lines of buoys, for the distance to be measured. A group of friends, dressed as Pokemon pikachus, perched on crags between the quarry and splashing Atlantic waves to judge distances thrown. The goal, ‘the back wall’, lies 61 and a half metres away. If many challengers hit the back wall, the winner is decided by a three-stone ‘toss off’.

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