About Easdale: The World Stone Skimming Championships
Easdale Island was once the centre of a thriving Scottish slate mining industry, so it is only fitting that one of the disused quarries forms a perfect arena for the World Stone Skimming Championships.
The Championships were started in 1983 by former Easdale resident Albert Baker, and then lay fallow until they were resurrected in 1997 by Eilean Eisdeal as a fundraising event.
The championships are held every year and now attract over 300 contestants from around the world and many spectators. Anyone of any age and any level of skill can enter the championships.
Each competitor is allowed 3 skims using specially selected Easdale slate skimming stones. For a skim to qualify the stone must bounce at least twice - it is then judged on the distance achieved before it sinks.
The World Stone Skimming Cup is presented to the over-all winner, and the Sea-fari Salver for the best women's skim. There are also slate medals going to the best junior skim and 2nd and 3rd runner-up in each category.
2002 saw the launch of a new award, 'the Bertie', named after Bert Baker, the event's founder. This is presented to the Easdale Islander who skims the furthest. In 2008 the Old Tosser category was introduced for those entrants who have reached the experienced and veteran heights of no longer being in their 50s.
The competition is accompanied by children's entertainment; a barbeque; craft stalls with music throughout the day. On the preceding evening the Community Hall hosts a pre-skim bash with live music.
Official Rules of the World Stone Skimming Championships
- Skimming stones must be no more than 3 inches in diameter and formed naturally of Easdale slate
- To qualify, the stone must bounce at least twice before sinking and stay within the designated lane as marked by the buoys
- Skims are judged on the distance thrown rather than the number of bounces
- The judges' decision is final
Press interest in the the World Stone Skimming Championships is increasing every year, and the event has been covered by the following: Oban Times, The Independent, The Scotsman, The Times & The Sunday Times, The Glasgow Herald, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail, The Sun and The Drogheda Independent. Features have also appeared on Radio Scotland, Radio 5 Live, Gaelic Television news, Scottish Television, BBC Scotland television, CBBC Newsround and Channel 4 Big Breakfast.
Don't forget to visit The World Stone Skimming Championships website at www.stoneskimming.com